Rings, a #fridayflash #story – #amwriting


July 12, 2012 by Deanna Schrayer


Thank you for stopping in to read my #fridayflash. Be sure to visit the Friday Flash Community for more great flash fiction by outstanding authors!

Rings is rated PG, according to my standards.

Rings, by Deanna Schrayer

Rings, by Deanna Schrayer

Rings, by Deanna Schrayer

He was okay until he saw the indents on her fingers where her rings had been, the rings he’d never seen her without. Until now.

Denver saw those lines and recalled the day – when he was ten-years-old – that he and his father had chopped down the old oak threatening to flatten their home. When the tree hit the ground they ran to it. His father had circled the rings inside the trunk with his sun-browned finger and told Denver that’s how you knew the tree’s age: by counting the rings.

There were four white lines where the rings had circled Ronni’s tawny index and ring fingers. He thought of the different lives she had lived in her thirty-eight years on this earth. Was the ghost of the first ring the life she spent as a child, growing up happy and not wanting for anything? The second as a young adult when she rebelled and left home, becoming absorbed in her drug and alcohol habits; the third ring her life after she’d met Denver and settled down, building a family with him almost immediately?

The fourth ring was nearly transparent. Denver felt grateful for that paleness as, finally, the first tear slid down his cold cheek, rolled off his chin and splashed onto the gleaming white casket that held his wife’s body.

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14 thoughts on “Rings, a #fridayflash #story – #amwriting

  1. utterly charming and involving tale Deanna. And I love that picture too!

    marc x

    • Deanna Schrayer says:

      Thanks so much Marc! Though I did use stock photos to create the picture it took me a while to get it “just right”. :)

  2. Oh nice writing, and analogy of rings, totally captivating!

  3. Steve Green says:

    Lots of emotion and substance packed into such a short piece Deanna. Well done.

    Also… What Helen said +1. :)

    • Deanna Schrayer says:

      Thanks Steve! I rarely do very short pieces because it is so difficult to pack a lot of story in such a small space, but I had fun with this one.

  4. This is a fine short story. You’ve packed a lot into a very short space very successfully.

    Coincidentally I’ve actually had pretty much that same experience, looking down into that casket, to see one’s Big Love, dead at thirty three. She was still wearing her rings, removed later between the church and the cemetery, but otherwise you got the feeling exactly spot on.

    Thanks for sharing this, Deanna

    • ps – love – LOVE the photo – illustration!

      • Deanna Schrayer says:

        John, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve experienced this very story, but I greatly appreciate your kind comments.
        I was a bit unsure about having the rings off when the casket hadn’t yet been closed because (as you attest) that’s usually not how funerals are handled, but then I thought maybe the reader could see this as “the last moment” before the casket is closed. I hope that makes sense.
        Thank you so much for reading, and for your kind words, on both the story and the picture.

  5. timvansant says:

    What a sad story and what a great image to go with it.

  6. richardbon says:

    I agree with some of the other comments regarding the rings of the fallen tree as analogous to the phases of her life. Sad to learn of her death at the end.

  7. […] Other Side of Deanna. My latest flash fiction is a microflash piece (read the story in seconds!)- Rings. Share this:ShareTwitterStumbleUponLike this:LikeOne blogger likes this. […]

  8. Deanna, what a wonderful use of tree rings as a metaphor for life’s events. Excellent.
    Thank you for visiting my flashquake site. I’m sorry about it being hard to read. You are the only one who pointed it out, but maybe it bothered others too.I’ll change it.



  9. Deanna Schrayer says:

    Tim, Richard, and Denise, thank you so much for your kind comments. I guess the muse was hanging around on the day I saw that telling white line on a woman’s ring finger for suddenly this whole story popped into my head.

    Denise, the colors could just be me – I have such awful vision that I often have to copy and paste stories to a word doc to avoid seeing too many different ones, (for it hurts my eyes so much).
    Don’t worry anyone – as soon as I read the story the doc is gone, never even saved so no need to delete. :)

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