The FFC week five submissions are in! That bathroom book of flash fiction is starting to take shape! Join us!
Prompt: A man decides to surprise his wife by bringing her lunch at work. When he gets there, he is told she hasn’t worked there in weeks.
Thanks for the great submissions everyone!
Chris Musgrave – Writer in Training
The Excessive Gardener
“The Restless Flight”
Thain in Vain
John was surprised when he found a parking spot just a couple of blocks from his wife’s building. Trying to park around the World Trade Centre was a nightmare, but he wanted to surprise her with breakfast for her birthday like he did every year. He grabbed the flowers and the present from the backseat of the car. He was running on time. He just needed to stop and get breakfast and head over to surprise her.
He saw the familiar, large red sign as he turned onto Vesey Street. The World Café was Karen’s favourite breakfast spot in the area. He hoped Keyvan was working as he opened the door into the dimness of the café.
“Well, hello, Mr. Billows. Tell me how you are today?” said Keyvan.
“Hi, Keyvan. Great to see you! It’s been awhile.” John always liked Keyvan, but since he had taken the new job in Midtown, he doesn’t make it down this way very often. He and Karen use to have breakfast here a couple of times a week when he worked in the South Tower.
“What is it that I can get you?” Keyvan asked as he made a fresh pot of coffee.
“Give me three of those chocolate almond croissants Karen loves and a couple of double espresso. I want to surprise her with breakfast and coffee.”
“Oh, yes, Mrs. Bellows. Have she taken a new job like you?” She never comes in anymore.
“That’s odd. She said she was in last week.” He handed John a white plastic bag and two coffees. John handed him a ten-dollar bill.
He waved his hand in the air. “It’s on the house. For her birthday. Tell her I miss her.”
“I sure will. Take of yourself, Keyvan.” John left the restaurant with the familiar ding of the door ringing behind him. He glanced at his watch. It was 8:35 a.m. He walked briskly towards the North Tower. It certainly was a lovely morning. The Twin Towers glistened in the bright fall day. He missed working down here, but this new job was a great opportunity he simply couldn’t pass up.
Inside the tower, he checked in with security and then headed to the bank of elevators. As the doors opened, people spilled out, looking important and rushed. He and two others got into elevator. He pressed 98th floor where Karen worked and asked the others where they were heading. He pushed the buttons. He watched as the floors ticked by and stopped on the 38th floor. The young, pretty women got out. Next stop was 66. The distinguished man next to him adjusted the coat draped over his arm stepped off the elevator. A couple of seconds later, a ding signaled he had arrived.
He looked around. Nothing much had changed since his last visit here. “Mr. Bellows?” He heard the receptionist say. He couldn’t remember her name.
“Hi, I’m just here to see my wife.”
“Your wife? Um, she hasn’t worked here in weeks,” she said looking confused.
“What? She just left for work this morning. Can I see her office?
Her office was neat. He marveled at the view. The Brooklyn Bridge glimmered in the distance. There was a small envelope on her keyboard. “John” was written in her neat cursive handwriting. He grabbed it and ripped it open. His hands were shaking.
If you are reading this letter, then you know my secret. I know you like to surprise me on my birthday, but this day came and I still hadn’t told you. You see, I had a very strong premonition about a terrible plane crash and told my boss I didn’t want to travel so much anymore. He was less then receptive, so I decided to leave. I have been trying to find a way to tell you, but I know we need the money and didn’t want to stress you out until I found another job. I hope you understand. We can talk about it when you get home. I love you. And thank you for the birthday breakfast. Love those croissants.
Suddenly, a sound like nothing he has ever heard took over everything. And then his world went black.