It’s my turn! Today is Flash Tales Thursday. It’s Flash Fiction, with a random writing prompt. Gillian and I will be doing this, and we would love to have you guys join in. Or just read our stuff and let us know what you think. What we are doing is generating a random idea prompt, using the site Short Story Ideas. Then we’ll write a 1K to 2K tale based off of the idea generated.
Here is what the Short Story Idea generated for me:
An internet cafe is the location, hatred is the theme. A delivery van is an object that plays a part in the story.
This is an unedited work of fiction. All content © 2016 by Joss Glass. This content can not be shared or republished without express permission from the author.
The Opportunist by Joss Glass
“I’d like him to bend me over that espresso machine,” drifted into my mind as I stepped forward in line. I was at my favorite coffee shop, Café Net. I tried not to stumble as the waves of desire drove through me. It used to be weird to experience other peoples’ thoughts and feelings, but after five years of being telepathic and empathic, I’ve gotten used to it. It was actually kind of fun in some cases. Charlie was working tonight and his broad shoulders, golden skin, and laughing green eyes always encouraged a certain level of lust in the patrons.
“Hey Charlie, I’ll have my usual.” “You got it, Rebekah.” I paid and scooted down to the end of the counter.
“I wish The Purge was real. I’d kill Neal. I’d kill Neal twice. I’d walk into Neal’s fucking office and straight up kill Neal. No, first I’d set his Best Boss plaque on fire, and then I’d kill Neal.” I shook my head and laughed to myself. You’d be surprised just how common it was for people to fantasize about killing their bosses. It was usually associated with the feelings of self-righteous indignation, irritation, and mockery.
After I woke up from a coma five years ago, I had the frightening discovery that I could not only hear what people were thinking, but I could feel what they were feeling. I literally heard voices in my head. After finding out that I was not in fact a schizophrenic, I then looked towards a split personality but since I was the one hearing the voices and not the one portraying the voices that fell through too. So I have had to come to terms with the fact that I have to pay attention to other peoples’ thoughts and emotions regardless of my interest. At first, this was my own personal hell as a self-proclaimed introvert and people hater. I would have rather spent my time in my favorite coffee shop reading my books and ignoring the other patrons like a normal human being.
It took a couple of years of a constant litany of other peoples’ thoughts before I embraced what I now considered to be a gift. I also found that instead of being an aspiring author, I could become a published author by taking all the interesting things I heard and writing them into a story. Some may call it cheating or even plagiarism, but whatever. So I’m a fake. I’m a phony. I’m also very successful. I found that I could hang out at Café Net and write while I let the customers’ thoughts and feelings filter through me. I always have my plot in mind, but it’s nice to have the thoughts of others to help jump start dialogue and characters’ personalities.
Charlie handed over my latte, and I headed over to my favorite table. As I set down my cup and got out my laptop opening it up to see the screen, I felt the man’s emotions before I heard his thoughts. I felt anger. Red, hot anger. The type of anger that occurs in the hearts of radicals, of road ragers, of the jilted, of the ignored. This was rage. It pressed in to me. It wrapped firm, prickly arms around me. I’d never felt such intense madness in my life. “I’ll slice those pretty lips.”
I looked up. What the hell? I stopped trying to figure out whose thoughts were floating through my head years ago. I didn’t see pictures in my head. I just heard the thoughts and felt the emotions. In a room full of people, I would seem like a lunatic if I tried to pinpoint the person. But hell, that was creepy. I glanced around the room. There were several men in the coffee shop that day: a guy in a black hoodie, a surfer boy with typical blonde hair and dark skin, a man in a suit, and an average guy in a company polo. My money was on Mr. Hoodie.
None of the men appeared as if they were currently fantasizing about cutting up some women’s lips. Though now that I’d looked around I’d put my first born, if I had a first born, on the suit being the Neal Killer.
“Stupid bitch. Bitch. Bitch. Whore.” His voice was seething. It reminded me of a hissing snake. I stretched my neck both left and right trying to release the tension that the rage was building inside me. “I’ll scalp her.” My stomach started to turn from his thoughts. I felt like I drank six Jager Bombs, and then sniffed a dumpster.
The rage was suffocating me now. I was enveloped in a black cloud of sharp needles. It pricked my skin all at once. I couldn’t stop the tear from rolling down my cheek. I swiped it away. I stared harder at my laptop screen. “I’m going to pull her skin off in strips.” I gasped. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Screw it. I was now full on looking around trying to pinpoint the man. “I wonder if she’ll still feel the pain once her skin is gone?” Even more revolting than the rage was the nauseating accompanying feeling of satisfaction this man was feeling towards his thoughts of torture.
Hoodie man stood up and tossed his cup into the trash. The anticipation of the rage releasing me made me stare at him as he walked across the room. All of a sudden, he looked at me startled. Shit. I looked away. When I looked back at him, he was headed out the door, but the rage was stronger than before. Feeling absolutely stupid, I glanced around again. This is why I stop trying to figure this shit out. I look like a maniac.
The surfer boy in the pale blue v neck and jeans stood up. He checked his phone screen and gathered up his things and left the coffee shop. As he stood outside on the curb, the rage dissipated. Holy shit! Him? I got to stop him. As I ran towards the door like the maniac I was afraid of appearing to be, I saw through the glass doors a green delivery truck pull up. Surfer guy jumped in and the truck drove away. I shoved open the doors and ran out onto the sidewalk searching for the truck. It was gone.
Guess, it’s time to write a horror story.