There Goes The Neighborhood

from-amy-reese
Copyright Amy Reese

 

Paul paused in the doorway. Buzzing fluorescent lights harmonized with the hum in his head, too many years around lawn mowers and leaf blowers. His chest tightened as he realized his life was being reduced to a 12 x 12 unit. For the better part of sixty years odd jobs made ends meet, but with the new human labor ban his only option was to accept the Relocation Package and “get while the gettin’s good,” so he was told.

“What’s a man to do? Drones Only is law. Keep to yourself and there’ll be no trouble.”

So he was told.

*****

You can check out more Friday Fictioneers here. Thanks to Amy and Rochelle for this week’s prompt.

 

 

The Man That Time Forgot

This week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt, courtesy of Roger Bultot, reminded me of a wonderful old song called “Walk Him Up The Stairs” from the Broadway musical, Purlie. “Walk Him Up The Stairs” was a favorite of the band director at a high school I once attended.

(Go Yellow Jackets)

My short happy life as a member of the woodwind section gave me the chance to play, and fall in love with, many timeless classics. This particular song, though, struck a chord that resonates with me even today. If you check out the performance preserved for posterity here on YouTube, you may understand why.

It’s been a long time since the days of band camp. It has been a long time, too, since I participated in Friday Fictioneers. Thanks to Rochelle for leaving a light on for me.

from-roger
Copyright Roger Bultot

The Man That Time Forgot

“Grandma, have you ever known anyone so in love with the sound of their own voice as that Mr. Donaldson?  I mean, seriously, I thought he’d never stop talking and let you get in the car!”

“He’s lonely, Dear. He doesn’t have any friends. Never has, come to think of it.”

“No wonder. All he ever does is brag about what he owns, where he’s been, how important he used to be when he owned that real estate business.”

“He’s like that American man who made everybody so miserable.”

“What man, Grandma? What was his name?”

“Oh, Dear, who remembers?”

 

****

Footnote: There’s something interesting about footnotes, they become meaningless when no one pays attention to them.

Antipodes

She is the same old girl she used to be. Her smile, once a thin disguise for turmoil going on beneath the surface, no longer feels awkward from the inside out. She liberated herself from the private hell we all find ourselves when a fumbled attempt to put our best foot forward results in putting the other foot right in our mouth. An event usually intensified when alcohol is involved.

Business functions are not the place to get your drink on, but they almost always include adult beverages for those who choose to imbibe. Many’s the rubber chicken dinner she has endured with a glass, or three, of something from the bar. She dreads the social function season that begins with Labor Day and doesn’t let up until “Auld Lang Syne” becomes a chorus of “never again.” She is not alone.

Over the years she learned to not roll her eyes while pretentious small talk buzzed in her ears. She mastered the art of walking in her business appropriate footwear, lest she stumble and snag her hosiery. She now manages to hold back the avalanche of rebuttals to bloated bloviators’ sexist remarks because she knows that they are feeling the heat of their own personal hell. She is far, far from where she began with miles to go before she’s done. She won’t let anything or anyone stand in her way. 

Yes, she is the same old girl she used to be, only better.