I’m taking a two-week course in flash fiction writing with the definition of flash fiction being “You can read it in under three minutes.” The Shackled Man is my offering. I’ve got it down to 2m46s.
Let me know what you think, and thanks.
Saturday mornings. That was our time.
Dad tiptoed into my room and knelt beside my bed. I could smell him before my eyes opened. A good smell, a night’s sweat just washed away.
I kept my eyes shut until I felt the bristles of his mustache when he kissed my cheek. I’d open my eyes and see the twinkle in his.
“Want to go for a ride?”
There were four places we’d go. South, Logan Airport. West, French King Bridge. North, Queechee Gorge. East, L.L. Bean.
We always stopped at a Dunkin Donuts. If we started a little late it’d be a Dunkin Donuts half way there, about an hour out, half hour at the least. Or sometimes it’d be at the edge of town, right before we hit the highway.
Dad knew where all the Dunkins were. Nobody had breakfast sandwiches or drivethroughs back then. You had to go inside. He’d get a medium coffee, two sugars, two creams, and I’d get a chocolate milk and a bavarian creme, the first bite and it oozed out and into your mouth.
And then off we’d go, listening to the radio or singing songs. Didn’t matter the weather, every Saturday morning we’d go, always sure to be out of the house by seven, no later.
West and north we’d get to the bridges. There were parking areas and we’d get out and walk around. Dad would stay close to the rails, look over. “How far down do you think that is, son?”
I was too small, I couldn’t see.
“Be a long drop from here.”
East we’d get to L.L. Bean. It was totally different back then. Only locals and hunters knew of it. How my dad knew I’ll never know.
You could talk to guides, men who knew the lakes and rivers and mountains. Dad listened to their stories, about going so far out in the woods it seemed there was no coming back, then he’d check his watch.
“Come on, son. Time to be getting back.”
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