Boy

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There is a boy outside. I see his shadow against my wall. I shake my husband awake, allowing fear to narrate my thoughts.

He’s coming up our walk now. Did I remember to lock our doors?  My husband creeps down the steps and I sit on the landing, staring at the bedroom doors of my sleeping children. The doorbell rings and I nearly leap from my skin.  He’s standing under our harsh porch light.  I see the bloody eye, the bruise rising from his temple.

“We had an accident.  Phone’s busted.  My mom’s hurt real bad.  Could you please call 911?”

 

The Moral Mondays prompt is JUDGE NOT, LEST YOU BE JUDGED.

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Assumptions

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One of Gigi’s favorite memories from childhood was the first time she rode the skylift at Sumner Mountain to its peak.  She couldn’t wait to share the experience with her daughter, Alex.

The air was humid, and she could tell little Alex was getting impatient as they waited. Gigi turned to see one of the employees gesturing for her to step out of line.  Confused, but not wanting to make a scene, she complied, telling Alex to stay put.

“Ma’am,” said the worker in a sheepish voice, avoiding eye contact.  “I’m sorry but we’re going to have to ask you to come back on a day when we’re less crowded.  Every lift is at full capacity and there’s…a….errr…weight limit,” he whispered.

Gigi recoiled as though she’d been slapped.  She didn’t respond, just grabbed Alex’s hand and started to walk away.  She could feel everyone’s eyes on her.  They all knew why she was leaving.

“Mommy, where are we going?  I want to ride the ride.”

Gigi didn’t answer.

She felt a hand on her shoulder as they reached the exit.

“Maybe now this will motivate you to model more healthy eating habits for your daughter,” said the stranger, mock concern in her voice.  Gigi stared back, debating whether to tell her about her hypothyroidism, ultimately deciding it was none of her business.

“Come on,” she said to Alex.  “Let’s go got some ice cream!”

Alex cheered, the sky lift forgotten, as they departed, leaving the woman and her shocked expression behind.

 

For Sunday Photo Fiction and the Daily Post

 

Instinct

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Her instincts had never led her wrong.  There was something about his eyes.  The way they avoided hers whenever they spoke, waiting in line for their coffee.  He was a liar.  She just knew.

But that morning, her guard was down.  She ended up sitting with him, baring her soul, for nearly a half-hour, through two refills.   When he left, she put her number in his contacts, ignoring the alarm sounding in her brain.

That night, the phone rang as she slept.

“I don’t know who this is, but I found your number in Tim’s phone.   This is his wife.”

 

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is Never Talk to Strangers.

I Am A Thief

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Rhonda shielded her eyes from the blinding light as she stepped from the dark subway tunnel.  The sun was high.  The first person she saw was a stranger, standing in the middle of the sidewalk.  “I AM A THIEF,” read the sign he wore over his chest.

Rhonda, overcome with curiosity, approached him.  “What did you steal?”

“Some DVDs.”  He spat into the gutter and Rhonda tried not to recoil.

“From where?”

“Wally-World.”

“Why?”

He shrugged.  “Done it before, thought I could get away with it again.  Make some quick cash.  Judge said 30 days in jail or wear the sign all day.  Picked the sign.”

Obviously.

A car zipping by honked the horn and he waved, like a politician angling for votes.

“Well, it’s pretty hot out here.  Want a drink?”

He shrugged.

Rhonda ducked into a corner store and grabbed a water.  As she meandered through the aisles towards the counter to pay, she stopped, dropping the bottle in her purse and heading to the front door, a subtle smile on her face.

“Ma’am!”  A stern voice called out.

As the cops led her away, the man looked at her briefly, then recoiled, as though he were disgusted.

For Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner