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September 2007 Flashers

Flash Fiction written by members and friends of the MuseItUp Club. Submissions are invited for this page.*

 

 

Lobster Face

 

by Nick Tyler

 

 

Our pickup football game came to a halt. Someone spotted 'Lobster Face' strolling down the walkway beyond the end zone.

The redness of his cheeks made him look like he belonged to some unknown race. His droopy chin pointed out over his sagging chest.

"Hey, Lobster Face," BT called.

"Relax." I grabbed BT's arm; he shrugged me off as if I didn't exist.

"I'm talking to you, you stupid drunk!" BT continued his assault.

Morley, Chris, Wiley and Mitch stood silent, all of them offering phony smiles, ones that wanted to fit in.

The old man maintained his pace.

"Why do you come walking around here all the time, Lobster Face?" BT shouted.

The old man's back faced us now.

"Don't walk away from me!" BT marched ahead, an angry rage plastered on his face and accompanying his words. The rest of the pack followed.

Everything escalated too fast. Here I was, stuck between siding with my lifelong friends and saving this old man from humiliation.

I ran in front of BT, who led the enraged pack of seething beasts. He stopped and looked down at me as if I'd lost my mind.

"I know that man," I explained, pointing behind me.

"How?"

"His name is Harry. He took care of me when I was a kid. My mother was too upset about my father's illness. She had no energy to do anything for years. I haven't seen him in ages, but I know that's him. We stopped keeping in touch after my mother got better and finally accepted my father's death. That man you're calling Lobster Face is a good man, and formerly my father's best friend. He's not a drunk. Those are third degree burns. He's a retired firefighter."

Paralyzing guilt washed over their faces.

"Why didn't you say something?"

"I tried. From what my mother says, that man has nothing. He walks to the store for a bag of peanuts every day. He has no money or family."

"Maybe we can help him," BT said, showing he had a good side.

"I've got a few bucks in the car," Morley offered.

"What if we all chip in twenty bucks?" Mitch bettered. "Maybe he can get some food for the week."

"I think that's a great idea." I focused on each of their faces. "If you guys are really willing."

They all agreed.

After pooling the money, we hopped in BT's jeep and chased the old man down. His jubilant reaction caused proud looks to consume all of my friends' faces.
Mission
accomplished.

After finishing the football game, I drove behind the horse stables, where I knew Old Man Harry would be waiting.

"Well done," I said as I approached.

"Anytime," he said with a scratchy voice as he held out fifty dollars. "Here's your share."

"Thanks." I grabbed the cash and stuffed it in my pocket. "I've got some cousins getting together for a stickball game tomorrow. I'll call you in the morning with the details."

 

###

 

 

Nick Tyler

 

Nick Tyler has written three books: Rawson’s Fun House, Rawson’s Revenge and Mind Bomb.  He is currently working on The Locals and Short Shorts. He has won several short story contests, although hasn’t yet broken into the traditional publishing world. He trades stocks for a living.
.

 

 

*Send Flash Fiction submissions to underamuse@yahoo.com.au .

Please include the words “Muse Marquee Flash Submission” in the subject line.

 

 

The Flashers page is edited by Lea Schizas and Les Stephenson.