Flash Fiction: “Crossing”

No, not that. The last time I used the sick kid excuse, he actually got sick a few days later. Really sick. Now, I don’t believe in fate, but I don’t want to go tempt the fucker either. I’ve already been to two family funerals this year in far-flung parts of this godforsaken country and it’s only March, so best not to go to the well on that one again. Plus I can’t remember whether it’s my mother or my mother-in-law who I told them snuffed it last year, and I have to imagine this shit gets written down somewhere. I only had the flu, genuinely, straight after Christmas, and if I played the measles or pox card I would have to say it came by way of the kid. And I refer you to point one; he’d end up dying of a lethal one-in-a-million strain of it next week. Is that fate or karma? Whichever. They both have my card marked. No this one is going to have to be on me. And I’m going to have to make it stick. When I come back from “sickness” or “injury” I like to still sport some residual effect. A cough. A limp. But I’m not Daniel Day fucking Lewis. It’s hard to keep that shit in character. And by eleven, I’ll be floating around the office like Fred Astaire. Yeah this one has to stick and stick good. Which means it requires a little, shall we say, realism. Which brings me here to the pedestrian crossing. The one where the mindless lemmings amble out in front of bicycles and buses long after the signal tells them not to, practically begging to be maimed or mangled. Which I see happen from time to time, adrenaline and embarrassment pulling them up off the ground back to their feet and to the side of the road where someone will be busy calling them an ambulance. I curse their stupidity every morning. But now I salute them. In truth they are inspirational geniuses. Like a surfer standing on the beach waiting on the perfect wave, I size up the vehicles preparing for the light to go green and choose my set.

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