Jump {Flash Fiction}

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{Continued from Part 1}

Her blood pressure plummeted as soon as she pushed through the squeaky main doors into the familiar, sea salt humidity that her pores had grown to crave.

Tilting on one leg, she slid on her right shoe, then the left, dropping her wrapped biscuit in transition.  She watched as it shed its napkin and plunked down the front steps.  With newfound energy, she bounced after it and scooped it up in mid-stride.

“Five second rule!” she proclaimed, raising the flaky hunk in triumph before stuffing the whole mess into her mouth, moving through the mist as though parting waters.

Necessity had eschewed the Five Second Rule several months prior.

Most recently, she and “GiGi” had devoured an upturned box of Krispy Kreme donuts.  Perhaps it was the result of a sugar high, but right after that meal GiGi had told her, in an eyeball-to-eyeball moment of rare lucidity, that she reminded her of her own daughter.

She hadn’t known what to say in return, so she stuck out her arm and side-hugged this powdered-sugar-faced friend.  Upon contact, GiGi burst into tears.  She stayed frozen like that, but only until GiGi began wiping her nose on her sleeve.

Twelve hours later, “Tinker” told her that GiGi had jumped off the Skyway Bridge.

Before Donut Day, she hadn’t known that GiGi had any children.  All that lady seemed to love was her dopey, tailless cat.  But when someone you care about leaves behind something they cared about, suddenly you care about it, too.

“Time to find that drat cat,” she thought as she watched the traffic lights direct the empty streets.  “Where’s a pack of Claritin when you need it?” she whined, giving her left eye an anticipatory rub.

Yet this, she knew, was what her life had become; she was now in the business of finding things.

Photo Credit

*Joining the Five Minute Friday writers in today’s prompt, JUMP. Last week, my new FMF friend, Fiona, challenged me to build upon this piece using subsequent FMF prompts.  I’ve taken up the experiment.  I do not know where it will lead, or for how long, but hope you will enjoy the ride.  And maybe soon this character will get a name.  Thanks for reading. 🙂

Here {Flash Fiction}

photo shoes on line 2

She opened her eyes after her first deep sleep in three weeks, wondering how she made it to this bottom bunk plastic mattress.

“If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!” read the poster with the outstretched-armed, blue-sashed cartoon Jesus taped to the glossy-paint cinderblock wall.

“Another day, another shelter,” she mused as her arm lunged under her head where her pillow should be for her sack.  Hand grabbing air, she jerked upright, firmly smacking her forehead on the bed frame above.  Wincing, she remembered losing her things to a toothless man two days before.

The head smack made the fluorescent lighting extra bright.  She quickly scanned the beds and women around her.  She heard male voices further down the hall.

“Gentlemen versus Ladies,” she sighed, flopping back onto the bed.  “This place must be upscale.”

The room smelled like teenage boy laundry dipped in turkey gravy, and held scattered conversations directed at no one in particular.

In an adjacent bed, a wild-haired form peeked out from under a tattered blanket and sputtered words at a tightly gripped, matte-finished family photo boasting the Olan Mills logo.

“Probably from the eighties.  Probably not even her family,” she guessed of the picture.

A younger face she recognized but could not place bent down, trespassing into her dotted lined personal space.  “Hey! You slept through the meal,” it snarled with tobacco-induced grit as it thrust a napkin-wrapped biscuit under her nose.

She accepted it in silence.

Another female voice cut through the murmured chaos, announcing “Lights Out!” in a lukewarm, syrupy sweet lilt that reminded her of canned peaches.

All went dark.

“This is too much,” she thought.

She began to hear sniffles from overhead.  The high-pitched whimper of a young child.  And then the singing started; a mother-daughter duet of “Twinkle, Twinkle” and rhythmic nose-blowing.

“Oh God,” she groaned as she sat up.  “I can’t be here anymore,” she announced too loudly into the dark.  She gripped her biscuit, scooped up her lace-free sneakers and plodded to the door, half-conscious, coasting on the fumes from which she’d feed her broken soul.

Photo Credit

*Joining the Five Minute Friday writers in today’s prompt, HERE.  This piece is loosely based on my estranged aunt, who spent over half of her life homeless, despite my family’s guarded attempts to “rescue” her in the many material ways we thought necessary.  What do you think are the best ways to show Jesus to the homeless?