Bad Timing

Reads: 373  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 4

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Contains swearing. Some people may find this distressing.

Cover image:

Bad Timing

She could see what was happening. The problem was that by the time it was visible, it was too late to stop. There was going to be one hell of a storm. It was one thing to cope, away from scrutiny, in private; even that could be almost unbearable. But here, with so many people around, all able to witness the melt-down, hear the forbidden words... honestly, all she wanted to do was run.

Desperately she tried to cause some distraction. “Look, Ed. How do you like that design?” She pointed to a sweatshirt with an elaborate Gothic design. It was going to be pricey, but if it would prevent the eruption, it would be worth every cent.

He didn’t even break his stare. Head pushed forward, lowered slightly, there was no mistaking the hatred in his eyes. His entire posture screamed aggression and people were definitely beginning to notice, to look their way. It was going to make things worse, for she knew exactly how he would respond to the scrutiny. He would hate the attention and he would feel trapped.

Ed, come on.” She gripped his arm, pulled on it.

Angrily, he shook himself free of her, took a step towards the guy that, up until that moment, had paid no attention to them at all. Now he looked up, frowned before recognition kicked in and his expression turned into a mocking jeer.

Well, look who it isn’t!” he said, and she could hear the taunting tone. “It’s messed-up-in-the-head Ed!”

The growl could be felt as much as heard. She silently begged someone to come forward, to help, knowing that should someone step forward they would become a target caught up in the rage too. She looked from Ed to the stranger, wanted so much to ask what the hell he thought he was doing. Did he have a clue of the fury he was about to unleash? She couldn’t say a word.

Quietly, Ed began to growl. “I want to kill you. I want to pull your fucking head off your shoulders and stamp on it... I want...”

Enough!” She pushed herself between the two young men, conscious that both of them dwarfed her; conscious, too, of all the eyes weighing up the situation. It would only be a matter of seconds before someone called the police. She’d been there before, knew too well how that would go. The phone calls, the doctors, the tranquillisers that would be prescribed to calm him down. The dosage would be high, knock-out level, and then there would be follow-up appointments.

Why did this have to happen? Here? Now? She had to stay calm, not show the level of fear and stress that she was feeling.

Get out of my way!” Ed approached her, seething hatred. “Get out of the way, you fucking stupid bitch!”

His fist connected with her shoulder, so hard that it caused instant numbness before the pain began. She did not even need to look to know a bruise was already forming. What had she been told? Never let him see that you are scared? She forced the pain to the back of her mind, turned towards the stranger.

He looked to be amused, rather than shocked. “Can’t you see what you are doing? Would you just go,” she hissed.

Fine, I’ll go. You should have him locked up, you know. He’s crazy.” He lifted his hand, waved. “Bye, Eddie.”

With a roar Ed launched himself and she flung herself upwards, crashing in to him, deflecting his forward momentum. She wanted to scream after the retreating figure that he and his friends were responsible for the rage. Years and years of bullying had resulted in a situation she could barely handle.

But she would handle it. She had no other choice.

Ed stopped advancing, stood with his hands on his thighs breathing heavily. The guilt would kick in soon, the tears; she would not let that happen in front of the crowd, none of them even bothering to hide their incredulity.

Taking a breath, she grabbed Ed’s arm, turned him towards the sweatshirt. She talked and talked, saying anything that popped in to her head. The pain did not matter, she’d deal with it later, but she would not let him break down completely in front of a bunch of strangers.

Submitted: September 14, 2019

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Mike S.

A fine tale, Hull!

Sat, September 14th, 2019 7:44pm


Thanks, Mike.

Sat, September 14th, 2019 1:13pm

Vance Currie

A powerfully disturbing story, Hully.

Sat, September 14th, 2019 11:44pm


Thanks, Joe.

Sun, September 15th, 2019 2:19am


Really good story! I believed in Ed. And your heroine showed determination and skill.

So here's my thought. The story has a cyclical structure: at the end we are back at the beginning.

No fundamentals have truly been resolved.

We could imagine a hopeful spiral rather than a flat circle, a breaking out of the trap. In this story, I wonder what such a resolution would look like?

Sun, September 15th, 2019 8:43am


Now here's the problem, Adam. I simply cannot see any way to break out of a cycle such as this. Too often I've believed in them, that they've been found, only to be proved wrong. There's a 'different' one in the possibility stage of my mind... if it works out, I might revisit the story-line. For now, I'm moving on... it's getting close to Halloween and that always seems to bring with it some new inspiration!
Thanks so much. You have no idea how much I've appreciated all this.

Sun, September 15th, 2019 2:17am

Sue Harris

A very powerful and poignant story, Hully. I fear there are elements in this that are not entirely fiction. Extremely well written!

Sun, September 15th, 2019 9:11pm


Let's just say I had a lot of inspiration. Thanks, Sue.

Mon, September 16th, 2019 12:52pm

Facebook Comments

More Flash Fiction Short Stories