Everyone has bad days, but Eddie is about to discover that if you don’t like the rules of the universe, why not try to bend them a little?
“Drive-By Flash” is an ongoing series for odd and unusual flash fiction with a new story available on a regular basis.
Eddie slammed his eyes closed, balled both hands into fists, pulled both` arms against his abdomen, and took a deep breath. He imagined himself and his place in that greater cosmic existence known as the universe.
“Make it happen,” he wished, “Please come true. Please come true.”
The universe began to spin around him with stars, planets, comets, nebula, black holes all moving on their own separate tracks, like so many hands on a clock whose face was three dimensional and allowed an untold number of orbits in all manner of direction.
“Make it happen,” he wished once, “Make it happen. Make it happen. Please come true…Please come true!”
The cosmic clock that had taken shape around him began to spin faster and faster. Everything moved every which way and the orbits of each object blurred together, forming a blanket of stomach-churning motion. Faster and faster the clock moved, faster and faster.
“Make it happen!” Eddie screamed at the top of his lungs. “Make it happen! Please come true! PLEASE COME…”
The clock surrounding him exploded into a raging inferno of light and Eddie’s eyes opened once more. He realized his breath was still held in and the balled fists were causing his arm muscles to cramp beyond belief. His lungs exploded as he released himself from the endeavor, gasping for air. After several deep intakes, he leaned forward and let the pair of organs settle down to a more natural pace.
Keeping his abdomen pressed against his legs, Eddie raised his head and glanced around the city park. He was seated on a wooden bench along a pathway that eventually forked out into several trails, each leading off into nearby woods. Kids and parents were at play in the distance and a pair of joggers fast approached his present location. Disappointed, Eddie sat upright again and twisted his head over the left shoulder. Behind him, a well-cut lawn spread out for several hard feet before giving way to a bustling city sidewalk.
“Make it happen,” Eddie mumbled to himself. “Make it happen. Make it happen. Please come true…Please come true…ah screw it!”
“Take it easy on yourself, son, take it easy. A man shouldn’t hold his breath longer than is natural.”
The gentle tap of a walking stick approached from behind. The voice was coarse, but the manner of speaking was firm.
Embarrassed at being observed, Eddie instinctively pulled his back away from the bench as he sat up straight. The last thing he needed today was to be reprimanded by an old man in the middle of the park.
“Forget it,” Eddie said, his voice mixed with both annoyance and despondency.
“I beg your pardon?” the older man asked.
Eddie took a quick glance over his shoulder and found it odd that the well-dressed man, hat and all, chose to stand behind him. Nevertheless, he figured what the heck. Why not share his attempt with this complete stranger? No skin off his back.
“I was attempting to conjure a relative back from the dead.”
“That’s a tall order for a sunny day in July, son.”
“He must have been pretty important for you to want him back.”
“My grandfather,” Eddie began, “he was my paternal grandfather. Raised me as a child and taught me a lot about life in the process.”
“It sounds silly, but as a child, he told me that if I closed my eyes and imagined my place in the greater universe in just the right way, I’d be able to make wishes come true and conjure up whatever I desired.”
“Did it work?”
“Nope, it never did. In fact, today’s the first time I’ve tried it in years. I miss him more than usual.”
“Why so today?”
“My boss fired me a few hours ago.”
“Sorry to hear about that.”
“No need to apologize. I didn’t see it coming. After being escorted from my office I came over here to the park and in a moment of foolishness unburied his words from the past and tried to conjure him into existence. He was a good man…had a way with making you feel better about yourself.”
“Sounds like a wonderful man.”
“He was the best. I wish I could see him once more.”
“You may get that wish sooner than you think, son. Just be sure to control your breathing and don’t overexert yourself. Do that and my next visit will be longer.”
“I’ll try to…wait a minute!”
Eddie spun around so fast that his left leg slammed into the bottom portion of the bench.
“Owe!” he shouted while his eyes darted back and forth. The man had vanished into thin air, leaving only the empty, well-cut lawn.
“Grandfather?” Eddie whispered before continuing in a louder tone, “Grandfather? Did it work? Was that you after all?”
There was no response and Eddie could hear the children and parents at play in the distance as he turned around once more.
“Very, well grandfather,” Eddie said with a smile. “Controlled breathing and less exertion. I wouldn’t want to cut your next visit short.”
Ready for another try, Eddie closed his eyes and imagined himself once more in that greater cosmic existence known as the universe.
Content and Cover Art Copyright © 2015 by Scott Allen Fallbeck
This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters and places are either products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons or events is purely coincidental.