Flash fiction. Forget Me Knot, by Kim Dickinson. Image: The silhouette of an old, bearded man's head with white glasses. Above him are grey clouds filled with images - a family holding hands under a large cartoon moon; a man being borne away by balloons attached to his head; the profile of an old woman's head; three flying birds behind an aeroplane; a frog; an umbrella.

Forget Me Knot

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Peter walked around for months with a hole in his head, leaking out thoughts before anyone noticed. 

His granddaughter Maisie was the first to spot it. ‘Grandpa, I can see clouds in your head.’ Giggling, she tried flicking them away, which made Peter feel a little vertigo. 

‘Oh my, is that why I keep drifting off?’   

He went to the hatter and bought a fedora to keep all his woolly thoughts from straying afar. His wife Edna sniffed disapprovingly, but Peter didn’t care so long as his train of thoughts were safely kept under wraps.  

Edna had a perpetual storm cloud drizzling over her head, something Peter thought he was the only one to see, but every so often, one or another of Edna’s Bible study friends would make an aside behind cupped hands and Peter knew that they could see it too.  

Moderate climes with late afternoon showers summed them up as the couple everyone knew. 

With fedora firmly in place, Peter no longer needed to click his fingers, searching for elusive words that would whisp away on the slightest breeze before he had a chance to latch onto them. But Edna drew the line at him wearing his fedora to bed. ‘What would the neighbours think!’ But Peter thought it none of their business what attire he wore to bed, although wisely, he didn’t say as much to Edna.  

So, in an attempt to appease the tempest brewing on the home front, Peter came up with an alternative plan to keep his thoughts from straying at night like naughty tomcats on the prowl, and he enlisted the help of Maisie to tie all his thoughts to brightly coloured balloons with Edna’s knitting wool. With her little nimble fingers, she made light work of the arduous task, listening to him recount every memory as it was securely fastened to each balloon. Finally, after months of listening patiently, she finally finished tying the last balloon firmly in place before standing back to admire her handiwork. Peter got to his feet a little unsteadily 

Alarmed, Maisie grabbed onto his arm as he started lifting off. 

‘Grandpa, where are you going!’ 

Peter looked down at her as he rose with the air currents and giggled, ‘You know, I’ve always wanted to fly!’ Feeling the flush of excitement in his veins, he started to flap his arms. 

‘Wait,’ cried Maisie, skipping along in an effort to hold onto his trouser leg as he became airborne. ‘What shall I tell Grandma?’ 

Peter pondered this briefly. ‘Tell her not to wait up.’ 

Blowing Maisie a goodbye kiss, he tossed down his fedora. ‘And she can wear this to bed if she likes!’ 

Kim Dickinson

Kim lives and works in South Africa. Her passions are cats, reading (fantasy and crime mostly) and writing – in that order. 


Kim has had several stories published in anthologies. She has also been short-listed and made the finals of various short story competitions, including NYC Midnight.

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