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February 3rd, in Flash Fiction

Just for a Moment

By: Kevin Flanders

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 26 seconds. Contains 488 words

Serene and quiet, the village nestled between rolling hills and lush forests. An old man named Elias had weathered the years with grace until a cruel twist of fate took away not just his eyesight but also the memories that defined his existence. Elias, once a storyteller with a treasure trove of memories, found himself adrift in the sea of forgetfulness.

More and more Elias struggled to recognize the faces of his loved ones and the places he once called home. The vivid stories he used to tell became fragments, slipping through the cracks of his diminishing memory. Despair settled like a heavy fog around him, obscuring both past and present.

Elias sat alone on a weathered bench in the village square. He heard a soft voice interrupted his thoughts.

"Hello, kind sir," said a tiny gnome, no taller than Elias's knee, adorned in a colorful patchwork coat.

"I see that you've lost something precious."

Elias, startled by the unexpected visitor, managed a feeble smile.

"I've lost more than I can comprehend, my friend. My sight, my memories--they're slipping away like grains of sand through my fingers."

The gnome, known as Pippin, nodded knowingly.

"I may have something that can help you," he whispered.

reaching into a small satchel slung over his shoulder, with a flourish, Pippin produced a shimmering crystal vial filled with a radiant liquid.

"This elixir," Pippin explained, "can grant you the gift of sight, but only for a fleeting moment each day. A mere few seconds, but enough to see the world with the eyes you once cherished."

Elias, intrigued by the gnome's offer, hesitated before accepting the vial.

With cautious optimism, he drank the elixir. In an instant, colors burst forth, shapes regained clarity, and the world came alive before his eyes. Tears welled up as Elias marveled at the beauty he thought lost forever.

However, as quickly as the vision appeared, it faded away, leaving Elias in a bittersweet reality.

Pippin smiled sympathetically, "A small price to pay, my friend, for the joy of seeing even briefly."

Regardless, Elias embraced the gift graciously. During those precious moments, he relished the vibrant hues of the sunrise, the faces of his family, and the familiar landmarks of his village. The brief respite from darkness became a lifeline to sanity, a reminder of the world he once knew.

Elias and Pippin formed an unlikely companionship, sharing stories and laughter as the gnome became a constant presence in Elias's life. With each passing day, Elias found solace in the small but meaningful moments of clarity, and Pippin, in turn, found joy in the old man's resilience.

In the twilight of his life, Elias, guided by the whimsical gnome and his ephemeral gift, learned to appreciate the beauty of the present, cherishing the fragments of memories that remained. And in the brief seconds of sight, Elias glimpsed a world that, though fleeting, was filled with love, laughter, and the magic of a little gnome who brought light to the darkest corners of his existence.

Kevin Flanders

About the Author:

Kevin, known to his friends and family as Kev, is a retired finance analyst. He lives in Staten Island, NY.