Jan 29 2010!!!

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Jan 29, 2010, 9:22:24 AM1/29/10
to Flash Fiction Fridays
Here we go again folks!


Jan 29, 2010, 9:23:49 AM1/29/10
to Flash Fiction Fridays


Jan 29, 2010, 12:40:43 PM1/29/10
to Flash Fiction Fridays
My inner editor has gotten noisier these past few months and doesn't
want me writing flash fiction, much less posting. So I've no idea
whether this is any good, or total crap... feedback me, please?

It'll probably make more sense if you're at least passing familiar
with the song - http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/dido/myloversgone.html


The Tune Upon His Lips

I hardly noticed him before the elevator doors closed, but once they
had, the sound became inescapable. Was he humming? Seriously? Nobody
hummed in this building. Fuddy-duddy lawyers and businessman types,
the lot of them.

I tried to steal a glance from under the cover of my bangs, but
subtlety has never been my strong suit. There was only one other
person in the rickety old elevator with me (and when was the building
going to replace it? Not like they couldn't afford it, at the
exorbitant rent they charged my boss each month). He was cuter than I
had thought at first – cute, tall, and had a terrific voice – from
what I could hear, that is. Then I recognized the song and I almost
laughed out loud; sometimes I'm prone to inappropriate emotional
outbursts like that. More so since he left? It's hard to say.

Of course, it wasn't really funny. But it was the song at the top of
my emotional playlist right now: Dido's sad, folksy tune, My Lover's
Gone. Granted, I'd have had to rewrite the titular lyrics a little.
Replace "lover" with "father" (Same number of syllables! Look at
that!) and we're good.

"...I will not watch the ocean," I sang softly as he reached the end
of the chorus. I grinned at the startled look he shot me. It made him
more approachable and even cuter.

"I like Dido," I said to break the sudden silence.

"I do, too," he said finally, with more than a little awkwardness.
"And that song… it makes me think of someone." A wry, sad smile made
it pretty clear that he was talking about a recent breakup – all
right, I only imagined it was recent. He could have been that poor
fool, hung up on a girl who had never loved him years before, for all
I knew. But he was cute, after all, and I'm a sucker for a guy with a
sweet voice and a sob story.

"Me, too," I confessed as the ancient little chime sounded and the
doors began to grind open on the twelfth floor. What was a guy like
this doing in my stodgy old office building? I didn't ask.

We shared a look for a long fraction of a second - and then, without
fanfare or even a goodbye, he was gone. The doors closed. I remember
wondering, as the elevator began to wheeze its way upward again,
whether he had the foggiest idea that we weren't really talking about
the same thing… or whether, maybe, in some bizarro universe, we were.

Maybe his mother had left for terra incognita three weeks before and
he was still trying to pick up the pieces. Maybe he was the fool I've
just mentioned, hung up on some chick from years ago who'd never even
looked his way.

Maybe he'd just been through the most normal breakup in the book.

Did it make any difference? Someone close to each of us was gone,
their boots no longer by our doors. We would not watch the ocean.


Jan 29, 2010, 3:07:17 PM1/29/10
to Flash Fiction Fridays
Night Shift Eternal

She's been dead 13 years now and I still think I hear her open the
door exactly at 7 am. 7 am, I would have been just waking up, and
she'd come in, exhausted, and flop down on the bed beside me.

"Honey," she'd say, "I swear working night shift just kills me."

And, half-asleep, I'd mumble something along the lines of "Switch
shifts already."

And she'd laugh. "I like night shift. I work the forgotten hours, the
hours that don't exist. They're magical and starry and each night,
when the world's asleep, I discover them."

She worked indoors, but I could just picture her staring up at the
ceiling as if she could see the stars anyway, you know? She never
cared if people thought she was strange.

Sometimes I wish she had a grave just so I could go scream at her.

I imagine myself smashing her grave, until the stone breaks into so
many tiny crumbs, the sweet message I'd have put on there would be
impossible to read, and people deep in their own thoughts and mourning
would kick them down the street in passing.

And then I'd yell, "Not so damn magical now, is it?!"

Oh. It sounds terrible when I say that aloud. I've never told anyone
that before. It's strange telling a stranger, but I guess that makes
sense, eh?

Please don't get the wrong idea. I loved her and anyway she was
cremated, so you don't have to worry about me doing anything drastic.

All I can do is wake up the same time I've woken up all these years,
and listen for the jingle of her keys and her heavy, tired steps up
the stairs. Every morning, I listen so hard I almost feel my eardrums
shatter with the hope of it.

Oh, trust me, I've tried not to. I've tried to sleep in. I've tried
the radio and the TV. I've tried reading and eating and drinking too
much rum. Nothing works.

I should be over it, right? 13 years is a long time. Our kids grew up:
Sheila's 20, Don's 25. I changed the voicemail. I cancelled her
magazine subscriptions. I donated her clothes and her books.

But I can't make it stop.

What do you think? When I hear the jingle and those damned steps every
morning, do you think I'm crazy or do you think it's really her?

Yes, of course, it matters. If it's me, I'd want you to give me drugs
that begin with every letter of the alphabet. If it's her, it wouldn't
really help, now would it? If she's stuck in some kind of hereafter,
me taking all the drugs in the world wouldn't change that. 13 years is
a long time to be trapped. Trust me, I'd know.

I have to forgive her? For what? It's not like she could have helped
that she was working that night. It's not like she could have known
that man would bring a gun to work. Not like she could have stopped
him. That one lady--the one who hid under a desk--said Myra tried
talking to him. She said that after he killed that first guy, Myra
pleaded with him to put the gun down. She'd worked with him for 5
years. And the bastard shot her. You believe that? But she didn't do
anything wrong. There's nothing to forgive.

Coming here was a mistake. I don't know what I expected you to do, 13
years after the fact. You don't have the answers. You don't even have
the drugs. All you have is a prescription. Words on a piece of paper
that I wouldn't even be able to read.

I tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to go home and forget about
all this. I'm going to pretend I never heard your pretentious
gibberish. And tomorrow, I'm going to listen real hard for her coming
up those stairs. I figure, either I'll hear her finally reach the
bedroom, or I'll go deaf trying.

So that's it, then. I'm gone.

No hard feelings, eh? Can't save us all. Best of luck with your next
hopeless case.

Message has been deleted


Jan 30, 2010, 12:01:39 AM1/30/10
to Flash Fiction Fridays
Wrote mine this afternoon, but didn't get a chance to upload a copy of
it until now: http://ryanharron.wordpress.com/2010/01/29/friday-flash-staring-at-the-moon/

Haven't had a chance to read anybody else's, either, but I will this

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