I wrote the following piece of flash fiction using the prompt “new beginnings” with a word limit of 300. I’m challenging myself to write 1 piece of flash fiction each month to practice my short story skills.
She jolts awake, the sound of heavy rain pounding on the window of the rental house. The traumatic memories of a similar night come flooding back and the shudders begin. Her husband wakes groggy beside her. He wraps one arm around her, the comforting grip of one who was there too.
Two years ago to the day they fell into a different bed contentedly, late after the guests were gone and dishes were washed. A celebration of new beginnings, a housewarming party for the newlyweds. Outside, the unseasonably warm breeze rustles the branches of the great oak shading the backyard. A soft rain begins to fall on the roof shingles, lulling the couple into a deep sleep.
Hours later, the couple wakes suddenly to an ear-splitting howl. The furry companion looms over the bed, nervously dripping saliva. She screams as the ushing wind shatters the window, showering the room with splintered glass. Wood cracks, streetlights explode, the wall creaks. The couple instinctively yanks the blanket over their heads as the great oak crashes through, stopping just above their heads. Torrential rain floods the bedroom from the opening above. As quickly as it began, now all is still. The three free themselves from the looming branches. The unexpected tornado has made a centennial pass through their town, leaving behind untold damage.
The aftermath: the tragedy, the months of work, the time of uncertainty are now a blur, but that night replays clearly in her mind every time the wind rages. She won’t be able to sleep until the rain ceases, but the shudders stop as she rests in her husband’s arms. She breathes a prayer of thanksgiving for the new beginning in a borrowed home.