Hello, Blogosphere, and good morning.
It’s that time of year again–it’s Voice Week!
Essentially what that means is, every day until Friday, I’ll be posting a short little flash-fiction piece centered around the same scene–as told by five different Voices.
This year, I’ll be using the beginning pages to my new novel as my testing bed–I posted the original piece, below, some time ago, but as a tool to better understand the book on my end I’m going to re-write from varying angles to understand more about my characters.
**NOTE: The rules officially state that the piece should be around 100 words. This is not the case. However, because of this I will bear people from other sites NO ILL WILL if they choose not to read as a result. That’s absolutely fine, I understand completely. However, I do need to irk Jubilare a bit ;) I will post the word count before beginning each piece.
So without further Ado or Adon’t, here’s the third piece to this week’s saga, told through the eyes of Martin the Correctional Officer.
Word Count: 482
* * * * *
He tossed the wrapper into the garbage can, the twinge of pride from his seven-foot free throw quickly replaced by the realization that this, of all things, was what he was proud of.
The chair creaked as he leaned back, raising his feet up onto the round table. He reached forward and brushed away loose bits of paper, settling into a particularly wide burger.
Dirk stirred from his desk, raising his head and pulling at tousled hair. He nodded. “Martin. Didn’t hear you come in.”
“Yeah, guess not,” Martin said. He pulled at the buttons of the uniform, struggling to pop open the first two. “No trouble today? Nothing bad?”
“Don’t get me started,” he said, rubbing at his eyes. He stood, pressing into the small of his back. “Walked in on one girl trying to kill herself with her bedsheets. Had to stay with another one for an hour, she’d put up a fit whenever I got up to leave. You have it easy, man.”
“I don’t see what they’re getting so anxious about. They’ll die anyway, once they get down there. Might as well enjoy being Topside for a bit longer.”
“Poor kids,” Dirk said. “Wouldn’t want to be ‘em.”
Martin nodded, took another bite from the burger, tried to speak, tried again. “Yeah, I had this one kid in the Delivery Room. Boy, bigger than I was. Ponytail and whatever, you know. The works. Looked like he’d seen stuff, you know?”
“Trying to be a tough?”
“No, that was the strange part. Kid didn’t ask for the stripper or whatever, no television, nothing like that. Just his sister.”
“Cute,” Dirk said, smiling a bit. “Dammit, I’d hate to send a kid like that into the Cave.”
“Well…it was nice, yeah. But those two…they looked like they could’ve busted out if they wanted to. I wouldn’t have been able to do anything.”
“And they just went?”
“Yeah. The brother went. Sister started cursing me out, when he left. Said we’d never helped them before, only tried to beat them down. Acted like I was a cop, you know the type.”
“Hate it when they think that.”
“You know, if I had a nickel for every time you’d said that–“
“It’s true, though. I’m not a cop, man,” Dirk said, leaning far back in his chair. “I’m here with the kids for a reason.”
“I’m the last person you want to justify that with.”
“Yeah, fair enough. I just…I want them to be safe, you know?”
Martin laughed, finishing the last bit of burger. “I said that, to the brother. Told him to be safe. Sister reamed me for it after he left…but I think he probably took it better. I couldn’t imagine being where he is now.”
“Yeah.” Dirk pulled back his sleeve, fiddled with his watch. “Dammit, break ended five minutes ago.”
They shrugged and stood, and went back to the cells and the lost children inside them.
* * * * *
So that’s today’s post! Comment below and let me know what you thought–I’ll be sure to do the same for yours!
May you remain existential,