Flash fiction entry, 300 words or less. Prompt: include the phrase "the battery was dead".
|The colors of the lab pop and startle. The waiting room faces do not pop. The air is still and cold.
I cross the room feeling life and hope pulled from me by the fingers of the listless beings surrounding me. Their eyes drift as I sign in and take my seat to wait my turn.
Purple Sweater Lady fumbles with her tissue bookmark. Her romance novel's covers are crushed together. Her eyes flit about from above her stiff shoulders. They land on old Hat Guy and squinch. Hat Guy stares through the back of Suit Guy's head. Hat Guy is being checked out by Knitting Grandma.
Then his phone rings. Suit Guy's phone. His hand whips into his breast pocket then to his ear. He is talking and we all can live in his life for a moment.
Dora, no no, I'm on my way.
I know it's almost 9, just hold them there.
Don't move the board meeting either, I'll be there.
A bit of sweat oozes out of his forehead. Sweater Lady stops fidgeting and her hand reaches out with her tissue.
Suit Guy's teeth squeeze against each other as he listens.
Don't you think I know that?
Listen, I need you, I need you to...
He is staring at the phone at the end of his arms and begins to mash it between his hands and up against his reddening face.
The battery was dead.
Sweater Lady's hand is at her mouth, her lips quiver and form the words, poor man.
Suit Guy stands and looks about at the faces turning away, hangs his head, and leaves.
We all settle and become still. We again wait our turn.