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  Home > Literary Fiction > Stories > Counting Backwards
Literary Fiction Stories
1. Closed
2. 8 Times Lydia
3. Bubble Choices
4. Beer Neck Flower
5. IT
6. Dream-Blisters
7. Final Sky, Chapter 5
8. Hunger Pangs
9. Counting Backwards
10. Take Me, I'm Free (Flash Fiction)
11. The Messenger
12. Bui Doi (The dust of life)
13. Final Sky, sample chapters
14. The Walls Come a'Tumblin'
15. What Lies Within
16. Fortune and Men's Eyes
17. The Nap
18. Italian Tale
19. Iron Roses 31
20. The Predator

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Recent stories by
Odin Roark


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Counting Backwards!
By Odin Roark   

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Sometimes the best way to express long distance journeys is to compress the traveling into bite size passages. Thus, some flash fiction experimenting.

Counting Backwards

He was told he'd been born
with a lifetime pass,
never having to deal with obstacles.
"Born with a silver spoon,"
they said.

not thinking much of himself,
he bought one,
a silver spoon, that is.
Carried it in his pocket
like a spare button,
just in case
anybody asked,
anybody needed convincing he was special
He had the evidence in his trousers.

"That's what happens,"
he told me,
"when your daddy says
you're rich
and you wonder...
what's rich, really?"


He wandered a lot,
horizon to horizon,
fingering his spoon,
sitting in dark theatres,
horror movies mostly.
There were lots of all night cafes,
smoky barrooms,
pool halls,
always waiting
for cloud bursts,
lightning flashes,
that next pin prick
to usher in the next journey.
"Loved walkin' the rain-slicked streets,"
he said.

Says he led an unremarkable existence.
"Friends were like shadows in dreams,"
he told me
"Always fleeting movements.
Didn't give me anyplace to plant my feet.
Had to know who you were
to do that,"
he said.

Years passed
"All aboard" became his favorite sound
as he frequented many "nameless stations,"
he said.


One day a beautiful woman kissed him and said,
"This is it.  Here's where your destiny ends.
You can part with your spoon.  I'll use it well."


Fool he believed he was,
gave her the spoon,
got off on a platform that was empty.
Only life was the sound of an old water tower windmill
somewhere in the distance,
turning weakly,
squeaking atop its creaking foundation.
"But there was no wind" he said.

 "That's okay," I said.  "Probably just the calm before your rain comes.
Can we count backwards now?"

He paused.
His eyes stayed closed.
The couch was comfortable... finally.
His smile was genuine... finally.
There was progress... finally.


The orderly helped him back to his room.
It was coming up dinner time.

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Recent Short Stories by this author.     All Short Stories by this author
  • Pockets (Saturday, August 22, 2015)
  • Poetic Injustice (Tuesday, August 18, 2015)
  • Letter To Friends (Saturday, August 08, 2015)
  • Cave Cracks (Tuesday, July 21, 2015)
  • Bubble Choices (Thursday, May 21, 2015)
  • Surreal Dummy--Still Here (Monday, March 23, 2015)
  • IT (Monday, January 26, 2015)
  • Faux Companion (Monday, January 19, 2015)

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