Midnight Reader – Flash Fiction

The door slowly opened, a crack of light, a two inch strip of yellow, illuminating the carpet up to the bed. Carefully, so as not to wake the lump under the covers on the bed, he snuck in on tip toe. He nearly let out a shriek as his bare foot connected with a small Lego.  The sharp cornered piece of hard plastic biting into the soft flesh of his arch.  He hopped and hobbled, trying not to bang into the desk, then the chair.  He caught the back of the chair as he started to lose his balance and the swiveling piece of furniture nearly upset his balance.  Quick moves on his part had him catching himself and stopping as a soft snore and breath from the body.  He didn’t move a muscle as the lump shifted and sprawled out, an arm sliding out of the covers and dropping the book off the side of the bed with a soft thud.  He waited for a moment, or five as the blanket covered lump shifted and grumbled about homework then went back to sleep.  With a quick dash, he scooped up the book, and circumvented the Legos and bits of erector set metal pieces to make it safely to the door again.  He glanced back once to see if there was movement.  Nothing. he was safe!

He propped himself under the covers, a large maglite flashlight in his palm.  He clicked on the light and flipped the pages.  He was looking for a mark…. There! Just a tiny dot and dash where he’d left off.  Knees hunched, pillow at his back, he shone the light down at the pages, and with a fingernail caught soundly between his teeth, he began to find out if the heroine was going to make it out of the forest on her own.

He nearly let out a shriek as the bed shifted and the covers were jerked back from his buried form.

The woman groaned.

“Jack, why don’t you just ask the kid if you can borrow his book while he’s at school,” the woman asked, shaking her head.

“Because, this is way more fun,” Jack replied. “Now quiet, woman, she just had to make a pact with someone,” he shushed his wife.

She just rolled her eyes and clicked off the light before diving under the covers with a flashlight and a copy of her 8 year old’s slightly sticky copy of a very popular diary of a wimpy sort of kid. She just had to find out what happened after a week wait while the book traveled with her son during summer camp.

I just thought, how fun when a clandestine moment happens when a parent reads a book their kids are reading. My dad would read to us growing up… Robert Peck’s Soup books. And my Mom read us the Happy Hollister books. Oh we had so many books they read us. But what if they read some of ours late at night…….. I just remember how much fun I had reading Laura Ingalls Wilder under the covers with a flashlight. Reading till 9pm.  Scandalous at age 8 or 9.  I still love to read under the covers. I now use a Kindle……

Kate

Where Does The Time Go

Summer is more than half over and my writing life took a sharp turn south to non existent. At least here. It’s not like I’m not writing, but I haven’t pulled out my laptop to type but for some poetry a couple weeks ago. My journal is almost full after another year and a half. (my journals always take a year and a half to fill) and I have been writing this and that. Noting about life other than random observations. I feel like life is so heavy that I can’t write about life. Notes to become poems, or thoughts, but rarely anything deep.

Can we do over 2020? Not like actually all the crap that has gone on, but can’t we just chalk this up to a no go year? That being said, I feel like I have gotten places in my writing I might not have gone before. Nathan and I were texting the other day and he commented that one of my poems wasn’t my usual norm. Ha ha, he hasn’t seen my notebooks. But he is right. I sometimes spew off this super long poem with no stopping and no breaks and no punctuation and it’s like I just let a balloon spew out its air, whizzing around the room. Like I couldn’t contain it and I had to just throw it all out in a rush.

I bottle up my thoughts, opinions and emotions a lot, but when I let them out, usually it’s in a rush, a dumptruck of thoughts poured out on the ground. No organization to them. Sometimes cluttered and rarely making sense. Sometimes poems get like that. I can’t contain the box they are in. Personally, I’m rather fond of those kinds. At least of my own. I usually make the point I want without censoring myself. I’m rather proud of some of those poems.

Now what do I do with them. Again, Nathan asked if I was going to get any in print. I want to, but where? It’s all I can do to write the poems. I don’t have the oomph to hunt for journals to submit. Does anyone want to be an assistant and do the research for me? Pretty please? Darlings, I’d pay you in endless gratitude and the option to have me bake you a goody if you happened to be in northern CA and stopped in at the restaurant.

And that ^  is why I can’t get writing done. Work. I am swamped at all points. My day is so busy from the minute I walk in till I leave. I have a boss on my station in the morning who doesn’t believe he needs to do the prep and leaves most if not all of it for me to do, along with, yes, I am still full force making all the desserts. And I have had an entree added to my station that is adding in time. I fire ribeye steaks in my oven and I have gotten pretty decent at it. But for an already taxed station to adding that in. Well, let’s just say my life is one constant busy.

Even on my days off I’m thinking work. Or pestered by work. I want a weekend where I don’t have to think about work. It would be different if I was the chef in charge. But since I’m not, nor am I being paid to be, I want to not think about work.

And now dishes and lunch are calling me. Forget writing again.

Kate