Here’s my latest piece of flash fiction. Prompt once again from terrible minds:
Here’s the random plot I received from a plot generation website that I’ll use in the future for sure : http://www.archetypewriting.com/muse/generators/plot.htm
Kevin flipped through the Tuesday Denver post while waiting on the 35 bus route to take him four miles down Colfax. A Marlboro light protruded from his index and middle fingers on his right hand. His left gripped the edge of the sports page as his eyes worked their way down in hopes of finding out if his Fantasy football team took the weekly crown.
Out of the corner of his right eye, he saw a boy of about eleven years old walking past him.
Kevin paused, setting down the paper onto his quad muscles as he watched the peculiar look of angst and confusion spreading across the boy’s face.
The kid’s stature put him at around eleven years old, but he had the stare of a much older person, perhaps even a man. The scowl on the boy’s face doubled his perceived age.
The boy noticed Kevin staring as he walked past the strange man on the bench. He wheeled to his right and started to cross the street.
Kevin’s cigarette—that had already been dangling from his fingertips—dropped to the ground all at once. When he saw the kid walk onto the busy street, he bolted from this seated position on the bench and ran toward the obviously confused child.
He snatched the boy by his black t-shirt, throwing him backwards before he had the opportunity to encroach on the busy street.
“What the hell are you doing, kid? You’re gonna get yourself killed,” he said through loud wheezes.
Kevin gasped for breath as the young child stood there staring, not at Kevin, but through him.
Although Kevin didn’t have to run any more than ten yards to hold the kid back from the street, his lungs thirst for the already thin, Mile High air. Sixteen long years of chain-smoking suffocated his lungs if he moved in a pace faster than walking for more than a few seconds.
When his gaze failed to intimidate the kid into talking, Kevin tried again. “Kid, what’s the matter with you?”
“Where the hell are your parents?”
“Not alive,” the boy said, with zero hesitation.
Kevin found it strange that the boy said, ‘not alive’ instead of ‘dead’. But he shook off the idea and persisted with his quasi-parental questioning.
“Well who’s taking care of you, young fellow?”
No answer yet again.
Kevin felt blood rush to his face due to both embarrassment and impatience.
“Look, kid. I don’t have all day to stand around here and play twenty questions with you. Either you tell me where I can find your guardian or I’ll let the police find out.”
“You can’t save them. Nobody can save them,” the boy replied.
Kevin hesitated, not really wanting to believe what he heard. “Come on kid. Let’s go in here and grab a soda then you can tell me all about it. Cool?”
“Cool?” The boy questioned as if he’d never heard the expression.
Kevin rocked his head back and looked up toward the sky, “Jesus Christ!” he said aloud–more to himself than to either the boy or the pedestrians walking by.
He grabbed the boy’s arm. His grip wasn’t hard enough to hurt, but plenty hard to let the kid know he was in control of the situation. He dragged the young boy into the nearby 7-Eleven and pulled him to the refrigerated section where the store held all of its soft drinks.
“What kind do you like kid?”
The boy studied the wall of bright labels in utter amazement. His eyes fixated on a large bottle with a bright red label.
“Coke guy? Good man,” Kevin said, while opening the door to grab two colas for him and the boy.
When the pair made it up to the counter, the clerk gave Kevin a funny look. He scanned the two items. “That’s gonna be three thirty-six,” he managed.
Kevin felt in his pocket and only managed to bring out two dollars—which most of that, he had saved for the bus.
“You got any cash on you little man?” he asked the boy.
The boy responded with the slightest of nods, then reached into his back pocket to retrieve his wallet. He took out a single bill that, at first glance, didn’t look right to the clerk.
Kevin snatched it from his hands and studied its artwork. Instead of the usual green tint that U.S. currency has, this bill had a reddish-pink hue to it.
Is that who I think it is? Kevin thought to himself.
He confirmed this when he looked down at the banner in front of the picture that read Clinton. Based on the former president’s shit-eating grin, Kevin secretly imagined a certain intern present under his desk during the snapshot. He glanced to the top-right corner of the bill and noted it claimed to be worth three-hundred dollars.
“What the hell is this, monopoly money?” Kevin asked.
The boy stared back at him, looking both shocked and confused.
Kevin glanced down at the bill one more time. When he saw the obvious, he dropped it through his trembling hands.
“If you’re not gonna pay, get the hell out of my store,” the clerk shouted.
Kevin paid him no mind. His eyes fixated on the boy.
Not alive, he remembered. Understanding why the boy said it. He meant his parents weren’t alive yet.
“That bill says 2072. Please tell me you’re not from—”
“The future?” the boy finished. Then he nodded.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Kevin asked. Not in disbelief, but in genuine curiosity.
“Stop the war.”
Kevin glanced at the clerk, raising an eyebrow to the man.
“What war?” he finally asked after turning toward the boy again. “And what the hell are you gonna do about a war–you’re like ten?”
Kevin reached over to grab the boy’s wrist once again until he was flung back by a force that didn’t originate from the boy’s physical body.