Agony, Tennessee

We held a Flash Fiction prompt inspired by the phenomenal name symbolism in Alexandra Adornetto’s Halo and Hades. She’s got the villainous Jack Thorn and an angel hiding in Venus Cove… Our challenge to you was to write a micromini story set in Agony, Tennessee and WOW! The results were amazing. After a significant amount of deliberation, we had to go with…

 

Escape from a Name by Anna Jonsonn

Agony, Tennessee.
On bright, sunny days tourists often joke about our name. They look at each other and say, “Somebody must have been in some serious pain when they named this place.” Then, smiling at their cleverness, they walk on to the next boutique or café.
But there are other days. Today is one of those days.
On this day the atmosphere is dark. So dark, it seems that the sun is only peering out from behind the clouds as part of some cruel joke. Today the tourists do not joke. They only shake their heads and hurry back into their shiny new cars and leave before the Agony catches up to them.
But there are those of us who stay.
On this day we must live even though some among us do not. I look down the aisle of the church to the front platform where three caskets sit, waiting to be buried. They wait for clearer skies, and a magic place called heaven. All we have to wait for here is Agony. We wait for Agony and hope the pain will fade.
But there are those of us who cannot forget.
On this day we stare up at the sky and try not to remember the sound of his boots as he stormed into the school. The flash of the gun as he raised it to their heads. We must forget the way it feels to know a soul has left a body.
And if we cannot forget?
On this day we don’t have to forget. Because on this day, we are revered for our perseverance. Pitied for our loss. Only on this day of Agony does the rest of the world forget that we are Agony, Tennessee.

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