For today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, Linda G. Hill has asked us to “write about whatever is beside you when you read this prompt. Not when you sit down to write, but whatever is beside you right now.”
Well, it’s around 11 pm. I just got around to reading Linda’s prompt and I’m in bed. Beside me on my left is my wife. She just turned off the TV and she’s begging me to turn off my phone and go to sleep. But I told her that I need to finish this post first and schedule it to publish at 3 am.
Beside me on my right is my bedside night table, upon which is my bedside light, my bedside clock, my glasses, and my SNOOZ. What is a SNOOZ, you ask? It’s a white noise machine. Here’s a picture of it.The white noise it generates helps to counteract the constant ringing in my ears — even in my left ear, which I can’t hear out of since I had surgery to remove a growth from the middle ear at the end of December — from tinnitus. If it weren’t for the SNOOZ, my tinnitus would keep me up most of the night.
Okay, my wife is starting to get pissed, so I’d best wrap this up. But now you know what’s beside me.
Bill led a modest and mundane life. He ate, slept, and worked. His job had become a proxy for living, and with no social life to speak of, he dedicated himself to his work. As a result, he was quite successful and rose to the ranks of middle management in a relatively compressed timeframe for someone his age.
Still, with his professional life going so well, Bill knew something was missing and it was his own fault. He created an impenetrable bulwark to ensure that his obligation to his job would not be sidetracked by anything, including a romantic entanglement.
But then Bill met Marcia and his priorities changed dramatically. He became obsessed with her, to the point where he was shirking his job responsibilities and missing critical deadlines. But Bill no longer cared about his job. All he cared about was Marcia.
“Darling,” Bill wrote in a text message to Marcia, “meet me at City Hall at 4:00,” and he was thrilled when she agreed. He arrived early and watched the big clock countdown toward 4:00. When she arrived, he hugged her and asked her to marry him.
“Sorry, Bill, but I’m breaking up with you,” Marcia said. “You’re smothering me.”
Written for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner and for the Tale Weaver prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie (darling). Photo credit: Pixnio.com. Also for these daily prompts: Daily Addictions (bill), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (mundane), Ragtag Daily Prompt (proxy), Your Daily Word Prompt (compress), Nova’s Daily Random Word (bulwark), The Daily Spur (obligation), and Word of the Day Challenge (countdown).
“Happiness is waking up, looking at the clock, and finding that you still have two hours left to sleep.”
Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz
Written for today’s One-Liner Wednesday from Linda G. Hill.
The two women, lifelong best friends, were standing behind the large clock on the mezzanine level of the railway station when Beverly saw tears welling up in her BFF’s eyes.
“Annie, sweetie,” Beverly said, reaching out and grabbing her friend’s hand. “What is the matter, honey?”
Annie sighed. “Standing here, Beverly, I just feel like life is passing us by and we are falling so far behind the times.”
Written for Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt. Photo credit: Stijn te Strake via Unsplash
Sandra opened the closet door and let out an audible gasp. Her boyfriend, Larry, ran over to find her standing there, tears streaming down her face. “What happened?” he asked.
“That clock used to sit on the mantel over our fireplace, and when it stopped keeping time, my father said he threw it out. But there it is,” she said.
“Perhaps you misheard him. Maybe he said he was just going to put it aside,” Larry said.
“Maybe,” admitted Sandra. “But what’s freaking me out is the time on the clock. 11:16, is the exact time my father died.”
Written for this week’s Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.