Flash Fiction by Bill Murphy 2021
Writing fiction is a genre wherein future and past are not constrained by reason. The impossible is possible and the unexpected is to be expected. The following story is an example—
He stood at the bathroom mirror shaving, preparing for just another Tuesday workday when this truth settled into his being. It was strange, but this finality didn’t rattle him as one might think it should, though it did surprise him. He just knew. It was as simple as that. It was not so much a revelation as it was a realization, a simple distinct knowledge. Today would be his day to die, though he didn’t know exactly when… or how.
Gazing at his image in the foggy mirror, his singular thought was to tell himself goodbye. “That’s funny,” he thought. Still, continuing to be in the mode of ‘life as we know it’ he wondered, “What to do? Do I go to work as usual? Do I attempt some last grand hurrah? Do I tell folks good-bye?”
For the first time in a long while, he felt totally out of control. Perhaps ‘out of touch’ was a better term for this new reality of his final day of life. He firmly understood that this was reality. The Grim Reaper had an arm around his shoulder, and yet, he was not afraid.
He finished dressing. Looking in the mirror as he combed his hair, he once again bid his reflection good-bye, and walked out the door. He didn’t bother to lock-up. Why bother? Let who ever have whatever, he’d no need of it after today. All those treasures had no chains on him anymore. It was a most invigorating, yet calming feeling. He walked to his car with a pronounced bounce in each step.
As he was about to drive past he local mom-and-pop grocery story, he realized that the sky had never been bluer, the sun never brighter. Could it be that a person felt the most freedom when they were free of life itself? This seemed to be so. Wow! He smiled a rich, warm smile. Wow, oh Wow, oh Wow!
A small crowd gathered around the vehicle that had just rolled to a stop against the side of the small grocery store. The impact against the wall had been rather gentle. The dead driver still sat erect, his head tilted slightly back, with a huge grin on his face, as if dreaming sweetly.