Lilith (Flash fiction – 430 words)

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    I’ve been playing round with a flash and repetitions. It’s still at the early stage but I’m keen to know if it works or not and if it makes sense. As usual, feel free to nitpick and let me know if I have missed any glaring spelling or grammar mistakes.



    She was the breath in your ear that told you to speak to the quiet girl, the one nursing a glass of Chardonnay on the other end of the bar. She was the dare you followed until my number was stored in your phone.

    She was the flame that lit your cigarette, the high that hit you when you took that first drag of the day, the black tar that stayed in your lungs long after you’ve stopped smoking.

    She was everywhere, although you always called her an ancient history, but one whose words were etched on the tablets of your bones. There were tales that defined you that I didn’t know like that weekend in Berlin or what happened to the broken handrail in the bathroom.

    She was the shadows shrouding the corner where you kissed me for the first time. She was the invisible hand, guiding yours up and down the lines of my body — the puppeteer still moving the strings long after they left the stage.

    She was the pause in your questions, the seconds delay of hesitation, the words you didn’t speak. She was the seed of doubt planted in me which feed on those silences, unsaid truth growing and unfurling in my chest.

    She was the phantom fingers knotting in your hair, pulling you head towards me as we kissed, when your tongue probed the roof of my mouth or tasted me for the first time.

    She was the flicker of ennui in your eyes when I suggested a quiet night in on the sofa, and the curl of your mouth when my hand slipped below the waist of your pyjamas as Richard Attenborough lectured us on endangered species.

    She was the name never on your lips, but always on your mind.

    She was the scar slicing your eyebrow and the small dent in the plaster of the living room wall where you had made up. I ran my fingers along the depression, licked the porous surface that stuck to my tongue to swallow her essence.

    She was the kohl pencil forgotten in the bathroom cabinet. The blackest black shade that rimmed her eyes and your desires. A reminder that someone had been there before me, important enough to leave something behind, important enough not to be thrown away. A message to those that would come after her.

    She was the unfair competition, the one that would never lose because she was an idea, a memory only made of the good parts of your history, an excitement like salt on a split lip.

    Philippa East

    Hi Elle,

    I really enjoyed this, and it works for me! It’s the classic issue of the ex, right? The one you can never compete with properly. I like it.

    Only spotted one typo: “She was the seed of doubt planted in me which feed on those silences” – should it be fed?

    Great work!


    Thanks Philippa for your feedback and for catching that typo! I’m glad to know that it works and yes it is the typical ex’s issue but one with darker edge than the current girlfriend, hence the title “Lilith”.

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