Flash Fiction Friday – The 5:22 to Greystone

The lyricism of the conductor’s voice as he says, “this is the 5:22 to Greystone, making all local stops,” was an incredible comfort to Keith after a long day’s work. He liked the sound of it, local stops, and could picture both the stops and the locals. The local train had the soothing advantage of being forced to travel at a moderate speed. It let Keith’s breath catch up with him.

At the end of the line was a woman. Not just any woman. His woman. Kat. Should someone stop Keith one day as he headed down Madison Avenue and hand over a billion dollars, tax free, he’d be a very happy man indeed. But if the transaction cost him Kat he’d be destitute. His tongue would never again taste anything but the ashes of poverty, knowing for all time that it should be sliding along her perfect olive shoulders as she stirred the curry pot. “Can I have a taste, honey?” he’d ask forever after. “Just a taste.”
Nobody can own her, of course. We’ve mostly settled on that much as a species: owning people is bad. But Keith would remain grateful through eternity if he could just borrow her for this lifetime. Whatever his flaws, greed was not among them. Just one lifetime.
Falling in love with Kat was probably a little too easy for Keith. It would have taken tremendous restraint, a quality he sorely lacked, to keep from falling in love. Once he’d fallen it was impossible to conceive how he would ever fall out.Why, he sometimes wondered, did he fall in love with her? And how, and why, did she fall in love with him? Even after all these years, he couldn’t figure it out. If he’s lucky he never will.

Published by mikepowernyc

Named one of New York's Best Emerging Poets 2019, my poetry chapbook The New Normal was published by Analog Submission Press. My novel The Zoo was published by Cacoethes Publishing House. Other poems and short stories have appeared in various publications, including Subterranean Blue Poetry, The Journal of Microfiction, and Sick Lit Magazine. Other works include a staged reading of my play Digging Up John Barrymore, performed by Dreamcatcher Entertainment, and five albums of original music recorded with my band Late Model Humans.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: