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Whiskey and Water: Flash Fiction

Updated on December 17, 2016
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Chris has written more than 150 flash fiction/short stories.Working Vacation took 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

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Whiskey and Water

Her clinic appointment begins in thirty minutes, and I’m sitting on a bar stool, drinking whiskey. I guess this is just my way of escaping life’s harsh realities. But I should go and give her moral support.

We fell in love quickly. But I was straight with her right from the start. I wanted no children. Never. She didn’t like it, but she wanted us to stay together.

We were careful about avoiding pregnancy, except for one time. I can’t believe what a jerk I was about it. I told her I’d never be a father to the child if she had it, and that I’d never willingly support them financially. So she agreed to end the pregnancy. Somehow that made me happy, at least it did at the time.

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My parents didn’t know I was listening that night several years ago when Dad admitted to Mom that he had never wanted children. I hated him for that. And from that moment to this, I never wanted children either.

I wonder, can a man choose to do the right thing, even though he may not want to, and then grow to appreciate the results? I think that’s what happened to Dad. Just last year he told me he loved me for the first time, and I think he finally does. Maybe I could do the same and learn to love my child.

I’ve sat here in this bar and talked myself into wanting to be a father, but her appointment is beginning right now. I could call ahead while I drive, but I’m most likely too late already. Truth is like whiskey sometimes. It burns as it goes down.

I knock back what’s left in my shot glass and the barmaid pours me another. I lift it to my lips. She watches a tear drop from my nose into the shot glass. Whiskey and water. I pick up my phone.

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    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      William, A man by the name Vic Errington had a website up until a couple of years ago called Flash Fiction World. He's moved on now, but at the time he had a site where people could share their stories and also hire him to help them learn how to write Flash Fiction. He and I worked together on several stories over several months and that was a big boost for me. It was money well spent, as far as I am concerned. I'm attempting to track him down again now.

    • wingedcentaur profile image

      William Thomas 2 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      Cam,

      No problem. By the way, what do you mean when you say Vic 'mentored' you in writing flash fiction?

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      William, Wow, I appreciate those words. This story was in my head for months while I was being mentored in flash fiction by a fellow from Great Britain. I finally wrote it, and Vic (mentor) wouldn't let me stop working on it. He pushed pretty hard, and I think it does show. Thanks again for all the input.

    • wingedcentaur profile image

      William Thomas 2 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      Cam, in addition to the usual up, awesome, and interesting votes, I also gave this one the 'beautiful' vote, because it was.

      I must say, you must be the most versatile writer I have come across, here on Hub Pages. I am impressed by your tremendous range. You can do science fiction, psychological thrillers, suspense, and heartwarming, tear-jerkers.

      You are the Jim Thorpe of fiction, here on Hub Pages, cam! Keep up the good work!

      Ta-Ta!

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Deb, Doing the right thing in that kind of situation can change so many lives for the better. Thanks for reading.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Picking up that phone was the right thing to do...

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      American_choice, thanks. Your response actually says a lot. I appreciate your comments.

    • American_Choices profile image

      American_Choices 2 years ago from USA

      Gulp. I have never gulped before after reading a hub. Very moving. Truly awesome.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Sara, I'm glad you liked the story. Thanks for reading and for the comments.

    • Sara Sarwar Riaz profile image

      Sara Sarwar Riaz 2 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Love the storyline… how tragedies from our childhood can have everlasting repercussions to tarnish our perceptions of life. Love the analogy… truth is like whisky.

    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Frank, Very insightful...A new take on the character in my story. So, if we can't blame our character defects on our parents, what's left.....Taking personal responsibility? What is the world coming to if we are reduced to that? Maybe better things, huh?

    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Ann, Thanks for the comments. If this story is any good at all, let's just blame it on two years of rewrites. But I am happy with how it has matured over time.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      That man should never be a father, he is just like whiskey.. hot and hard to swallow, a low life.. blaming his father for hating to be one himself.. hmm

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      How good is this! You have the knack of saying loads without the extra words - brilliant, Chris! This has the mark of a professional story-writer; crisp, intriguing, poignant and it makes us stop to think.

      Ann

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Billie, Thank you for the thoughts about this story. The two parts you quoted are, to me, the very heart of the story. I like this because it walk avoids the controversy of this issue and focuses on people.

    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      John, Whiskey and Water is a couple of years old. I've worked very hard on this story and am proud of how it reads now. Thanks for those kind words of support.

    • Billie Kelpin profile image

      Billie Kelpin 2 years ago from Newport Beach

      Poignant piece. Thoughtful and thought-provoking. My favorite lines: "I wonder, can a man choose...." and "Truth is like whiskey. It burns when it goes down"

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow Chris, another amazing story. You are going from strength to strength tugging at our emotions. Well done.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Audrey, I hope it didn't hurt too bad. Just enough to make it interesting. Thanks reading.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

      ouch--felt this one--really well done!

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Becky, thanks for reading and for those kind words. Writing a lot of story into a few words just requires a first draft that is insanely long. Then I just edit out all the crap, which is about 90% of the first draft.

    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Bill, raising my glass of clear, pure water to you. Here's to 6 years as of the 18th of this month.

    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Shauna, Thanks for reading. I'll leave the ending to your imagination. :)

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Beautiful story Chris. I love how you can squeeze so much story into so few words.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've been on that bar stool. Mixed whiskey and water the same way. Today I drink my life straight up with a love chaser. :)

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      I hope he caught her in time! Lifelong regrets can be avoided.

    • cam8510 profile image
      Author

      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Mary, thank you for the very generous and encouraging response to my story.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      This one is a heart wrencher. You start right off grabbing us by the throat and the rest of this short piece tightens the grip and totally keeps our attention, not to mention emotion. I went from wanting to wring his neck to feeling so sorry for him. Amazing flash fiction Chris. This is what the genre is all about!

      Voted up, awesome, beautiful, interesting, and shared.

    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      shipcaptainn01-Thank you for visiting my hub and reading my story.

    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      Thanks for reading Lee, and for the votes. I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

    • cam8510 profile image
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      Chris Mills 2 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      sandeep15r, thank you for reading and mentioning the quote. I'm glad you liked it.

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      Lee Cloak 2 years ago

      A serious piece of flash Chris, very interesting to read, very enjoyable, voted up, thanks, Lee

    • sandeep15r profile image

      Sandeep Rathore 2 years ago from New Delhi

      Truth is like whiskey sometimes. It burns as it goes down. I like this line very much Chris Mills.