Friday Flash Fiction: Amber

Hmmm. Not sure on this one. Let me know.

By Neil Beynon

She gazed glassily at him through eyes that did not blink as if she were watching him watching her. Mouth pursed. He knew the expression, he doubted anyone else would.

Her words echoed in his head.

“It’s over,” she said.

“It’s not you it’s me”, should have been the next line only it wasn’t. She continued: “I just don’t feel the same way you do. You scare me.”

She had nothing to fear from him. All he wanted was to preserve what they’d had. To keep things the same.

He’d tried to argue but she’d just rested her hand gently on his upper arm.

“I’m not the person you want me to be,” she’d said, her tone thick. Her hand felt hot and dry. Pity had always come to mind as a cold feeling but the notion vanished in that moment – the desert sands of her’s erasing it for all time.

Then he pleaded.

Then she told him to fuck off.

Then he pushed her.

A little thing. Not a punch or a kick but a gentle shove to let her know he was serious. The thing about little things is they’re so hard to take back.

He walked round her for the umpteenth time, circling her like you might a museum piece. The strip lights of the lab buzzed and fizzed in the background.

Intellectually he knew she no longer existed. The forces at the centre of a singularity too great for anything to survive, the black hole’s dark heart more powerful than a star let alone human flesh. It had not been intentional but there she was. Caught in black amber for all time. There was something comforting about having her around forever, unchanged and unmoving.

She’d never get old, or rot, or decay and the accident might upset a few people but the importance of the work would ensure the singularity itself was preserved. The first bred in captivity.

Of course he’d need to explain what happened. It shouldn’t be too hard. There really was no way to tell, she looked as if she’d fallen, faintly surprised. There was no one who’d really be able to read that expression. No one other than him.

Her fear faintly edged on her lips.

It was better this way.


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