Flash Fic Monday: The Last Sunset

11165318_381449828708777_3178884320167172046_n“Are you warm enough?” he asked.

“No, but that doesn’t matter.” Nestled in a cocoon of blankets, she looked up through the clear roof of the little gondola in which they sat and saw the gaudy but beautiful balloon keeping them aloft. Its twin on the other side could not be seen unless she tilted her head back so far, it hurt. A propeller at the rear provided forward momentum.

It was a wonderful device, and though she’d begged him for rides over and over, it wasn’t until she’d become ill that he relented.

Ill. An innocuous word–three letters, one syllable–that didn’t go far enough to describe the state she was in. She was dying, and they both knew it. What a shame that’s what it had taken for him to finally invite her on-board. 

“We can go back–” he said.

“Not until after….” She trailed off, unwilling to put the inevitable into words, but also because it took strength to speak, and she didn’t have much.

She could no longer walk; he’d carried her to his magnificent machine and placed her on the seat with such gentleness, it brought tears to her eyes. She had not eaten in days and even shallow sips of water was becoming impossible.

She was grateful he’d taken her to Yorkshire when the future became clear. London, with its damp fog and filth and disease, would have killed her more quickly. She’d never really been happy there, away from the country. He’d known, as only a beloved brother could, she’d be much happier at the cottage.

The sun was setting. In minutes it would drop behind the hills to the west, but still she felt its heat through the isinglass windows. She laboriously turned her head to watch–not looking directly at the ball of fire, oh no!–but off to one side, where the golden rays were spreading along the edge of the land all the way to the ocean. She wondered if they’d reach the water in time, and then it ceased to matter. Nothing mattered but forcing her eyes to stay open as long as possible.

How she loved the green hills and majestic trees and endless blue sky! That these should be the last things she saw was exactly right, and she thanked Colin silently for realizing it.


Colin didn’t need to check. Didn’t need to look at the haggard face that had once been so lovely or feel her fragile wrist for a pulse. He knew the instant she died, because it felt as if a great light had gone out in the world. Weeping without a sound, he continued on toward the ocean. She would have wanted that.


Word count: 450
Genre: Steampunk/Victorian

Be sure to check out the other flash fics here. Have a great week!



About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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23 Responses to Flash Fic Monday: The Last Sunset

  1. Damn. You never disappoint me. That was sad, yet beautiful. And crap – I need to re-write my propeller part now. I guess it would move them forward – hence the name. Duh.

  2. Patricia says:

    I woke up to this. Sad but really lovely.

  3. ludwigcarol5 says:

    Ahh Theo. That was absolutely beautiful and so sad. You my friend,, you are a outstanding author. Absolutely perfect. Still wiping my eyes.

  4. Helena Stone says:

    That flash is both heartbreaking and astonishingly beautiful. Can’t help thinking if I had to die that would be the way to have it happen. Thank you for your wonderful words.

  5. Allison says:

    I wasn’t expecting to be teary at my desk from a flash. This is gorgeous and painful.

  6. Lindsaysf says:

    Tears. But sweet ones. *sniff*

  7. *sniffles* that was absolutely lovely.

  8. suze294 says:


  9. I want someone to do this for me when I die. Beautiful.

  10. Yvonne says:

    Sad but wonderful, this was lovely.

  11. Yvonne says:

    You are very talented and I love your writing. Sometimes these shorts are too dark and depressing for me (not this one though) but they’re always well written.

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