Flash Fiction Friday: To Thine Own Self Be True

Hello Readers, Writers, and Friends,

The weekend beckons once more and therefore, it is time for the weekly flash fiction. Written “live” totally impromptu, typos and all. Love it, hate it, steal the prompts and use them for your own fictitious jump start. My children are home for the summer and I’m already counting down the days. Oi!

And I will confess I don’t love this week’s prompts. Having to include the word “very” tells you right away that these lack depth, but nevertheless, we press onward.

This week’s prompts: a very long line, a person born in the wrong time period

Caught a rainbow while up north with some friends last weekend. Magic.

“hey check out Clockwork Orange!”

It was always the the same. No matter where Barty (he preferred Bartholomew) went as soon as someone saw his bowler hat perched atop his dark hair they had him pegged as a psychopath. And the dark circles didn’t help. The bright neons of the city at night made it so hard to sleep, such that he often took afternoon naps to compensate.

Barty couldn’t help that every inch of his soul was steeped in the late Victorian. He’d tried on all manner of costumes over the years. Constantly felt like a poser until he let himself settle into a well cut vest with his trusty pocket watch ticking away.

But it was impossible to be completely removed from the era i which one was born. He had a penchant for punk. Which is how, most Friday nights, he found himself in a queue waiting to pack himself into an absolute mad house for the sake of a few hours of live music.

He’d tried the radio and other media sources, but nothing quite captured the pace and the thrall that a live concert had. Tonight, however, the waiting was interminable. Impatient to be inside and take up residence in a dark corner away from the kinds of goons that liked to steal his hat, Barty checked his watch again.

“Excuse me,” said a decidedly feminine voice. Barty looked up into a pair of big brown eyes, set in a face that immediately burned itself into his brain. She wore a fascinator styled as top hat, a corset bedecked with mechanical pariphenailia, and a ruffled skirt that didn’t quite cover her knees. “Could you tell me what time it is?”

Barty just nodded. Then realizing that he had yet to fulfill her request. He looked at his watch, then up at her again, completely forgetting what the clock face had said and had to look a second time.

“It’s 9:17,” he said, before he would let himself look back into those great, soft eyes. Whereupon he promptly forgot everything.

Until it began to rain.

A gentleman in London was never unprepared for such things, and Barty promptly pulled out his umbrella. Holding over the pair of them, Barty finally managed a coherent sentence.

“Are you here with friends?”

“No, none of my friends like punk. I should probably go to the back of the line.”

“And ruin your lovely hat in the rain? Ridiculous. Stay here with me, at least until we get inside?” Barty hoped he wasn’t being too presumptuous, but everything about this distinctive lady spoke to him. When she smiled and stepped a little closer, the better to make use of the umbrella’s protective cover, of course, he felt his heart pick a rhythm that had nothing to do with the base coming from the club.

“What’s your name?” she asked.

“Bartholomew, but most people call me Barty.”

“I like Bartholomew,” she said. “I’m Eudora. Dory to most of my friends.”

“I love Eudora, I mean the name. It’s old fashioned, like me.” Barty offered her his arm in what he hoped was a most gentlemanly fashion and which she took with lady-like grace that cemented her as his favorite person he’d ever met while waiting in a line.

As always post your take on the prompts in the comments, or link to where we can find your flash fiction. And of course share these with anyone you think could use a little light reading.

~Anika

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