My Flash Fiction, Sober Sixty

Libby Sommer and 'Grieve" anthology

Have a read of my flash fiction ‘Sober Sixty’ first published in the August 2020 Grieve Anthology, Stories and Poems of Grief and Loss.

Sober Sixty:

Samantha’s single women friends were envious, although she assured them Johnny wasn’t perfect. Mood swings, challenging stuff like that.

Nobody messed with Johnny. Nobody knew better than he did, he was always watching YouTube and learning new facts and figures. Also, he rode a motorbike and practiced shooting at weekends. There were Facebook groups for bike riders and a rifle range nearby. Johnny was proud of being a rev-head and a good shot with his gun, and not many people could disagree that he had unusual interests for a man his age.

‘Sober since forty and counting,’ he said about his sobriety. They didn’t talk about his twenties and thirties.

There’s a photograph of the two of them from Christmas day. Johnny had tried to lower himself to Samantha’s height for the photo so they’d be on the same level. ‘Stand up tall,’ she’d said. ‘Stand to your full height.’ ‘That’s right,’ he’d said. ‘You like things big.’

‘What does ATP in ATP Cup stand for?’ was the type of thing Johnny would call out while she poured him a glass of water before setting out on a stroll around the block.

Samantha thought she knew the answer, but didn’t want to risk being wrong. She’d learnt to tiptoe around his wildness and dreaded the fighting when she wasn’t attentive enough to his needs. Dry drunk, AA called it. The unpredictable rages were doing her head in. She knew she needed the courage to walk away.

Now she’s getting by a day at a time.

Her friends say she’s one of the lucky ones. She’s dodged a bullet.

Copyright © Libby Sommer 2020

Grieve 2020 Anthology available from Hunter Writer’s Centre website or Booktopia https://hunterwriterscentre.org/bookshop/

The 2020 Grieve Anthology

Libby Sommer and 'Grieve" anthology
I received my contributor’s copy of the 2020 Grieve anthology from the Hunter Writer’s Centre today. Stories and Poems of Grief and Loss. My short story ‘Sober Sixty’ is part of the collection.
The back cover reads,
‘2020 is the 8th year of the Grieve Project. Since 2013, Australians have submitted poems and stories about their experience with parental grief, sibling grief, loss of a home and numerous other forms of grief and loss.
‘2020 was a year of collective grief for Australia and the world. Yet the telling of grief here is much the same as in previous years. While tales of devastating bushfires and the crippling consequences of the coronavirus do feature in this anthology, its core remains unchanged: grief is universal arising from a multitude of experiences and we express it in myriad ways.
‘Writing about grief is a most notable expression. This anthology exposes that nobility and humility. It also gives us, the readers, hope.’
I feel honored to be part of this book.
Available from Hunters Writer’s Centre website or Booktopia

A Poem: Her Amber Necklace

amber stones that form the shape of a necklace

Her Amber Necklace

 

my mothers dead

my mothers dead my brother said

he jumped in the air and

clicked his heels together

 

her children and grandchildren

and great grandchildren all came

jumping and bouncing

on forbidden chairs

 

we all laughed

 

now

distant lights scatter black night

a bus rumbles up Bondi Road

clock ticks in the empty kitchen

only the ticking

then

a dog barks outside

 

her woollen jumper warms me

her amber necklace hugs my neck

 

Copyright © Libby Sommer

First published ‘The Thirteenth Floor’ XIV UTS Writers Anthology

Header Image:  Creative Commons

 

 

 

 

 

Fortnightly Story: Mother

an adult and two children walking along a beach

The day is softening into night, my desk in shadow as the sun moves behind the building.  Birds hover in the trees as the wind blows across the surface of the sea.  It’s hard to know which way to go.  Every day I fear that I can’t do it.  So I’m watching as it gets dark.

Tonight I’m thinking about the saddest bits.  Thinking, for example, that the night was alight with thunder.  Lightening cracked the sky.  Just a flash and then darkness again.

That I loved him, and sometimes he loved me too. Continue reading