Short Story Sunday 177: Quack

Short Story: "Quack" | Flash Fiction

            Joanna walked out of her house and across the street to the pond. The sun was just starting to rise so most people weren’t out and about yet, especially since it was a Saturday morning. She had been walking around the pond every Saturday morning for the past couple of years. The only times she hadn’t was when she or her husband was sick or if it was too cold during the winter time. If that was the case, she loved to sit on her front porch and watch the water sparkle in the sun.

Joanna wanted to stay home this morning. She had just buried her husband the day before and she wasn’t sure if would be able to walk the pond alone without getting too upset. However, she had a feeling that her husband was going to want her to walk around the pond. He wasn’t there physically, but she knew that he would be there with her.

She walked around the perimeter of the pond until she made it halfway. He had always gotten tired at this point so they sat down at a bench and rested for a few minutes. Joanna wasn’t tired at all. In fact, she could have finished the lap and then walked around a second time if she wanted to. However, she felt as though she should sit down on the bench just for her husband’s sake. Maybe he was there waiting for her.

Joanna watched the ducks wade on the surface of the pond. Her husband had always brought bread or crackers with him in hopes that a duck would waddle up to him and eat out of his hand. He and Joanna knew they shouldn’t have been feeding the ducks, but they enjoyed it and so did the ducks. Except, the ducks never came near them. They always stayed a safe distance away even though Joanna and her husband would have their hands out gently with food in their palms. Finally, they would give up waiting for the ducks to make a move and eventually toss them the food where they would promptly gobble it up and head back into the water.

As Joanna sat down at the bench she realized that she had completely forgotten about the bread and cracked. She sighed hoping the ducks wouldn’t feel bad. She hoped her husband wouldn’t be disappointed with her.

She closed her eyes and prayed to her husband for a few moments.

“Quack,”

She opened her eyes and looked around. She turned around and noticed a duck standing right behind the bench. He waddled around the side and sat down on the ground in front of the bench where her husband would have been sitting next to her.

“Hello,” Joanna smiled.

They sat together in silence for a little while. The duck remained in that spot until Joanna decided it was time for her to get up and go home. Only then did the duck waddle back into the pond.

Words: 499

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