A Guest Post by John Sexton
for The Irish Quarter Year Two
March 11 to July 1
"Mrs. Frobisher’s Significant Moment"
by John Sexton
by John Sexton
The end of the world had started slowly, in the month of September, in Mrs. Frobisher’s garden. It had started in a small way, as all big things start.
She had been watching from her bedroom window, one cold, bright morning as the sun lit the tall boundary fence, when she noticed the color falling from the apples. As she had watched, they turned from red to a watery paleness. She stood up from her writing desk and leant forward, reasoning at first that it was just a trick of the sunlight, but could see quite clearly that the apples were colorless. As she continued to stare at the tree an apple fell from its branch and landed in the tall, uncut grass. A wave of pallor swept over the grass, through the entire lawn, until it was no longer green.
Mrs. Frobisher made her way from the bedroom and down the stairs to the back door. Through the glass window above the back door she could see a blackbird turning a chalky white, its orange beak shading into a dull ecru like old porcelain. The bird flew up into the sky, which Mrs. Frobisher could see was no longer blue, or grey, or anything. It was simply as if the sky was no longer there, as if she was looking into the purest nothing.
That evening the local vicar, Reverend D’Vere, called on Mrs. Frobisher with the parish council. As they sat at her kitchen table Mrs. Frobisher had great difficulty in making them out, blending as they did with everything else.
“We’re very concerned about the Fete on Saturday, Mrs. Frobisher,” announced the vicar from somewhere to her left.
“Excuse me, Vicar?” said Mrs. Frobisher, whose concentration had begun to wane.
“The Fete on Saturday. We’re very worried about it. Mrs. Bates was to be making the RhubarbTarts, but the rhubarb has gone off.”
“Gone off, Vicar?”
“Yes,” chimed in Mrs. Bates. “It’s got some sort of blight or something. Gone terribly pale, it has.”
Mrs. Frobisher sat in a daze. The whole world was becoming completely pallid and all they had noticed was a lack of color in the rhubarb.
Mrs. Frobisher fumbled at the table, trying to find the teapot, which she eventually located by its heat. Finding a teacup with a gentle sweep of her free hand she began to carefully pour a cup of tea. The tea, she noticed, was almost unnoticeable, and she had to guess when the cup was full, for fear she would spill it over the table.
And that, basically, was the beginning of the end of the world. A lot more happened after that, but nobody could really tell exactly what.
Photo "Apple" courtesy of Liana Myburgh, East London, South Africa.
Author Bio of John Sexton
John W. Sexton (Republic of Ireland) is a poet, short-story writer, dramatist, children’s novelist, radio scriptwriter, and broadcaster. He is the author of three collections of poetry, The Prince’s Brief Career (Cairn Mountain Press, 1995); Shadows Bloom / Scáthanna Faoi Bhláth, a book of haiku with translations into Irish by Gabriel Rosenstock; and, most recently, Vortex(Doghouse, 2005). He also created and wrote The Ivory Tower for RTE radio, which ran to over one hundred half-hour episodes. His novels based on this series, The Johnny Coffin Diaries and Johnny Coffin School-Dazed are both published by The O’Brien Press, and have been translated into Italian and Serbian. Under the ironic pseudonym of Sex W. Johnston he has recorded an album with legendary Stranglers frontman, Hugh Cornwell, entitled Sons Of Shiva, which has been released on Track Records.
He is one of the most requested writers currently working under Poetry Ireland’s Writers-In-
I thank John for allowing me to publish this wonderful flash fiction story. Happily I am proud to announce I will be posting two more of his great short stories soon
I have previously posted two of John's stories.
Interesting--is this flash fiction, or the beginning of a story?
Suko, it is flash fiction. There will be additional stories by John Sexton coming very soon
Love this! Like a lot of flash fiction the dividing line between itself & poetry is blurred it reminds me of the works of Joseph Young or Shane Jones with that poetic quality & melancholy.
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