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Flash Fiction 2

‘Tiny Toy Rings’ (c) 2012 daniel hunter

The train pulls out of the station. And so does my life. My love. My everything. I can see Jane’s gloved hand sticking out of a window and waving manically. The smell of diesel fills me, making me light headed. I try to think of her kind face and pretty features. Already I can’t.

’Good bye my love’, I say under my breath.

She’s half the world away. Or might as well be. Our love a memory that fades with the echo of the train tracks.

So I stand and stare. Moments passing as she slips by. Spin on my heels and ask myself the same question. Over and over. “Why? Why didn’t I go with her?”

I keep asking as I walk through the station like a zombie. I knew the day was coming but I’m numb all the same. She’s gone. She’s really gone. Off to a dream job. A dream life. America.

I shuffle out of the station. The sky falls on me in faint dizzily droplets. I reach the city. Drift around the shops like the ghost I am. Walk faster as if the speed of my gait will still my mind.

I peer into peoples faces for something. Anything. A young lady walks past me. All blond hair and lip stick. She’s wearing a bright orange shirt and name tag. I picture her at home. Happy. Snuggling up to her number one. Then she’s gone. So I carry on. Walking faster as faces start to pass in a blur.

I sit on a splintered wooden bench. Rain splashing around me. I stare at nothing. Zoning out to time and place. An old lady catches the corner of my eye. She’s in the jewellers opposite trying on a necklace. She’s bony, gaunt with a big fluffy blue rinse. Her face glows as she stares into a mirror. I look at the bags under her eyes and wonder what kind of life she’s had. She hangs the necklace back and her face falls. She leaves. Reeking of age and despair. Her huge bags warding of the young. The living. I picture her at home with the same sad face.

I look at my hands. At the plastic ring on my index finger. It’s light blue and I nervously run my knuckles along it. Jane has one too. I remember when we went to Cambridge and the hours we spent slowly getting smashed in trendy bars. I think of us staggering round shops and buying those tiny toy rings. She had laughed and kept on laughing, even as she screamed and threw up over my coat.

I mill into a clothes shop and stare at cloth. Pick up some jeans and hold them up to my waist. Look into the full length mirror. And as I look at my reflection I wonder why I’m here trying on trousers while she continues to travel out of my life at a hundred miles an hour. I put them down and leave.

I push on through the rain and walk. Just walk. Up alley ways, through back streets and along the high street.

I keep on walking, smiling at strangers. My smile conceals bitter unwept tears.

I look down at my ring. And feel guilt wash over me in nauseous waves. I picture Harry. My son. And his little round face. His bright green eyes stare at me. Accusingly. How can I leave him? Alone. With his mum. Obsessive. Compulsive. Neurotic. Fits of black apathy. How can I leave him? Me? A facebook father?

I shake my head and take the ring off. Holding Jane’s tenderness. Her closeness. In one closed fist. I hesitate and sigh. And then let myself go, smile weakly and throw the ring away. Our union severed. Forever.

‘March into the Light’ (c) 2012 daniel hunter

My tummy calls to me and I sweep change of the table. Start the short journey. Pacing like an Olympian. Of sorts. I can see and taste those golden strips of potatoe. Meander through the estate. It smells of broken dreams and broken lives. The wind pushes against me but finally I get there. Salivate as I wait in a long queue. Pick up my chips and pace back. Faint drizzle splashing around me.

I let myself in and rush into my cosy living room. Throw my warm package onto the table. I ease myself into a seat and push chips into my mouth. I burp loudly and it resonates. Stare blankly at the television. Watching a perky presenter with a creepy smile. I decide I’ve had enough. Pick up the paper. It’s a tabloid. I thumb through it. Bored as usual. A full page advert catches my eye. There are big white letters on a black background. They simply say:

ARE YOU THE NEXT JESUS???!!!

THE SECOND COMING!!!!

TO BRING GOD BACK TO THE PEOPLE???

SPONSORED BY ‘Be Better Insurance’
– all rights reserved – May not lead to actual second coming.

