Microfiction 23: Persuade

For Muslims across the world, Ramadhan is a special opportunity to turn a corner and adopt desirable virtues recommended by our Prophet (p.b.u.h), among other things.

This Ramadhan am challenging myself to accurately depict at least five of these virtues, through the most expressive creative way I can think of. In my case I chose microfiction.

The singular rule of the challenge being that particular virtue to be depicted should be hidden in the subtext and left to the reader to guess which one it is, meaning neither the title nor the dialogue of the characters should explicitly reveal the virtue in question.

He tapped impatiently on the steering wheel of the rental he had parked on the side of the road.

He was afraid of coming down with something the longer he spent out here. Already there was the telltale taste of copper in his mouth preempting an incoming fever. He desired getting home to his comfortable bed and spending time alone with his thoughts once more.

He stared at the crowbar on the passenger’s seat once more, a damning manifestation of his intentions for this evening. Of course he didn’t care much for the sentiment attached to the object or the agenda it would carry out. He’d long convinced himself that he didn’t necessarily have to like his job or find satisfaction in it, he just had to be good in it, and he tried to understand his clients’ motivations for needing him too. He was an agent of persuasion, he told himself. Some of his clients could not afford obstacles barring their noble missions.

He spotted his target of the day and customarily took in her appearance, seeking for something on her that he could keep later after the deed was done. This part he treated with as much importance as the rest of the mission and he’d done it on all occasions, including the first, finding a sort of trophy to keep as a reminder, usually something simple but expressive, like a perfumed scarf, a silver-plated lighter and so on. But today something distracted from this crucial preamble, the girl herself. From the off, he could tell she was not his typical target, there was something about her that smacked of how would he put it…‘far-out’?

He fired up the car once she was a few blocks away and trailed behind her. She turned into an alley eventually and he parked once again and jumped out of the car. Again he had lost his usual confidence and now there was something of a stumble in his step, as if something the young lady was radiating was putting him off.

He rounded the corner to the alley and something inside him snapped. She sat cross-legged near an open bin, her grocery bag on the floor next to her, pushing a tin plate filled with milk to a family of cats. He froze in place as the constructs of the reality he’d built around himself crumbled into shards.

Late that night the OCS at the Central Police Station was visibly baffled when a middle-aged man strolled in going on about the world being wrong and that he was guilty to the core and that he had all the evidence the police would need to prove it.

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Microfiction 22: Hobo

For Muslims across the world, Ramadhan is a special opportunity to turn a corner and adopt desirable virtues recommended by our Prophet (p.b.u.h), among other things.

This Ramadhan am challening myself to accurately depict at least five of these virtues, through the most expressive creative way I can think of. In my case I chose microfiction.

The singular rule of the challenge being that particular virtue to be depicted should be hidden in the subtext and left to the reader to guess which one it is, meaning neither the title nor the dialogue of the characters should explicitly reveal the virtue in question.

Though I’ve started very late I do hope my fellow writers will join in with their own particular genre and flair that they prefer.

 

He lay down under a canvas of black and silver dots, a sky mindless of him and his condition, contemplating a truth he had just stumbled upon.

He remembered a bed of roses that could fit twenty, now traded in for a cardboard that did just enough to keep the cold at bay.

Earlier in the morning, he’d seen his own reflection on the bonnet of a car. He had struggled to identify both the model and himself.

He wondered about those mornings spent in boardrooms and afternoons spent in courtrooms and evenings spent in ballrooms, in the search for consequence, now exchanged for days spent dodging municipal officers.

He’d been everywhere, seen everyone, done everything. He’d belonged to everyone and everyone had been his.

And now he’d discovered a truth that belonged to him and him alone.

The truth that he regretted not trading his billions for the happiness of people he’d never met, much earlier.

Microfiction 21: Doctor

For Muslims across the world, Ramadhan is a special opportunity to turn a corner and adopt desirable virtues recommended by our Prophet (p.b.u.h), among other things.

This Ramadhan am challening myself to accurately depict at least five of these virtues, through the most expressive creative way I can think of. In my case I chose microfiction.

The singular rule of the challenge being that particular virtue to be depicted should be hidden in the subtext and left to the reader to guess which one it is, meaning neither the title nor the dialogue of the characters should explicitly reveal the virtue in question.

Though I’ve started very late I do hope my fellow writers will join in with their own particular genre and flair that they prefer.

 

If there was anything that offered him distraction from the terrifying fire in her eyes it was probably the unbearable pain he experienced in his forearms from her iron grip.

There was pain in her eyes too, though he only caught glimpses of it when she would occasionally let her guard down, like a flash of lightning on a dark night sky. He knew only too well why it was there, the pain, and he was not proud of it. The guilt of it made him feel small.

She was shouting. Screaming. Not the incoherent mindless babble of a madwoman, but the damning curse of a pained mother, each word a carefully hurled scimitar delivering a wound two-fold as punishing as that of the previous one.

‘You killed her. You killed my daughter. Daktari aina gani wewe? You should not call yourself a doctor!’

On the occasion when we didn’t question his qualifications for his practice he wondered how long he would have to spend in a psychiatric ward to recover from this incident. And prosthetic arms? Those felt like an inevitable future for him, he could barely feel his fingers anymore.

Then, as if having spent all her energy and will to mourn and scorn, he felt her grip on his arms weaken, the expression on her face soften, and he worried she might drop to the floor from exhaustion. In stead she pulled him closer and embraced him.

There she cried for a minute.

‘The best doctor in the world would have made the same mistake…it was meant to be.’