KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 6: Fall 2016
Flash Fiction: 583 words

Bridget Walked

by Matthew S. Rosin

Bridget closed the front door behind her. She drew the crisp morning air into her lungs.


The door locked automatically.

A chill ran through her spine; two vertebrae scraped against one another. She adjusted the elegant red scarf about her neck.

Bridget took a few steps down the front walkway and paused at the first dormant rose bush. She fished her house key from her coat pocket and slipped the key ring over one of the branches until the key dangled between two thorns. Then she turned and crossed the garden, threw the latch of the gate, and pushed her way out.


A blue sedan drove by as Bridget stepped onto the sidewalk. Twin babies faced backward in car seats, heading home for the first time.

She turned right and walked down the sidewalk. A few breaths later, she crossed the driveway of the Unitarian Universalist church. The minister unfurled a rainbow flag at the edge of the church grounds. He had arrived early that morning to meet with a couple in crisis.

“Good morning,” the minister said, nodding to Bridget. He wondered if this would be the morning the church’s long-time neighbor would finally stop to talk.

Bridget walked.

She stopped at the next driveway and watched as cars crossed into the elementary school parking lot.

Thunk, crunch. Up the curb and onto the gravel.

Thunk, crunch. Children, backpacks, and lunches.

Thunk, crunch. Laughter and tears.

The white pedestrian light invited her to cross, and she walked.

Through the chain-link fence at her side and across the dewy playing field, the school bell rang. A rainbow swarm of backpacks darted toward classrooms and settled in neat lines on hooks on the walls.

Bridget walked.

At the end of the school property, chain links gave way to seven-foot redwood planks, splitting the sidewalk from private yards and gardens.

A dog approached with his young woman in tow. He pulled to sniff Bridget’s pant leg, tongue lolling toward her.

“He loves people,” the young woman said, half-smiling in apology as they drew near.

The dog whimpered as he passed and streaked saliva across Bridget’s knee.

She walked.

She reached the corner where her street crossed the main road and stepped to the edge of the curb, beside the school-crossing guard who waited to shepherd latecomers.

Bridget looked at the train tracks on the other side of the main road and checked her watch.

8:32 a.m. Two minutes to spare.

The white pedestrian light invited her to cross, and she walked.

Seven breaths after she reached the other side, warning bells rang out. Barricade arms descended between Bridget and the train tracks.

On the other side of the tracks, seven-year-old Isabella stood on the sidewalk and held her father’s hand.

“Shit, come on,” he muttered, looking at his watch.

Isabella shifted the weight of her backpack from one leg to the other and looked at the elegant red scarf wrapped about the old woman across from her. The woman stood perfectly still, looking at the light of the oncoming train.

The ground began to rumble. Suddenly, the old woman ducked beneath the barricade arm and threw herself in front of the train. Then she was gone, dragged and cut beneath the wheels.

Isabella screamed against the shriek of brakes.

That day and night, and every day and night thereafter, Bridget lay across the inner lining of Isabella’s eyelids. There, she stayed and stayed and stayed.

Bridget refused to leave.

Matthew S. Rosin
Issue 6, Fall 2016

is an author and composer based in the Bay Area, California. He published his first novelette, The Honeydrop Tree, in 2015, and his short fiction has appeared in r.kv.r.y. quarterly literary journal and Shotgun Honey. Rosin also writes about how fatherhood changes the man, including his own Reflections on Fatherhood podcast and pieces in Stand Magazine and the blog, On Being. When not writing or recording, he’s often spotted at his neighborhood park or coffee shop with his two young children.

You can learn and read more at the author’s website:

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