Flash Fiction Friday: The Call to Adventure Quieted

Hello Readers, Writers, and Friends,

I hope your week has been delightful. If it has not, may I suggest losing yourself in a little flash fiction? Nothing like pushing aside realities for a bit to play with characters and ideas that will leave you be as soon as you are done with them. It’s such fun to rush through and just go where an idea takes you for a few minutes. Be silly, be serious, be insane. And then when it’s done, brush off your hands and walk away. That’s how we play it here. We write from the cuff. No editing. No over thinking. Just a bit of fun.

And I think on a scale of 1-10 this week’s prompts get a C- on the resonance and specificity scale I talked about earlier this week.

This week’s prompts are: employee in a fast food restaurant, the contents of a purse, and someone who should not be in charge (no shortage of those these days, amiright?)

Writing this piece made me crave Arby’s curly fries something fierce (my first job), so you must suffer with me. Photo by Marco Fischer on Pexels.com

I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to go digging through someone else’s germ laden goods to figure out who they belong to so I can call them up and say i have their all too forgettable handbag. But since I’m middle management the joys of picking through someone’s nearly unmentionables falls to me.

The sizzle of the grill and Joanie calling back orders creates the distant hum of the Buddy Burger world. The manager’s office, hardly more than a closet, stinks of old grease and old paper. Everything here feels old, like it’s all sucking the life out of everything around it.

I look in, hoping for a wallet I can pull out and turnover for quick ID. No luck. I reach my hand in, knowing there is comfort in the massive jug of hand sanitizer nearby. But my hand sinks in, deeper and deeper. I pull it back, my brain refusing to accept what my senses are screaming.

I grab a flashlight off the filing cabinet that’s mostly used for checking under the fryers for dead mice. But even the dull beam can’t quite find the bottom of the black on black purse.

I poke my head out of the office.

“Hey Joanie, where did you find this bag?”

“I didn’t find it. Some lady walked up and put it on the counter. Said the owner might come back for it.”

The owner might come back for it.

Shivers crawled up and down my neck. ‘d never been big into fantasy, but I’d seen enough Disney to know that a bag without a bottom and a cryptic message from the last person in possession of it was a fast way into a story I wanted no part of.

I grabbed some packing tape and wrapped it around the handles. I threw a post-it on the outside that read, “No wallet, but owner may come looking for it. Leave in Lost and Found.” I tossed it in the box of forgotten tidbits that awaited the realization that they’d been left behind.

I finished my shift. We ran out of ketchup, so I left a note for the general manager to order more next to my two week notice. Maybe the coffee shop beneath my apartment would have an opening. Either way, whatever was coming for that bag, I wanted no part of it.

I wish I could say I was surprised when the Buddy Burger burned to the ground a month later. They called it an electrical short that set the fryers ablaze. I knew better.

Hope you enjoyed that. Not my best ever, but it was at least a good pallet cleanse. Post your own flash fiction in the comments, or link to where we can find it. And of course share this with anyone you think might like a quick fun read, or needs a little nudge to get them writing.

~Anika

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