My body shivers as I get off the train to look at the strange spectacle of human faces from the corner of my eyes. Unmasked and fearful of making eye contact, some people seem to rush down the streets while others keep close to the walls, their heads down. Assailed by sunlight, I walk in circles, wondering if I should cross the street to my office. I breathe with relief as I notice the essentials of life outside my office. Masked and relaxed, my eyes crinkle into a smile at my teammate as I walk confidently to my seat.
This was written for Charli’s Flash Fiction Challenge for Carrot Ranch. This week’s challenge is to write a story about a new way to office. Has the office changed? Can we return to normal after big changes or time away? Go where the prompt leads!
The police inspector stood amongst the rioters, negotiating.
“They started it first,” screamed a youth leader.
The inspector told him what would happen to his future was he arrested. Anger reduced, they jeered at him. He was not the aggressive cop they were hoping for.
“Did you open teargas?” thundered the commissioner.
“No signal, sir.” The inspector cut the call and stood between the rioters, talking in soft tones, reminding them not to fall prey to their passions. Their mockery turned to exhaustion and they dispersed in the midnight, as a lonely figure walked back to his police car.
Sam completed his homework as his sister waited patiently with her Math problems. After helping her, Sam organized the table for the primary school students he tutored. He could hear his mom typing away in the next room. She was also training to be a Montessori teacher. Sam thought about their lives a year ago. His mother spent all her time on TV soaps while Sam and his sister fought over petty video games. His father, the sole breadwinner, labored until he fell sick with Covid. Now Sam wished his father had been around to see his ‘responsible’ family.
Maria savored the hazelnut chocolate, eyes closed, as each bite melted in her mouth and warmed her heart. She wore her favorite pink lace dress, which now hung loosely around her thin body. However, she no longer cared about her weight.
She touched the pink pearls her husband had given her long ago. They were as fake as he was. But, she had kept both.
Maria walked around her beloved garden, feeling the twilight breeze on her face.
She leaned back and took a deep breath. Then she dialed the clinic to ask for the result of her diagnosis.
The above is my response to this week’s Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge. The prompt is to write a story of 99 words about deep wishes. Thank you, Charli, for giving us the opportunity.
He did not belong to anyone. He used and threw them. Now he was sick from a terminal illness, lying alone. His housekeeper of 10 years walked to him and changed his clothes without emotion. “Thank you,” he told her. Had he spoken to her? She looked at him, stunned. He could detect some deep feeling behind her eyes for the first time. He had never known her eyes were intelligent and kind. Why had he not seen her before? The way she looked at him! He held her hands, gratified that he had found true love at last.
Tough-looking muscled men chopped the trees, cutting nature’s artwork to make way for furniture. Loud women worked with them, chatting and laughing. The little one hid behind the trees, glad that she had no legs. She was scared that they would find her out. She nibbled on the cakes and fruits they had left in the corner. It was the same every year; she longed for new cream cakes and pastries. She paused, startled. A man came quite close to her. If the little one had a heart, it would have thudded. But, she had died 5 years ago.
He stood in front of the crowds, his mouth wide open, and his guitar hanging by his side. He stared at the ogling girls and the scowling boys who had been dragged there by girlfriends. He had forgotten everything. What was he supposed to do? “Come on, man. You are the greatest rock star of the century. Get going.” his lead guitarist hissed at him. The rock star blinked. He could remember nothing beyond his 10th birthday when his dad had insisted that he learn guitar. “I had always wanted to be a rock star.” his dad had said.