CALL LONDON 01398 776453

I read the advert a second time. Is this for real? Could they mean me? I’m special. I know it. I’m wary but find I’m picking up the phone and asking for details. Excitement welling up. The women on the other end explains in a nasal voice. Turns out it’s a talent competition. Bringing God back to the people she keeps saying. Over and over. I book my place and count the days until I can grab my fifteen minutes.

So, today’s the day. I walk through the estate towards the bus stop. Step in a condom. Get there and a bus pulls in strait away. I look up. It’s the number twenty. My bus. It stopped for me. Came for me. Because I’m a cut above. Holy. I sit at the back of the bus and feel happy. I’m truly blessed and God my father sent this bus for me. I smile. A big happy smile.

My big happy smile remains as applause rings in my ears. How have I made it this far? The last 12. The TV rounds. The final. Then it hits me – because you are special Alan. The son of god. I’m sitting back stage. A young women – all blond hair and bright lipstick, brushes make up on my face and under my chin. She takes a long hard look at me and then places thorns in my hair. She leans over me and her tongue sticks out of the corner of her mouth. She finishes with an artistic flourish and smiles at me.

“Your on. Good luck”.

I throw back a nervous smile and make for the stage. The presenter is working his magic. He has a toothy grin fixed to his face.

“Our next saviour is from Nottingham – England. He says he can bring peace on earth. And loves chocolate cake! – Alan Edwards!”

I stride on stage confidently. Raise my hand and the audience is silent. Say nothing and wait. The audience love it. I stare into the camera as seconds roll by. I open my mouth:

“There’s something missing today. Something missing. We all feel it. You know what it is? … GOD … GOD … GOD!”

I raise the Bible above my head.

“Follow me my children!” The judges smile. The audience cheers and I look right into the camera for the money shot:

“I am the way. The light. The Lord”

I carry on quoting the bible. The panel of judges take turns to speak. A young man with a strong jaw line bangs the desk and shouts, “You the man. YOU THE MAN! Loving the old school Jesus.“

I smile and turn to the young women next to him, “Awesome. You are the Saviour. I’m ready to be a disciple Bro!”

I fist pump the air, “Thank you my child”.

A middle aged man with a ponytail laughs and continues,

“By far and away the best performance of the night. You ARE the son of God!”.

I stand watching the audience. Smile and feel whole. I am the son of God. And people love me. The remaining contestants eulogise and sermonise until the results are in.

AND THE WINNER … THE … SECOND … COMING … IS … ALAN EDWARDS!

I smile. The audience screams. And I collect my trophy from the grinning presenter. And the day begins flying by in a blur of alcohol and acceptance speeches.

A year passes. I sign autographs and do television panel shows. Until the phone stops ringing and my agent avoids me. I stay in a lot. Remain in my robes. I AM THE SON OF GOD!!! The local children laugh at me. I sit about and watch the television. All day. Every day. So I decide It’ll be good to go for a walk to the shops. So I do. And an old man smirks as he hands me my change.

I walk into the city and find that little cafe I go to sometimes. It’s in the back of a little church. Betty is in there. As always. She’s balancing cups and sauces on her forearms like a pro. I look at her familiar grey perm and fluffy green cardy. She smiles at me and asks if I’m alright. I look at the floor. She goes to the kitchen and comes back with a latte for me. She places it in front of me. Without a word she gets a sticky bun too. ‘Keeping alright Alan’. I look at the floor again. Look down at my robes and wonder why no one believes me. Why has this happened? Why? Betty is frowning and looking at me. Was I speaking aloud? I keep staring at the floor.

I look at Betty, smile and stand up. ‘FOLLOW ME MY CHILDREN. I make a serious face, shut my eyes and unleash old trusty ‘I AM THE WAY. THE LIGHT. THE LORD’. I open my eyes. No one cares. People carry on munching their meals Some with wide grins. I start to feel tears pricking my eye’s and start to scream. I give up and leave. I’m just walking. Through parks and along rivers. Up back roads and over bridges. Walking, Walking, Walking. Pacing with the sacred purpose of the holy. Marching into the light. And as I march I carry my trophy tightly to my chest.

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