Hello to my darling, patient readers. University is still plotting my demise, so I have here a rather short (and not properly edited…) story — but a story nonetheless! — for this week’s Inspiration Monday. My chosen prompt was: what year is it?
Hope you enjoy, and a big thank you to all those kind people who wished me well for the coming trimester. Your kindness means the world!
The man was wild-eyed and frantic as he stumbled from the alley’s darkness. People on the street politely skirted him, keeping their gaze locked on their destination and trying to ignore the strange odour of singed hair that wafted from the man’s slightly smoking form.
He rolled his eyes madly as he waited for the world to cease its spinning; the moment he did, he lumbered forward and halted the first unfortunate man who passed him.
“What year is it?”
The businessman frowned at him, trying unsuccessfully to remove ashen fingers from the lapels of his suit. “Excuse me?”
“The year, man! The year! What year is it?!” the bushy-haired man shouted, giving his victim a shake for good measure.
“Two thousand twelve,” he replied warily.
Immediately, the soot-covered man froze and allowed the suit’s material to be pulled from his grip. His shoulders sagged as he muttered, “Damn. I thought for sure I’d done it…”
Still muttering, the man wandered back into the alley, tugging distractedly at his beard.
The businessman stood, stunned, for a moment longer, staring after the insane figure. He blinked slowly as the sounds of haphazard mechanics emitted from the shadows—determined hammering, the screech of a poorly-handled screwdriver, intermittent swearing—and was finally able to overcome his shock.
“Crazy bugger…” he muttered pityingly.
The heels of the man’s expensive shoes had only just stepped off from the block when a muffled explosion was heard from the alley. Passing pedestrians looked away as a wild-eyed and frantic man, blackened and smoking, spilled onto the pathway. He managed to take hold of a petite ankle and looked pleadingly up to the petrified woman above him.
“Wait! Please! Tell me—what year is it now?!”
- Love The Bad Guy