The Discussion

Flash Fiction

Photo by Julien L on Unsplash

“What? Did you not remember anything I said? I told you to get the creamy peanut butter, not the chunky!”

“But …”

“You never listen to me! I bet you picked up the wrong bread too.” She peered into the bag again. “It’s plain white. I need gluten-free bread for when your sister visits tomorrow!”

Her husband threw up his arms. “I …”

“You what?”

“Did you get the car washed today?” he asked.

“No, but I …”

“See then! You think I don’t listen?”

A second bag sat at her feet. Everything was there.

“That other bag is for the food pantry,” he said.

“And I had the car washed yesterday.”

“Only mouths are we,” she thought. “Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the center of all things?”


This was part of a prosery challenge for DVerse. The challenge was to write a short piece of fiction under 144 words that contained this line of poetry from Rainer Maria Rilke, “Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heat which safely exists in the center of all things?”

25 thoughts on “The Discussion

  1. This is incredibly evocative. You describe the fragility of relationships so beautifully here. You see, the thing that most people out there forget is that human beings aren’t perfect. We mess up, we mess up big time and we tend to do it a lot. That being said, it’s the bonding between two individuals that gets them through. I so loved this prose piece. Thank you so much for writing to the prompt 💝💝

    1. Frustrating, right? I like to think both characters learned from the situation. 😛

      1. My pleasure, Susan❣️

        BTW, please feel free to call me ‘David’. – That’s my first name. The Hebrew word ‘ben’ means ‘son of’, and my father’s name was ‘Alexander’. That’s why I decided to use ‘ben Alexander’ as a pen name <3


      2. Ah, yes. I do know about that meaning of ben, but still thought you could have been Benjamin Alexander. Thanks for letting me know what I should call you — David. 🙂

      3. Northern NJ, Essex County. (I don’t want to make my exact location public.)

      4. Well, it’s nice to meet someone with some New Jersey connections.

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