Another weekend passes, another 160 word tale submitted into that infernal pit of talent and creativity that is Flash! Friday. The theme had to be based on knowledge, the photo prompt was:
Canal Workers (Suez Canal). CC Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy.
For a while I was stumped, unsure quite where the tale would go. Notions of rebellion or terrorism seemed to cliched, questions of the femininity and technology left me grasping for a narrative. It was the lack of understanding, the idea that this person was a fragment, a talisman if you will that finally brought the tale to the page.
Hope you enjoy
Astrid sat, pen resting on notepad, the air conditioner humming, waiting for the man lying on her couch to talk. He was a regular, paranoid schizophrenic, heavily medicated, plagued by nightmares.
A right nutter her Dad would say.
She coughed gently, watching the newspaper he had brought shaking in his grip.
‘The dreams are back.’
Soldo nodded, his eyes fixed to the ceiling.
‘So I take it you stopped the tablets again?’
Another nod, ‘they make me sick, in a bubble.’
‘Hence the dreams. Anything different?’
‘No, same three each night,’ he rubbed his eyes ‘six numbers held by a pirate; whales rotting on a beach; a girl in black taking a photo whilst mushrooms bloom behind her.’
‘Well Mr Soldo, my advice, start taking your sedatives.’
Astrid stared at the photo of a one-eyed man holding aloft a glass of champagne. In his other hand a ticket.
Six familiar numbers.