Flash Fiction: What Matters the most to You?

by LJ Frank





“Damn. Is it my Meniere’s or Van Gogh syndrome? Hallucination? I’m very dissatisfied with aging.” I mumbled to myself as I rolled over on my side. My telephone was the classic, old fashioned land line on the end table next to my three feet off the floor king sized bed that was wanting a new mattress.


“Jesus!” I started to lean over to pick up the phone but laid back on my Bed Bath & Beyond clearance sale pillow and looked up at the slow whirling fan that was designed like the propeller of a vintage airplane and dangling from the 14-foot ceiling.

Source. Pexels. Lilartsy. Photographer

My friend Ingrid gifted me a classic telephone I think so she could call in the early a.m., at least twice a week. This time the ringing occurred during one of those paranoia filled sweaty dreams where I was lost in a city and kept ending back on the same street in which I started, near a bar with an outdoor patio. A car identical to mine was following me the entire time. And now getting closer. The driver’s face had a familiar countenance. Who was she? The dream felt so real. Sometimes the surreal feels real. I couldn’t tell which. The real and surreal have a bleed though quality. My body said get up and my brain said not yet. My body and mind have had some disagreement as to what is the most important of late…along with concerns about reality.


Okay. This time I picked up the receiver from its cradle. “Good morning.”

“Good morning.” Her voice sounded husky and seductive, like a jazz singer’s at midnight in a downtown Chicago bar I once visited years ago. Smooth, lusty and mysterious.

“Ingrid? It’s good to…hear your voice.” 

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah.” I lied.

“You know I was following you earlier.”


“Don’t be so surprised. I’ll pick you up in an hour. I’ll explain what it all means.”

“What it all means?”

“Don’t be coy with me.” She laughed softly.


“Remember what you asked me?

“Oh?” I tried to recall what she was talking about. And then my eyes widened as I sat up in bed. My life felt like an abstract of an idea. What was going on?

“Do you recall? The patio. The question of what matters the most to you? ”