This is the piece I wrote for the NYC Midnight Micro Fiction content. It had to be 100 words long, contain the action of smoothing a wrinkle, use the word “amber” and fall into the drama category.
I came in 13th, which is great because it means I advance to the next round.
Four windowpanes, three chairs, twenty ceiling tiles. I’ve counted everything in the room dozens of times. My fingers unconsciously smooth wrinkles on the blanket while she fitfully dozes.
I want to smooth the wrinkles on her drawn face instead, smooth the hollows from weight loss, but the last time I touched her, long strands of amber hair attached to my rough hands and pulled from her head in clumps.
“April,” she murmurs, and I jump. The month we married. Our daughter’s name. I wait for more but she’s silent, barely breathing.
I lean back in my chair and resume counting.