There is a bright light coming from outside. I remember when the sun shone for more than five hours a day. Rome was glorious then. I remember people walking by. Romans were proud and always busy. I remember the smells changing every season. Now, it would be roasted chestnuts on open fires. My body is decaying, but my mind is sharp. I stare at the image framed by the window, and I wish I could get near and read what it says. A school of fish swims by and covers the letters on the billboard. There is more and more of them, marine animals, reclaiming a territory that once was theirs. I watch from my submersed capsule as the light flickers and dies.
It’s that time of the month. I can feel it in my skin, crawling. She has already left to find herself. I don’t want to. I struggle and fight. But, it is stronger than me. I can sense her, around the corner, rejoicing in the power. I hate it. I hate her. I hate myself. I know I am weak, and I’ll succumb to the calling. I’ll do it again, and again, and again, to be with her. The last store shuts off the lights. I shiver. I am alone, defenseless. The Three Moons shine in the dark sky.
There is a moment in life when you had enough and you have to make a stance. It begins slowly, but then the indignation grows unbearable, and you feel you can’t just sit and wait for someone else to sort it out for you. You also feel guilty, because you have already said yes to the other humiliating requests. You did. And, it shames you that you did. You should have said no. You should have rebelled, if not for you, for your kids, and your kids’ kids. Instead, you found an accommodation. So, with great trepidation, and sour-sweet sadness, after ten years, you make the final call:
“Honey, terminate Netflix.”
(Flash fiction piece written for Austin Briggs’ Write-n-Win! 55 words contest)
“Mommy, Mommy! Look up!” Lucille glides weightlessly, skirting rocks and grass.
“The night is bright,” Mom says, closely following her.
“Look at the round light!” Lucille happily somersaults. “It’s so yellow, and so big, and so shiny. Can you catch it for me?”
“For you, my sweet fry, the Moon and the Stars aren’t enough!”
The train it’s late. It’s always late. But, the kid is there, waiting, as usual.
“What time is it?” he asks a man passing by, and shrugs his shoulders at the answer.
Every day the same. The person he asks what time is it is different, but the rest doesn’t change. It’s always late. But, it’s never the right moment. He is waiting for the right late train to arrive.
“Which one are you waiting for?” the man asks.
It’s a first. Normally, the person doesn’t stop. The kid looks at the man with curiosity, but doesn’t answer back.
“Are you alone?” The man is getting worried.
I want to go back,” the kid finally says, his face tired.
“Back where? To your mother?”
To my wife and my daughter. I took the wrong train long time ago, and it hasn’t come back, yet.”