A Very Short Story, “Sincerity”

….This Journal resumes…

I received a letter this morning saying that my short story didn’t win the contest I’d mentioned; the judges enjoyed reading it and I enjoyed writing it very much too.

The contest theme was ‘flying and falling’ with 800 words max and a contest I’d began looking into soon before entries closed, but soon enough to write.

Here’s my flash fiction. I’d found though that I am more interested in longer stories now than I was in the past…This one is a very short story and under 500 words, prose poetry in style.


by Jade Nicole Beals

“Did you get new hips?” Colbert said to me. My face appearing non-phased, I said, “No, Why do you ask?”

I had just begun to move them and everything else. I noticed the bottle of ink that I’ve looked at the same way for years imbues the page with shiny black words. When the ink is well cared for, the paper could hold more ink than one would think.

The sky’s imbued with the same blue as it is about to change into something new, I imagine wild horses could be happier than the ones I’ve just seen, the ground not too sticky, the grass growing just as shrewdly.

I penned the words, “I have given you eight thousand words in this when maybe ten would’ve done you better.”

The reply letter arrived quicker than I had thought, my hand never ached when I wrote to Vincent; it moved too fluidly, my little pen gliding over the page as if moved alone by my deep,
continuous, fluttering breath, stopping only for the pen’s dip into the inkwell.

He replied, “Anything consciously concise from you would be a labor to you. No, I’m glad to hear whatever you want to say. Don’t worry about reaching the ‘Sincerely’ with me. I could do the same thing.”

My family finally got a telephone that same year. When I had heard it ring one night, my face paled, but with the look of a refreshed massage with lotion, I’d hoped, and my hands were small and trembling so, but my fingers never felt so graceful.

I still recalled my not so dear friend Colbert’s comments about my hips, I made my every paperweight into garden stones; I enjoyed sensations, my grammars and my thesaurus, the wind through my letters, the bird-seeds which were too many and became the wind’s plaything, and that the weight of the world appeared to me no more than a too frail philosophy—I was deeply drawn to Vincent.

I wasn’t sure what was proper to say when one picked up the phone, but I said something, and when I heard the sound of his voice, it was smooth and sweet as the chai drinks I knew we’d enjoy together soon—just settled and stirred, and handed over to us—with a
smile—it lifted me—and afterwards, there was no flying or falling or out-running, or running out of things, or stealing or flying or falling, or grounding or defining or crying, or making sense, or finding, or failing; or falling, or flying, or flying, or flying. It was simply this: the sound of his voice contained his every written word and his words were always enough.


The author Luanne Castle (also a reader of this blog!) who hosted the Writing Contest created it in celebration of her poetry book to be released in September, Rooted and Winged.


As for my novel, I’ve been finding my way towards a different genre…

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