Magnetic Haiku

flash-fiction-badge1You have 10 seconds…


 

“You have ten seconds to live. Unless you can give me a compelling reason not to kill you.” He raised his pistol and pointed it at my head.

“Wait, wait, who are you?” I asked.

“I’m the executioner.” He said from behind the dark hood that covered his face.

“Well, I didn’t do it. It wasn’t me.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard that one before, this place is full guys who didn’t do it,” he said and you could hear the ice in his veins. “You got seven seconds left.”

“I’ve got a steel plate in my head. Shoot me in the head and you risk a ricochet that could come back and kill you instead of me; or kill you, along with me. Are you prepared to take that risk?”

“Bullshit. You got four seconds.”

I set down my coffee; reached around him and grabbed one of the magnetic “B’s” from the collection of letters that I used to write Haiku on the cell bars. I stuck it on my forehead. It stayed there.

The vertical bars now read:

Magnetic Haiku

“You’re not kiddin’” he said and the muzzle of the piece dropped about 10 degrees.

“No”

“How big is it?”

“Big enough.”

The pistol dropped to his side and he reached back, opening the cell door. “Go,” he said, “Go through C Block and out to the gardens. You can get over the wall there. I won’t protect you though. You’re on your own. A guard sees you and he will probably shoot you in the back. Don’t matter how big that plate is then, does it?”

“Thanks.”

“Don’t thank me. I’m gonna sound the alarm in three minutes so you better get movin’.”

That was August 22nd 1999 and I haven’t stopped movin’ since. Every year on the anniversary of my freedom I dip my thumb in a cup of cold coffee and get a light object wet. Doesn’t really matter what it is, as long as it has a flat side, or is light enough, or both, it will stick to my forehead. I’ve stuck washers, paper, copper wire, beads, wood chips, glass, and any number of other things there. I’ve gotta stay in practice. Never know when I might see that executioner again.

 

Daily Prompt: Pick Your Potion

Daily Prompt: Pick Your Potion

Captain Picard was into Earl Grey tea; mention the Dude and we think: White Russians. What’s your signature beverage — and how did it achieve that status?


 

David entered the coffee shop with his hands straight down by his sides and got in the queue. There was a dark haired woman standing in front of him with a lot of tattoos and David tried not to stare. He shifted his messenger bag and studied the menu board on the back wall. He looked at the floor and, then the ceiling. He studied carefully the corner where the walls came together with the ceiling, trying not to draw attention to himself.

More people came in behind him and he tried to avoid eye contact. They seemed to be students from the JC on their way to class, discussing student things, assignment due dates and quiz results from last week. Two of the guys were having an intense debate over the use of the “Oxford comma”, whatever that was.

The tattooed girl was speaking to the guy at the counter. “Double mocha latte, chai with soy and a splash.” The counter guy nodded his head, as though he actually knew what that might be.

“You wanna twist with that?”

She shook her head. “But Stevia might be nice.”

The counter guy scribbled on his note pad and nodded. Tattoo Lady moved over to the side to wait for whatever it was that she had ordered and now it was David’s turn.

His stomach started to knot and his mouth went dry. He clinched his butt cheeks together, pushed his black framed glasses up on his nose, cleared his throat, and stood up straight; arms back at his side. Counter guy looked expectantly with his pencil poised above the four inch square of yellow paper. David said, “Uhhh,” and his mouth snapped shut. He hated having to speak with strangers. Counter Guy pushed his dreads back behind his shoulder and David saw his name tag. It read “Dave.”

“Hey,” David said, “Your name’s Dave? Mine is too!” David stuck out his hand to shake. He was feeling a lot more comfortable. After all, he now knew Counter Guy’s name. No longer strangers, it would be easy to talk with him now.

Dave said loudly, “Huh? Wha? No, no, Dude. I’m just wearing Dave’s shirt cuz I didn’t have a clean one. What’ll ya have?”

David almost turned and fled right then, but everyone was watching. He no longer knew Counter Guy’s name. His insecurities were back; back with a vengeance. He pushed his glasses up again and brushed his hair out of his eyes and tried not to vomit. “Coffee, black.” There, he had done it.

“What size?”

“Medium,” he croaked through parched lips.

“We don’t have medium.” Counter Guy said. “We have: Poco, Mas y Menos, or Grande.”

David could barely see. His field of vision was collapsing inward from the periphery. He only heard ‘Poco’.

“Poco” he whispered and dropped two dollars on the counter. David retreated to the corner where he wished he could disappear. He always ordered black coffee – never changed. It was the easiest and least stressful thing on the menu.


 

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