by Elyssa King
1/17/2017 flash fiction 300 words or less writing challenge
|The wind-up toy raccoon peeked from behind several books on mechanical engineering
“Do any of these books mention something like me?” he asked.
“Nope; these are not story books, but books by serious men who construct machines that make a difference in human lives.”
The light of curiosity dimmed in Raccoon’s eyes. “So I don’t make a difference to lives?” Raccoon sighed. “Not even in your life? Not even though I’ve known you for all of your twenty-five years?”
I had no answer now; maybe I’d have one, later.
“Are you a serious man?” Raccoon questioned. “Because I don’t believe serious grown men talk to wind-up toy animals.”
I glared at Raccoon, worn threadbare from years of desperate hugging. “You misunderstand me; you are meaningful and you do make a difference in my life.” I couldn’t admit anything further, or else Raccoon’s head might swell with an inflated sense of importance.
“So you,” Raccoon glanced around the room as if forming a very profound thought, “believe yourself to be a serious man.”
It was a statement, yet I knew Raccoon was asking the big question … a question I ask myself almost every day, because I realize not many twenty-five-year-old men have a raccoon on their bookshelf.
“You are unique, Raccoon,” I admitted. I don’t know anyone else in this world with whom I can speak so freely.”
“Do you mean the world as it is … or the world as you prefer it?”
Raccoon's question didn't anger or trouble me. As my dearest friend he was my closest confidant; the only one with whom I could be myself.
The door to my room opened, causing Raccoon to become quiet.
“Time for your medication,” Dr. Jacob said