Ryan Ainsley Scott lives in the Czech Republic. His fiction has most recently appeared in Grasp, Otoliths, and Cottonmouth.

“Until Next Year” is the winner of our Summer 2011 Flash Fiction Contest.

Until Next Year

posted Oct 11, 2011

A kingfisher. She said she saw a kingfisher.

“It was just a flash of blue, streaking across the water,” she said as he handed her a trout from the grill.

He pretended it was no big deal, but she could see he was disappointed. He had wanted to see a kingfisher since they came to the cabin.

His grandfather had told him the bird only appeared in the most pristine wilderness. Seeing one would have completed his image of the old family cabin with its spruce sweeping their shadows from morning to evening, the trout pinned into the clear water and the occasional eagle overhead. He'd even seen an otter. But no kingfisher.

In the kitchen window, the sun was low and yolky. He'd have to wait another year before he saw one.