Flash Fiction (nonmonetized)

Fresh Air

The product of a 10-minute “writing sprint”

Dr. Casey Lawrence
Promptly Written
Published in
3 min readJun 16, 2023

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Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

The rainforest breathed. She could feel its warm breath on the back of her neck. Drops of perspiration collected on her upper lip, in the well of her collar bone, sliding down her back. If Kevin were here, she’d have felt self-conscious about it. She’d have been wearing makeup and fanning herself.

She couldn’t imagine him in this place, although they’d chosen it together. In fact, it had been on his bucket list, not hers, to visit the rainforest.

“Zip-lining over the clouds in Costa Rica,” he’d said with finality when the topic of their honeymoon came up. “I don’t want to be one of those lazy couples who lie about on a beach for a week and then have nothing to talk about in thirty years.”

Of course, she’d done all the planning. She always had. But then again, didn’t that say something about their relationship? She’d planned her own proposal, picked out the ring. And now she was here alone in the rainforest on their — her — honeymoon. Because he’d gotten cold feet.

“Let’s postpone,” he said, puffing on one of those damned vapes of his. “It’s not the right time. We’ll still get married, someday.”

Fat chance, she thought. And then she left him, finally. But there was the matter of this trip. She’d already paid a deposit. But two economy tickets could be upgraded into one first-class seat.

So now she was here, in the forest, alone. The guide was some thirty feet ahead. Her backpack was heavy with bottles of water, bug spray, sunscreen, granola bars. She had always been practical. It had always been Kevin who wasn’t.

He would have hated it here. The heat. The bugs. The muggy air. The salty tang of sweat. The cawing of birds. The scuttle of little claws in the bush. Everything about this place would have him muttering under his breath about going back to the resort.

She’d go zip-lining tomorrow above the clouds, just as he’d wanted — without him. But this moment? This was for her.

Alone for the first time in three years, she breathed a sigh of relief.

This story was written during a ten-minute “word sprint” challenge as part of NaNoWriMo Writer Yoga. The sprint prompt was: “Your character changes up their routine to go on an adventure by themselves. Where do they go? What’s in their backpack?

Writer Yoga (where we literally did 30 minutes of yoga followed by ten minutes of writing, then discussion) takes place on Zoom and is free to join from the NaNoWriMo website. I have discovered that a few cat-cows and downward dogs can be good for stimulating creativity!

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My debut novel, Out of Order, is now available from JMS Books. The sequel, Order in the Court, is available for preorder for 20% off until June 24, 2023.

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Dr. Casey Lawrence
Promptly Written

Canadian author of three LGBT YA novels. PhD from Trinity College Dublin. Check out my lists for stories by genre/type.