The List

the list

(A Flash Fiction)

By Lorna Ye

The rain was pouring. Huge raindrops pelted the window panes mercilessly in the midst of rumbling thunders, close and distant. The 8 o’clock morning sky looked like a moonless night sky.

She shifted her eyes from the gushing rain outside to the list on a spiral notebook resting on her kitchen table. Under the dim glowing light of the pendant lamp, each word in her neat handwriting sent a twinge of unease through her.

She ran her fingers along the edge of the page and read the list one more time:

— talk to Brian’s school counselor about his course change (hope still possible);

— talk to Holly (why she missed so many school deadlines recently?)

— take mom to knee surgery

— find someone to fix the garage door

— contact insurance about roof change


The list of concerns, as she named it, continued, but she already felt exhausted. She could, probably should, also put her back pain on this list, but she chose not to. If Tylenol and ice packs worked, that was not a concern. Yet.

With a startling buzzing beep, a message flashed on her smartphone. An emergency alert — a flood warning until noon. At the same time, a deafening thunder cracked in the sky. The torrential rain blasted against the earth and blinded the view of nearby houses and trees.

She thought of her husband who left for work ten minutes ago. The image of his blue sedan trudging through a sweeping waterfall ran through her head and made her flinch. She should have not let him leave. Actually, she tried, but he insisted because he had a morning meeting with a client.

Another booming thunder after a glaring lightening jabbed through her heart, which was already about to pound out. She found herself biting her knuckles, a habit formed during her teen years when she was very nervous.

As she tried to look away from the window, she laid her eyes on the list again. Picking up her stylus pen, she added one more thing to it — “wish Tom arrive at work safely. “

She couldn’t call him or text him; she didn’t want to distract him. She just needed to wait.

She stared out the window, hoping each minute flew away as fast as the pummeling water in the shower. The grumbling sounds and the rain-soaked darkness daunted her, but she chose to face them, knowing her Tom was battling forward in the same ordeal.

A crisp beep signaled an incoming text message. It was from Tom. “Arrived. No worries. Love you!”

She wiped the moisture away from the corners of her eyes, breaking into a relieved smile.

She could cross out one item from her list now.

© 2019, Lorna Ye. All Rights Reserved