Why is she smiling? What does she know that I don’t?
Why is she smiling? There is that unspoken rule that you don’t look other people in the eye when you’re on public transportation, yet whenever each fluctuation of golden orange light cast from the streetlamps overhead peaks, I see her obstinate gaze remains steadfast on me. Why is she smiling? We’re riding the last bus out to the suburbs, though I live on the opposite side of town. There are only four stops left and six people remain on board. She will get out at the last stop. So will I, so why is she smiling? Is that even a smile? Or is it a sneer? The rolling cascades of dark hair framing her face must be the envy of every woman she meets. Her eyes are dark chocolate, full of bitter sweetness. Blue jeans and a sweatshirt two sizes too large, black and emblazoned with a large white A, make it impossible to tell with any certainty what the precise symmetry of her stature is.
The bus stops. She is washed in light. She gets up and walks towards me. Why is she smiling? Her laptop bumps the side of my face as she passes. Purposeful? I don’t know. Is she forcing my hand? I don’t know. This is not her stop. I dare not turn to look at her. I take a breath. I rise from my seat and make for the open door on the side of the vehicle. In the moment I turn onto the steps, I realise she is seated to my left. I glance at her on the way out of the bus and readjust my handbag. Why is she smiling?
It appears that Inspiration Monday at BeKindReWrite has turned out into an ideal way for me to practice my drabble skills. Please be sure to visit the site and make time to read some exceptional writers.
“Died happy,” Hector told me at the grave.
“Stu? Stu died happy? Fok off,” I said.
“Nah, it’s true,” Jeremiah said.
We shuffled in the fog.
“Bullshit,” I said.
The phone rang. I hesitated, then, “Markus.”
“You Stu’s bro?”
“Yeah. Who’s this?”
“They telling you he died happy?”
“You happy Hector?”
“You? Jeremiah? You happy too?” I put down the beer glass.
“Yes, Markus. I’m happy. Why’s you ask?”
“Just checking up on you boys.”
My cell phone was out before the pub door closed.
“At least they’ll die happy,” I said.
The choices over at BeKindRewrite this week were incredible. I took a while to pick one, but was very pleased with the prompt I settled with (Truth Decay). I struggled to keep this as a drabble – first pass was at 184 words. Serious editing there. Anyway, please check out the InMon weekly prompts and the incredibly talented writers there. Here’s my piece:
The first was the most terrifying. Early twenties – perfect specimen. Strapped him to a chair and injected the serum.
“Name?” Mutongo asked him.
“Evanson,” Mutongo, dark-skinned giant, asked, “what did we just inject?”
Evanson stared Mutongo down.
“E-357-Z,” Mutongo said. “Truth Decay.”
Evanson remained calm.
“Never heard of it?” Mutongo’s laughter ricocheted off the walls. “Let me explain. I ask questions. You answer. When you are truthful, no problem. When you lie, Truth Decay attacks your body. Keep lying and an hour from now you will be eighty years old.”
“Name?” Mutongo asked.
I have been thinking about this for a while now.
I tried various sites and tweets to see if I could find any volunteers to help me.
Though there were none, I find myself in a fortunate enough position to help myself.
For those who have not done so, you may want to check out a drabble called 4:47am I did on this Tuesday past for InMon.
This week I had a hard time choosing a prompt for Inspiration Monday XXX. There were so many good options. But I finally decided on one. Please be sure to check out the famous InMon contributions of the fantastic writers that participate there. This is a drabble.
There’s a clock on the wall.
My father’s hands shake. Half the whiskey ends up on the table. His sunken eyes look at the mess. I wonder what he sees.
I see an old man. His gown is old too. It’s large and gray and droops. Like the skin beneath it. Like his once powerful shoulders.
He’ll not look at me now. At last he feels remorse for all those years. Lost.
The ambulance arrives for Mom’s body.
I want to reach for him. Catch his fall. To tell him I love him. Some things are better left unsaid.