An interesting meeting

A short story for your Friday enjoyment.

I am not a fan of meetings, so I made this one a little more interesting.


 

The meeting was dragging on as usual. I found my eyes wandering to the window instead of on Ken’s red face where they were supposed to be. What would it be like to break open the window and just jump. Hope for the best that the snow would break my fall. Run. Freedom. Snapping fingers bring me back from my musings and I look at my notes instead while chancing a quick glance upwards.
Ken is staring at me. Waiting. His suit about to pop a button.
I hide a smirk and flip my yellow notepad to the next page.
Ken shakes his head, jowls wiggling at the effort. He continues rambling about numbers and clients.

I turn my attention to the glass door of the meeting room. I can see a set of bathroom doors from where I sit. Men’s and Women’s rooms. A younger woman, maybe an intern, walks into the women’s room while holding her head. I hope she’s ok. Hopefully she only has a headache, a common occurrence around the office lately. Several employees had left for the day earlier in the morning, complaining of migraines. A few more the day before as well.

Ken is still blathering on, so I pretend to pay attention while waiting for the woman to come out of the bathroom. I sort of feel like a creeper, but I am genuinely concerned about her. She looked sick.

A few minutes later the bathroom door opens shakily and the woman steps out. Something about her gait sends up red flags. Something is wrong with her. She stumbles over her own feet, hitting her head on a chair in the waiting area. One of her high heels flies a few feet away from where she fell.

“Um…Craig? Do you have something to say?” Ken asked, annoyed.
I realize that I’m standing.
“Sorry. That woman out there hit her head on a chair…” I trail off as the woman gets to her feet. Her head looks crooked on her neck. Blood dribbles out of a gash on her head where she smashed it on the chair. She stumbles towards the secretary who had rushed over to help her. The injured woman grabs the secretary and bites her on the neck while she screams.

By now, all the people in the meeting are standing. Some are gasping. Some screaming.

My breath comes in quicker and quicker gasps, like a panic attack. I lean against the glass to gain some composure and stare at the snow again. Wishing I could break the glass.

But I feel a headache coming on.

My First Stab at Flash Fiction

I love writing. But it has been awhile since I’ve had time for it! So, I mostly write a poem here or there to keep up with it. However, I joined a small writing group in my area this year and we finished out first writing assignment! We were assigned to write a fiction story with 500 or less words, called a flash fiction. Often, these stories can have up to 1000 words, but I was glad with less for my first story since college! I got some good feedback from the group and I am excited for next months assignment as well. I hope you enjoy my first flash fiction!

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Gray’s Shadow

It came for him when he was alone. 
 
Gray was alone much of the time. Thus he huddled under his blanket in the closet. Lights off. He didn’t know if the tattered blanket actually offered extra protection, but it wouldn’t hurt. Hot breath fogged up his glasses. It was warm under the blanket in the closet, but he didn’t feel brave enough to remove it. Instead, he pondered the wish he made on his birthday.
 
It was yesterday. He was alone, as always. While Gray assumed that other children had nice birthdays like in magazines, he didn’t personally know what it was like. He had sat on his bed, looking out the window at the snow. The sky was a soft gray so it seemed meant for him. This was as good a present as he was going to get. He passed the time by warming spots on the glass with his breath. Then he traced a simple birthday cake in the fog, complete with birthday candles. Closing his eyes, he wished for a friend who would never leave him with all the hope he had left. He blew out the candles. Happy Birthday.  

This morning, something was odd. Gray hadn’t even sat up in bed yet, but his shadow was wiggling on the wall like it wanted to detach from the dry walled surface. Gray was intrigued, but becoming more and more alarmed as the shadow continued to move on its own. It rose up and away from the wall until it stood independently from the wall altogether. Now free, it stopped moving. Gray didn’t know how it was possible, but it seemed to turn around to look at him. And smiled. 

That was quite enough for Gray. He caught his breath, ran to the closet clutching his blanket close to him, and slammed the door behind him. Only after placing the blanket on his head did he release the air. 
 
And now here he was in the closet. Gray was not so quite alone as before.  His shadow had always been with him, but he hadn’t really noticed it before it came to life. A thought occurred to him then. Maybe the shadow had also wished for a friend. Either that or it wanted to hurt him. How Gray longed for it be the first option. It had smiled at him. He didn’t know what he would do with a shadow friend, but it had to be better than being alone all the time. 
 
Gray took another deep breath and this time let it out slowly as he uncovered his head. He left the blanket where it dropped as he got up off the closet floor and gingerly grasped the doorknob. 
 
Since he had nothing to lose, Gray opened to door to face his shadow. It smiled.