They hoped there would be something else after Australia, so they sailed on. They had been confirmed in their (dis)belief that the earth was round and in the past that had lifted their spirits in their search for “a passage”, but now it was only bringing them down as each circle was bound to take them back somewhere they already knew. Still, it was a nice day and the ocean stretched ahead peaceful and welcoming. They spotted land and saw people they already knew. They sailed on. Another land and their flag had been staked in the rocks already. An island and they heard their language. Another tiny isle they stumbled upon but by that time it was too small to accommodate their curiosity. Their port of sail seemed different after all the years spent at sea, so when they disembarked, it did feel strange and unfamiliar. And to some of them the feeling lasted for years
Because she was texting while riding the bus, nothing happened. But a woman was texting while riding her moped. We heard a thud at the back. The traffic light had gone red, but she must have been sending a message. All of a sudden, the windows still open, there’s smell of gas and we hear the engine of the little moped fuming along the bus. She stops at the driver’s window, “Really!” and blames him. She’s figured out no one has seen her texting because no one – who would? – looks behind the bus and not ahead. The driver’s amused by the little scene, he’s probably not heard the thud, and doesn’t wonder why his passengers got all curious – the next stop’s coming up and he’ll pull over, by a park stretched on the ragged outline of a small hill – and this is different anyway, angry riders usually roll their eyes to heaven if he does something they don’t like. This time she talked to him!
He bets, this fair-skinned young creature that all passengers today are complaining about the heat, like he knows all the languages in the world! It is hot, though, and it’s come unexpected. While old trains clatter along, and shrewd locals know it’s best to avoid them, new trains are like refrigerators on wheels, and AC pumping out at full blast is cheered or rejected with relief or impatience – the youngish blonde would have no problem recognizing feelings here, sighs and snorts being a sort of universal language. Going up from underground there’s only twelve people and they move like ants, a feeling never appreciated when there’s a full crowd trudging randomly along – wind comes up from the tunnels and mixes with the breeze from outside, some put a hand in defense of their throats. We walk out. It’s raining on this side of town!
On-the-subway-for-spare-change, “with a white string I can make stand straight and hard, look!” leaps into the intermittent morning waltz of in…and-out, back…and-forth, you…getting-off?. When in the middle of his feat of magic the poor-Bosnian-I-live-in-a-shack with-this-little-girl please-help-me “20 cents to buy milk” gets on and sees the Amazing-Magician-from-India-etc…
The who-drowns-out-who challenge is on! Yeah! No.
“Please,” she starts, “ladies and gent…” then breaks off, gets off, the code of conduct of the beggars who can’t choose which train to ticketless-ly attack. “The white string stands straight and hard, look!” Not much change, though, in the worn-out Kullu cap.
In response to: https://carrotranch.com/2018/09/06/september-6-flash-fiction-challenge/