flash friday · Short Story · Writing

Friday Flash: A Wish for Power

I don’t believe this flash has a story or even constitutes a complete scene. Maybe a complete scene. But it’s the only thing in my head right now. That’s probably a sign of exhaustion. I am posting due to encouragement from Twitter. 🙂 Go Twitter!!!

Someone’s groin pressed too close, but there was no room to twitch away. The crowd was too close, noisy, and upset voices called out: “Move in, move in, move in.”

If only there was space to move in.

The bus driver shouted: “Let them off. Get off and get back in.”

No one moved, but instead held fast as the departing shoved themselves a clear path.

The bus crawled along, bypassing hordes of waiting people. Someone, exhausted, crouched on the floor. Her hands moved from purse to her folded legs, caressing many other calves, knees and ankles in the process.

People sped past on bikes and skateboards and their own legs. Below, the river was as calm as sunlight.

And then – freedom. People disappeared like flung droplets to the trains, the taxis and the still-dark streets.

A hard plastic chair never felt so good.

 

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23 thoughts on “Friday Flash: A Wish for Power

  1. This has all the feel, frustration and weariness of the rush hour traffic. Well done. One suggestion – take it or leave it as you please. In these two first sentences you use the word close twiice “Someone’s groin pressed too close, but there was no room to twitch away. The crowd was too close, noisy, and upset voices called out: ” Perhaps in the second you might like to try ‘dense’ The crowd was too dense, noisey, etc.

  2. Your first line reminds me of a story my husband told me about one of my s-i-l’s in Italy on a crowded bus. When a guy pressed up against her from behind, she let fly with an elbow into his stomach or lower and that was the end of that problem! 🙂

  3. a story doesn’t have to have a story, if you know what I mean! I’ve written ‘stories’ without characters, without beginnings, composed solely of endings etc. This works as a sensory impression piece. A wash of sensations in response to the physical crush of people, the fleeting motion of the skateboarders glimpsed out of the corner of the eye. File under ‘slice of life’?

  4. The feeling of this is very visceral, we are there, feeling everything. I really like this line.Her hands moved from purse to her folded legs, caressing many other calves, knees and ankles in the process.Not a story perhaps but a wonderful sensation and the sense of relief at the end gives a movement within the piece so close to a story.

  5. Dear Sonia,

    This captured the moments well. I’ve spent many an hour on busses, so believe me when I say, you nailed it. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back!.

    And, as always, Aloha,

    Doug

  6. Yup, this was definitely worth posting! A wonderful capture of an all too real moment. I was wondering at first if perhaps the bus was going to Purgatory… nobody on the way to Heaven would have wanted to step off there, even for a moment. 😉

  7. A taste of rush hour commuting, horrible at the best of times.

    I loved this line… “People disappeared like flung droplets to the trains, the taxis and the still-dark streets.”

  8. Some very nice lines there… made me think of times during rush hour on the Chicago subway… when you finally get a seat… a plastic seat.

  9. The image of the person crouched on the floor made me think of some poor Gollum-like creature, terrified by the mass of strange people all around it, hugging its knees for safety. And that is why this piece works: because you made me conjure up an image with your writing. And that’s what it is all about.

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