As promised, fun flash fiction here!
And when done , why not submit? If we like it, we’ll roll with it!
North Pole Midnight:
Sweat poured down my eyes, onto my chest and into my t-shirt getting me all wet and pumped. The adrenaline was kicking in as I rounded the corner lot and my stopwatch clicked off the 3/4-mile mark. Hitting my stride now, feet pumping, fast as they could carry me, I was feeling good now, breathe evened, focus narrowed. Two miles was the goal today, and I knew I could do it. I reached down into my pack without breaking my stride, grabbing up my water bottle and slugged it down, not noticing the curb up ahead, when boom! Right foot over left, tumbling down, ankle buckles, and the right knee goes pop while slamming into concrete, hot and dirty. My hands go in front of my face, trying to block the inevitable, but white heat starts spreading up my leg, and into my thigh. I grab my right foot and groan, but no one’s around to hear. It’s midnight here on the other side of the globe, and the sun’s blazing this time of night in Alaska, but I’m all alone on the pavement, while my right knee’s turning purple and my foot’s looking twisted twenty ways from Sunday……I look around for someone, anyone. But all I hear are my own cries. And the lone wolf, somewhere out there in the near distance…
It came from the back of the counter, relentless in it’s jarring whirr. The industrial strength coffee grinders kept the noise level to an all time maximum, increasing the level of the caffeine deprived pounding in the front of his skull, while Styx wondered just how the hell any of these pretentious looking young-ins hunched over their expensive electronic toys, wrapped up in wires and backpacks, could actually be getting any work done, let alone studying for school. Shifting laboriously back and forth on his cane, and his bad left leg, he waited as the line crawled forward, a snail in heat, to the chirpy-faced girl, just waiting to fill his need and put him out of his misery. His tired eyes strained as he squinted at the days special, both too tiny and much too far back for an old man to see
“Hello Sir, and isn’t it a pleasant one today? Just what’ll you have on this fine morning?”
“Don’t see anything fine about it” Styx growled, trying to focus the pounding into a coherent sentence.
“Did you check our special there? Double cappuccino, white ice frost and chocolate shavings all around. Been cranking em’out all morning.”
“Coffee” Styx shot back. “Just coffee, and make it huge. And black. Like my mood.”
“Ahhh sir, but we don’t serve just coffee. How about a Mochaccino Vanilla Latte? That’s my favorite, it’ll cool you off, especially what with this heat and all.”
“Coffee” Styx repeated, as the pounding got louder. Felt like steam, rising straight up out of his ears. Unable to contain it any longer, he raised his right arm, cane and all, along with a long row of heads behind him, many eyes darting up now from their toys.
“But sir. Coffee isn’t on our menu. I wouldn’t even know how to ring it up. Now please. If you can just look at our menu above I’m sure you’ll find something interesting.” A quick smile now at the line behind, chirp-face sensing the urgency, plead her case again.
“Sir, please. I need you to choose something.”
“Choose this ” Styx brought the cane down to the counter, tapping repeatedly in front of the register. “Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. What don’t you compute? You’re a coffee store, and I want some coffee.”
Unanticipated, Stix cane came down hard to the right, smacking the row behind of $9.99 on sale tumblers clean off the shelf, sending more than one toddler sprawling to the ground. Cries squawked out as the line disseminated. Rambo Rules t-shirt guy taking charge now, grabbing Styx by the collar, dragging him out to the curb.
“Hey old man, just caz your old, doesn’t mean you get free reign. There’s kids in there, you know?”
“Kids, hell” Styx snorted. “No respect for the old these day, that’s what that is. You kids got no respect I tell ya. And your coffee stinks! What I wouldn’t give for a straight up cup of Joe.”
“Try the 7-11 old man. Or better yet, just go on home. It just aint gonna happen here.”
Arms crossed, guarding the door, Rambo barred re-entry. Styx waved, sending up the middle digit, and smiled satisfactorily, gimping his way across the street. The green Starbucks logo loomed large down the block. His next victim.