It’s another Flash Fiction Monday, and this week, we’re taking our inspiration from the song, I’m a Mess by Ed Sheeran. This is what I came up with.
The sheet billowed up between us as we stood on either side of the bed—a rippling sea of blue and green paisley making the span of the mattress seem much wider than it was. I tucked in my side, glancing at Molly while she did the same.
The stiflingly sweet scent of the fabric softener made my nose itch. I hated that fucking little bear on the commercials, and I hated the god-awful scent of the dryer sheets. It would take days for the sheets to air out enough that I wouldn’t get a headache every time I went to bed.
She paused and looked up at me. Well, it was more like she looked over my left shoulder. “Yeah?”
“Were they out of the dryer sheets that don’t smell like ass?”
Her mouth moved, but it really wasn’t a smile or a frown. “Sorry, I forgot you hate that kind. I guess I must have been in a hurry when I was shopping, and didn’t think. I’m a mess, lately.”
“No big.” I shrugged. It wasn’t worth fighting over, anyway. Actually, there wasn’t much I was willing to fight about. Not right now, anyway.
We pulled the blankets up, and while I straightened the quilt, Molly turned away and changed into her pajamas. I couldn’t remember the last time she’d come to bed naked. But as I unhooked my bra and slipped it out from under my shirt, I couldn’t remember the last time I had, either.
I crawled under the blankets while she turned out the light. I hoped that maybe she’d at least meet me in the middle, but she curled on to her side and faced the wall. I turned toward her, but got a whiff of that fucking bear and its floral death scent.
I think that’s what I hated most about the dryer sheets. It felt like being trapped in a funeral home for hours on end. My head started throbbing, and my eyes burned. Rolling to my back, I stared at the ceiling and blinked back tears. I wasn’t sure if the tears were because of the scent or because of the endless paisley chasm between us. The one that seemed to get a little wider every night.
Check out the other bloggers’ takes on the song.