Flash Fiction Challenge #6 – Parallel

Keith sat in the booth next to the corner window.  He pulled out his notebook from his backpack. Today he would have that Southern pecan pie with his coffee.  As he leaned back in the booth, Keith lowered his voice:”

“I really have a lot of things to do today.  I just want to go home and take a nap; maybe watch some TV.”

You have too much to do today.

“Yeah, I realize that, but I’m wiped out.”

You’ve already fallen behind.

“Will you let up?”   Keith’s voice was suddenly loud and he noticed people looking at him.  He lowered his voice once more.

I’m just trying to help you.  I want to help.

“I know.  It’s just that I have so much to do it all seems insurmountable.  I don’t even know where to begin…”

Sound off what you have to do, soldier.

“Well… I have that deadline for publishing.  I haven’t corrected the freshmen tests for Dr. Mankowski.  I still have to finish measuring pot sherds from the Bull Collection… I’m in over my head, Jordan.”

Do the most important first.  The things people here are waiting on.

“Okay.  I’ll grade the tests first, then work on the pot sherds.”

Where is everything?

“At the archaeology annex.”

An hour later, Keith was standing outside the graduate lab at the back of the  annex,  searching for the keys.  He was becoming irritated.   A couple of searches through all his pockets yielded lip balm, his Einstein bobble head, tokens… no keys.

Great, we came all this way and you don’t have the keys?  I hate this place.  It puts me in a bad mood. Why don’t you look in your laptop case?

“Yes! Here they are.”

You wouldn’t be in this mess if it wasn’t for the company you keep.

“Don’t start, okay?”

Keith sat at the long table and sorted through the tests.  He hated correcting tests.

You’re very complex with a lot of hidden issues.

“You don’t know me.  You only think you do.”

You’re a pushover.

“If that’s the worst you can say about me then that’s not too bad.  If I am a pushover it’s because we’ve known each other since high school.”

You just keep adding to the complication of the situation.

“You over-dramatize everything.”

You talk to dead people!

“No, I don’t.   I  talk to someone who’s stuck between two parallel planes of time and space.”

You’re still singing that same old song, Keithy?   I hope you’re right.   I hate to think you’re insane.  We grew up together.  I think you’re just missing me… for the past four years.”

“Has it been that long, Peggy?”

Yeah, sweetie, I’ve been stuck in the middle for four frigging years.  Get me out of here…

Suddenly there was banging on the lab door.  Keith opened the door to find Jordan, agitated, signing his apologies for being late.

“Easy.  It’s okay, Jordie,”  Keith signed.  He always spoke as he signed.  It helped him focus.


Prompt:  A thirty-year-old man is having a conversation with his imaginary friend.

2 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge #6 – Parallel

  1. Pingback: Flash Fiction Challenge – Week Six Submissions | Thain in Vain

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