The Man Crossing Lombard Street…

FLASH FICTION FRIDAY PROMPT

Write a 750ish words or less story based upon the photograph and tanka of the man crossing Lombard Street.

The Man Crossing Lombard Street

Who is he, that man,
Crossing Lombard Street alone?
Who is he, that man,

Head down and looking forlorn?
Just who is that lonely man?


This may explain things a bit.
Submissions close at 7pmish.
Selection announced sometime thereafter.
No comments other than submissions for the prompts please. All comments welcome for the selection when published, however.
Please “Like” those you like.

It should be noted that, as stated on the Disclaimer page and the Relating to Humans guidelines, a “Like” by me does not necessarily mean I like or endorse a submitted work. My “Like” is foremost intended as a means of acknowledging a submission; though chances are pretty good I may like it, as well.

 
 

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3 Replies to “The Man Crossing Lombard Street…”

  1. “People oughta mind their own business, I say.” Henry raised a curled fist to his mouth and coughed into it.

    “What people, Mr. Schmoll?”

    “Them. Those people.”

    “I see. Can you take a deep breath for me?”

    Henry wheezed and brought up a rattling breath. Dr. Redmond tipped her head, listening. Congestion, for sure. But there was something strange in there. “How long have you had that cough, Mr. Schmoll?”

    “Aw. I dunno.” He heaved and cleared his throat. “Awhile. That ain’t why I’m here. It’s the internet people. They’re bugging me.”

    Dr. Redmond pulled back and eyed him. “What internet people?”

    “The people! All the people, watching me. Writing stuff down. All the way down Lombard. Watching me. Goddamn people. They oughta mind their own business.”

    “I see. And how long has this been the case?”

    “Aw jeez. Aw jeez.” Henry shook one leg, pounded a fist on it. “Goddamn. Someone just wrote me a war injury. I wasn’t even in the war.”

    The doctor took another step back. “Someone wrote you a war injury?”

    “They say I live alone! I don’t live alone. I got family.”

    The doctor backed to the door and reached back for the knob. “Mr. Schmoll, I’m going to consult another physician on this. Can you just sit tight until I’m back?”

    Henry blanched and curled an arm around his stomach. “Okay then. But hurry. Someone just wrote me a bad case of indigestion. If you don’t hurry up, those goddamn people gonna write me to my grave.”

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Holy Shit, Robin…are you there? I told you and that weirdo with the S (shit for brains) across his chest…I told you both, get out of the f-cking phone booth! They are a bunch of upright uptight little buildings designed for poking the super Hero. They no longer are being used to call those 800 #’s!
    Don’t you two get it! There is no such thing as BAM and kryptonite and old men running around in tights with young men in even tighter tights. That was all a practical joke made up by some dude living in his mother’s basement.
    For Christ’s sake…Robin, get down here and call me I cab…Isn’t that why I pay you? Sometimes you are such a boytoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aside from the rain and fog, there were absolutely no similarities between Liverpool and San Francisco. The old man’s new home was a bustling, vibrant city, buzzing with activity. The tech boom filled the streets with smiling young professionals. He knew he had made the right decision.

    He usually took his daily walk around lunch time. There he would encounter the platoons of tech workers returning from their restaurants, their company ID badges proudly swinging from the lanyards around their necks. They seemed so bright and friendly. Always laughing and smiling. As they passed, he was so encouraged by the friendliness of the young professionals.

    Soon, as he would see the familiar faces, he would offer a smile. And the old man was delighted when they’d look up from their jargon-filled conversations to smile back. One or two would offer up a, “Hello!”

    The old man thought back to his life in Liverpool. Nobody would smile. Everybody would walk, head-down, stiff upper lip, no connection. After her funeral, he vowed he wouldn’t end up the same. So he left for the States and a new life.

    He loved his new home. Everyone seemed so alive. The people were open. He really felt like he belonged.

    So on his walks, he grew bolder. He would be the first to say hello. He would comment on the weather. He would attempt to initiate an actual conversation. He would make connections with people. He wouldn’t be lonely.

    But, the friendlier the old man became, the more withdrawn the young workers seemed to become. As soon as he got passed “Hello!”, the smiles on their faces would fade. Eventually, they stopped acknowledging him all together. The same groups he had always passed, now moved to the other side of the street. He suddenly realized that he was as lonely as ever.

    Earlier in the day than usual, he took one last walk. He went to the hardwear store, and purchased a length of rope.

    He was ready by lunch time. He stood on the chair, looking out his window at the hordes of tech workers. With the rope tight around his neck, Father McKenzie smiled and said his last words.

    “Ah look at all the lonely people.”

    And he stepped off the chair.

    Liked by 3 people

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