Snazzy title though it is, it’s not the actual title of the 150 (fine, 148) word story that I will shortly be cutting and pasting into this very post.
The pinch part refers to the word that needed to be included in the piece.
The failure part refers to the fact it was not picked as a weekly adhoc fiction entry winner.
The a and of are just there to bludgeon the other words into a cohesive, if somewhat unwilling, whole.
So here is my pinch of failure – Anna Beginning.
“Will you be back?”
“I don’t know.”
Except she did know. Anna always knew what came next. I’ve never been so assured. It was as much as I could muster to fumble out an “OK.” and watch her open the door. Watch her turn and gave me a smile reserved solely for the pitied. Feel the cold night air rush in, ushering out the warmth of her.
Later, once the sound of her car had faded I went outside for a smoke, lighting up in furtive denial that she was actually gone, waiting for her chiding reminder of my filthy habit. The first pinch of frost settled into my bones. Withered the dreams budding at my marrow. Gave rise to broken hearted tales and the redemptive power of human connection.
“So she was real then, this Anna?”
“Oh yes. I never make up the characters in my books.”
Header image: By Schnobby – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19055302