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This week, I bring you nine sentences – Snippet #2 of “Monday Morning Coffee” my second published story, which I will self-publish in 2017.
Thisstory that’s been with me longer than my oldest child, now 15. It began, in its earliest form, when I was only a year older than he is. A compelling local event fired my empathy and imagination. A teenaged boy with schizophrenia wandered away from his family at a large outdoor event, and, several days later, was found, deceased.
From that story, over the course of decades, came this one – the connection might be obscured by time, but it’s there.
Our as-yet unnamed narrator is reflecting on society while waiting for her train on a damp. dismal Monday morning.
Beneath Empty Eyes
It’s a complex social construct – the girls in the coffee-shop; the people tromping the snow and crowding the benches and the space between. Today’s girl had two rings, at least, on every finger. One hand clutched a smartphone. When I looked into her eyes, to make a connection on some human level, she might as well have been a mannequin.
Are we all just all teeth in the cogs of one another’s existence, clicking together, then apart again, with nothing more exchanged than the mechanical processes?
I shake my head, water droplets launching from my frizzing bangs. The woman next to me sighs and jerks her bag away, her crimson-lipped mouth drawn up in a tight, closed line beneath empty eyes. Shouldn’t there be more joy, this close to the holidays? Enough, at least, that driving sleet and to-do lists didn’t take away any semblance of good cheer and communal acceptance?
Where is this story going?
What’s with all these empty-eyed people?
Are rainy Mondays really this bad?
Come back next week and learn more!
“Monday Morning Coffee” was originally published in the 2015 edition of World Unknown Review, edited by L.S. Engler. Since I retain all rights beyond first publication, I intend to revise the story and add it as my own self-published library.