Unexpected Trek

I’ve been excavating old writings. This is the oldest one I’m willing to share at this point. Flash fiction that made it into my college literary journal Font circa 2006. Confirms my fascination with ignored spaces.

Every day after school, Danny Fitzwilliam would ride his bike home. He could have taken the bus, but he liked riding his bike because it made him feel connected to the journey. No grimy, impersonal windows to get between him and the outdoors; just the pure pleasure of being part of the world. Danny liked to watch the muggy suburban landscape pass him by. He liked to watch the different objects that made up suburbia, noticing the intricacies of each one; hedges, telephone poles, pinwheels, evenly spaced trees, sparkling clean sedans, flowerbeds, and mailboxes. Danny didn’t like mailboxes, and every time he saw one he would say, “Check,” to keep it at bay. Mailboxes could be vicious creatures, and you could never be too careful around them.

Danny liked to play ball, but he had no one to play with. One day after school, as Danny was walking down Oak Street, bouncing his big red ball in front of him, he happened upon a scrawny tabby cat, which meowed piteously. Grateful for a playmate, Danny threw the ball at the cat. The cat scampered away with a yowl.

The previous day, while Danny was riding his bike, he forgot to say, “check” to a mailbox, and it went postal and killed him. Afterwards, the previous paragraph never happened.