Mercurial: a flash-fic photo challenge

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She tried to warn me.

“He’s a bit…mercurial…when it comes to relationships,” she said.

I wish she’d just spit it out.

Mercurial and jerktastic are definitely not the same thing.

“I love you” and “it’s over” within three weeks of each other isn’t mercurial – it’s weird. And manipulative. And infuriating. And my best friend trying to be diplomatic did me no favors.


Maybe it’s the city that does this to people. There are so many of us packed into so many square feet and square blocks that we’re almost disposable. As interchangeable as light bulbs.

And this weather. I don’t think it’s rained like this in years. Can’t remember the last time I saw the sun.

I can smell it, though, in the daisies. Wherever they were last, the sun came with them. I smell sunlight, open fields, and green grass. I hear finches chirping and cicadas buzzing in the trees.

We used to play “he loves me, he loves me not” with daisy petals in the garden. No matter how I tried, he loved me not. I decimated my aunt’s garden when I was sixteen, trying to figure out if Joey Donnelly really loved me.

He was mercurial too.

Mercurial. I know it means “flighty” but I always thought of that in a charming way, like being shy. But if I break it down…it means “of or like or attributed to the messenger god Mercury.”  All eloquence and ingenuity and speed.

I should’ve cracked the Roget’s before the first date. Capricious. Variable. Erratic. Volatile. Changeable. Skittish. Fickle.

Maybe I wouldn’t have lost five months of my life to Mr. Mercurial.

But I wouldn’t have an armload of sunshine either.

*I didn’t post this to Bluebell Books, where I normally participate in their photo prompts, because I missed the deadline. But the image spoke, so I wrote anyway.


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