At the Prospect

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Man waiting in a room

Submitted: November 30, 2011

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Submitted: November 30, 2011

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"Head for the door", someone screamed and a mad rush overcame the group. They forgot the camaraderie that had been almost forced upon them by the flagrant situation and ran for their lives.

Jim chuckled. He had counted on this reaction. "Fools!" he muttered and headed towards the back of the room. He was never in the favor of having a troop so divided - in spirit. If it was upto him, he would have handpicked the able bodied men from his old settlement and worked out a plan. But High Command had insisted that they needed numbers rather than head-strong men at this crucial hour.

He leaned against the wall and slowly reviewed the now empty room. His expression was saddened. He wanted to move but he was dejected. He knew this was coming all along and somehow it did not matter any more. He drew a cigar from his left pocket of his warm coat and scrummaged for the lighter in his right one. He had some time to savor this last bit of luxury and he was thoughtful as he drew his first drag.

He could hear the cries that filled the streets and they brought him back from his reverie. He moved briskly to extinguish the only lamp to his right. The room was draped in darkness. It could be a matter of minutes. They would come in and take him away. He could run out and expose himself to danger or stay in here and take a chance. He settled for the latter.

As he waited, his mind filled with the most trivial of affairs, he thought of why he had never learnt to dance. He knew he could not do that to save his life. He wished he had died last winter when he caught that bad case of influenza. That would have better than being arrested, now wouldn't it? May be they won't kill him after all. May be they will not even consider him to be important enough. He pondered laboriously as to why he should not die - he could not recall a clear reason to live. He had seen it all, done it all and forgotten none of it. But somehow living seemed harmless compared to being dead in sometime. What if he can kill himself now? He was not strong enough to do that - he smiled wryly. His state of mind seemed very casual as he slowly turned each thought around in his head and this seemed to please him greatly.

Death could only be the one thing he had not experienced and he might as well present himself to this latest opportunity.


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