Friday, January 16, 2015

Flash! Friday: Lions

by Michael Seese

Flash! Friday hostess Rebekah served up a few changes this week. You can read it all here. But in a nutshell:

1. "This coming year we’ll focus on the primary elements of story: character, setting, plot, and theme. We’ll rotate through these four in a well-behaved, orderly fashion."
2. We have been allotted 200 words, +/- 10, up from 150.

So this week, the character is a janitor. And this is the photo.

Even with the extra 50 words, I had to work to winnow down "Lions."

A janitor is a lot like air. You don't give a second thought to the presence of either. But you sure as hell notice their absence.

Joseph was grateful for his job at the Federated Church. It afforded him shelter, security. Alone, in his small apartment in the basement, he would drink in the peace. Growing up, silence had been a commodity as rare to him as the luxuries Westerners took for granted. He cursed those who allowed hate to poison the once-pristine well of religion. Too many friends had died at the hands of those who saw their way as the only way.

He had prayed for guidance, for strength. Finally, he was granted both. He celebrated by smoking a cigarette, inhaling the freedom which comes with conviction.

Watching the Sunday parishioners file in this snowy morning, Rev. Holt felt his janitor's absence, as a slushy, slippery mess began accumulating just inside the door.

Where in the world is Joe? he wondered. Rev. Holt never would have imagined his janitor was huddled in the apartment, preparing to make his presence felt.

Yussef looked at his comrades, and dramatically slapped the clip into his AK-47. "My brothers, the time has come. Today, we throw these Christians to the lions."

You wondered where the Colosseum would fit in, didn't you? Feel free to share your thoughts on "Lions."

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