We Still Have San Francisco [Flash Fiction]

This is flash fiction by Gary R. Hoffman. 

“Just stay with me, lady.  Help’s on the way.”

I looked at the woman whose head I was cradling in my arms.   How she survived being thrown from her car after it went through the ditch was a mystery to me.  .  Blood gushed from a large gash on her head and from her left arm where the bone broke and pushed through the skin.

I pretty much stopped the arm bleeding with a tourniquet I made from my belt.  I took off my jacket and was holding it against her head.  We were both shivering from the early morning October air.   I felt for a pulse again and found it.

She moaned.

“Help’s coming.  You just try to relax.”  That sounded dumb, even to me.

“Is that you, Matt?” she said.

“No, ma’am.  My name’s Charlie.”  From her build, hair color, and clothing, she reminded me of my ex-wife, Cindy, the woman I still loved, but just couldn’t seem to get along with.

“Matt?” she asked again.

What the hell.  She wasn’t going to make it.  “Yeah, it’s Matt.”

“Oh, good.  I’m so glad you came back Matt.”  She coughed.  “What happened between us anyway?”

“I’m not sure.  Sometimes things just go wrong between two people.”  Her head rolled to the side.  I felt for a pulse and got one.

My arm was going to sleep, so I tried to move it into different position.  She grabbed it to stop me.  Her eyes came open, but they didn’t seem to be focused on anything.  “Remember how happy we were in San Francisco?  We still have that.”

“Yeah, that was a great time.”

“I’m so glad you came back, Matt.  I’m glad you still care.  Letting you go was the biggest mistake of my life.”

“Well, it was my fault, too.”

“I’m glad you feel that way.”  She coughed again.  I could hear a gurgling noise coming from her throat.  “Goodbye, Matt.”  She turned her head to the side.  I felt no pulse.

I kissed her on the cheek.  “Goodbye, Cindy.”

I heard a siren in the distance.


Gary R. Hoffman has published over three hundred short stories, non-fiction articles, poetry, and essays in various publications.  He has placed over one-hundred and fifty items in contests.  He taught school for twenty-five years and lived on the road in a motor home for fourteen years.  He now resides in Okeechobee, Florida.

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