Flash Fiction

Like a cockroach in hiding, James lies awake in his bed. He wishes for unicorns or angels in white to help him sleep. He doesn’t worship the sun god like most people do. The nocturnal private detective keeps his job a secret from his family because they always claim it isn’t worth the time, although he makes good money.

The last visuals he has before he falls asleep are of himself playing basketball; looking at swirls in the dirt for clues, sipping a cup of coffee; then listening to Tool in someone else’s car, speeding along a highway. James goes to sleep wearing a smile.

The next day he’s laughing with his friends, standing eating greasy stir fry from a box as the heavy rain starts falling. He doesn’t have an umbrella so sprints away through newly forming puddles, faster, faster. He hears yells following him.

He has no sense of where he is going and he jumps, landing on the tin roof of a cafe. Ten seconds later he strolls in to baristas looking skyward. James hears the jingle of their coin purse hearts, expecting nothing less in this city of salesmen.

They suspect nothing and serve him a ham and cheese toastie and coffee like normal. As he eats, James realises his life is like a Rubik’s Cube and that his luck seems to be transient, like a flickering light.

He steps out feeling frustrated. A monster now consumes his brain, his mind exploring a kind of disgusting public violence he wants to cause. His restlessness revolves, near a windmill’s edge.

He passes the local station’s boring trains, distracted by these valley-like thoughts. He feels closed off to philosophy right now, so full of hypocrisy. He’s aware of missing something, as though stuck in a world where slides go upwards, trying to imagine shapes that do not appear.

Just as suddenly as this mood came on, he looks up and sees the sweetest thing he has ever seen: a flock of flying birds.

James now stands in a lush field of grass. As his gaze returns to eye level, he notices a guy in the distance with a cartoonish wolf-like dog walking by his side without a leash.

James hits another wave of emotion, like he’s over the limit and in the wrong lane, although he’s minding his own business. He recalls the tale of the bee and the ant, in which one evolves, grows wings and becomes vegan whilst the other remains an ant.

James laughs. He knows there’s no such thing as the end of the rainbow so leaving hope behind, he adjusts his jacket and departs the park.

By now there’s a fine mist in the air, a peaceful silence and the vibe of a morning. He makes his way to a party dressed up as someone cool, calm and collected. His favourite people will be there in their most casual finery.

It is on his way there that he notices the stark fresh white graffiti on brick. “If I die I can say I was on my way.”

Laying dead underneath the giant words is the man with the cartoon dog dead beside him. A surprised James darts closer to find a piece of paper on the man’s chest. He picks it up. It reads the following:

“You do not know it is you I’m here for. You do not know it is you I wait for. Do not know it is you that I show up for. Do not know it is you that my heart cries for. Catch you looking my way. Do you think you know me? Lamest person in your world, there could be so much love here. Hold your secret honey. Someday you will sparkle. Dandelions, fields of green, when will you sit next to me? Lost within this crowd and I do not think that you’ll find me.”

James suddenly understands exactly how this man died. Kneeling solemnly beside him, James cries.

– Timea Kiss

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