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Odin Roark

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Books by Odin Roark
Counting Backwards
By Odin Roark
Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Last edited: Tuesday, August 14, 2012
This short story is rated "PG" by the Author.
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Recent stories by Odin Roark
· Cave Cracks
· Bubble Choices
· Like No Other
· Surreal Dummy--Still Here
· IT
· Faux Companion
· Take Me, I'm Free (Flash Fiction)
           >> View all 49
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.


Reader Reviews for "Counting Backwards"

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Reviewed by Diana Legun (Reader)
This rings of hollowness and disillusionment of a character loveable for the 'wanderment' of innocence unrequited. It does hold an entire story with a satisfying end. Materializing the silver spoon symbol carries weighty significance. The searching this character plays out feels more like a dragging of lost feet, rather than any frantic 'effort'; and the dragging feet create huge human saddness, liking the rain-drenched streets. This: "Didn't give me anyplace to plant my feet. Had to know who you were to do that." That line gets the yellow highlighter from me. Excellent. ~~ Diana
Reviewed by Ronald Hull
Very imaginative. I should have seen it coming...

Reviewed by Jerry Bolton
I envisioned a black and white western movie and the man a wandering cowboy, the windless watermill with a dust storm on the horizon. I got a lot out of this one, fool that I am.

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