FLASH FICTION A DAY: JAN 16

Well, after a night of next to no sleep, I wasn’t sure what I would be able to give you guys, but I think this may be a favorite one yet. It plays with typical stereotypes, but I hope you find it enjoyable all the same.

Today’s Prompt: Your character meets somebody new on the bus. His or her opinion about the person is changed by the end of the bus trip. How did this change occur?

Today’s Tale:

Tattoos and Knitting

Traveling across the country isn’t so bad, unless of course you are stuck on a bus. And as if to add insult to injury this trip, there is this big musclebound man, all coated in tattoos and leather. He of course sits in the seat across from me and my knitting.  I mean, sure I am not what people would expect, but there is no way that man is anything but a rough around the edges brute.
We are four stops in, and already the aching has settled deep in my bones. Getting up slowly to go in and grab a bite to eat, I wonder what I can actually get from fast food. I mean honestly, who eats that garbage. Nothing that even resembles food comes out of those places. I suppose some chicken nuggets will have to do it for me.
As the time comes to climb back into the bus, I look in dismay at the stairs and now I am wondering if I should have gotten off the bus to begin with, how in the world am I going to get back on the bus?  When an angel arrives out of now where.
“Excuse me, ma’am. I can’t help but notice that you seem to be struggling, can I help you.” I turn my head and look up, and up and up at the man standing next to me. The last person I ever expected was standing there, burly tattoo and leather guy.
“You… want to help me?” I ask, a little shocked.
“Of course! You remind me of my gran. She had a heart of gold, knitting hats and scarves and my favorite, mittens and socks, for everyone she came across.” came his gruff reply.
“Well, I would appreciate some help, these old bones don’t move as well as they used to after they have been sitting for so long.” I answer, and before I can even blink he has picked me up and set me in the bus.  “Oh my.” I manage to stumble out.

matthew-henry-6205-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

He laughs a deep and hearty laugh that makes me smile.  As we find our ways back to our seats  and the bus takes off once more, he casually leans down to his bag and pulls out a ball of yarn and knitting needles. Turning to me he says, “that gran of mine, she also made sure we knew how to provide for ourselves and others. She taught me to knit and I have always been more than thankful. I knit bears and blankets for children who have cancer. My gran, she passed and that is where I am heading. Pay my respects. Thank you for reminding me of the woman who raised me.”

 

So what do you think? How would you see that prompt playing out? We love to hear your comments! And if you haven’t seen them yet, please check out the anthologies I am published in, the MN Emerging Writers and the National Edition!

5 thoughts on “FLASH FICTION A DAY: JAN 16”

    1. I’d love to see what you come up with! I was running on less than 4 hours,so I know what you mean. Get some rest, and for sure share what you come up with! I can’t wait.

  1. So, between reading this prompt and sitting down to write, I forgot a couple of elements of the prompt. So, what I’ve done isn’t exactly responsive. Instead, I wrote something about a change, but you’ll have to read it to see if I did it well.

    Also, this isn’t exactly flash fiction. I started writing it Friday evening, with one idea. I wrote a couple of paragraphs that I thought were headed in one direction, and then just finished it this morning after pondering it for the last day and a half. So, here you go. Thank you for the prompt.

    She had brown hair that framed her face in waves and curls before dropping to her shoulders. Black-framed glasses that she didn’t actually use to read the book she had open on her lap. Instead, they rested on her head, except when she slid them off and twirled them lazily with her right hand.
    A backpack was at her feet. NYU was on the front. When she first sat down and pulled the book out of her pack, she didn’t bother closing it. I could see a textbook, a couple of notebooks. I imagined she was studying literature.
    I imagined other things as well while I looked at her and the train sped along the tracks. When she was younger, did she like Pink Pony? What sports did she play, if she played any at all? She had the slender body of a runner. Maybe that was it. Or maybe soccer.
    When she left home and went off to college, did she complain about not having a car even if she was headed to New York where the subway and walking were a way of life. Did she call home the first weekend in tears because she was scared and lonely.
    “What are you reading?” I asked her quietly, almost afraid to ask. It was something I’d never done before.
    The girl put her classes on and looked at me. She held the book up so I could see the cover. “Camus.” It was The Stranger.
    Maybe I was right. A literature student. Or just a reader. I was close to asking if she had ever liked Pink Pony when the train go to my stop. It was probably better that way. I got up, she did too. I followed her out but lost her soon in the crowd that flowed out of the station on onto the city’s streets.
    Soon enough, though, I was on campus, looking for her. In the faces of the young women who went past me, hurrying to class or laughing with friends. Not the girl on the train.
    I was looking for my daughter. It had been ten years since she disappeared one night while walking back to her dorm room from a study session in the library. Her box of Pink Pony toys was still in her closet back home. Her books still lined the shelves.
    I still wanted to know … was she still reading?

  2. It is very much flash, as flash has to do with the length. But that said, I totally love this little glimpse! Makes me wanna know what happened to the girl! Was she taken, did she run away… Why is her father there, how long has he been there? Overall really great piece! I really enjoyed it.

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