Short Stories

The Countdown – Fiction

This is an entry for the July Month-o-Minis contest at Brigit’s Flame. Prompt was glitch
Word count:  less than 349

Constructive criticism is always welcome!


Four years, eleven months, and twenty days
since my life has been on pause.
Seven days until I can push play
I’m not sure I’ll make it.
The other prisoners know it’s coming,
and they’re doing their best to provoke me into a fight
“Stealing my time” they call it.
If I fight them, I’ll be punished
put into solitary confinement
and my seven days will be replaced with months.

Four years, eleven months, and twenty-one days
I’ve made it this far, I can make it six more days, right?
“What are you looking at, bitch?”
everyone seems to ask at every turn
No one is supposed to walk away from that word
I’m meant to fight them and show them that I am a man
but I’ll forfeit my time.

Four years, eleven months, and twenty-two days
since my life was stolen
A year since my girlfriend took our kids, sold the house,
and moved in with her new boyfriend
so there’s nothing left once I leave here
There’s no one waiting for me at home
no home to even speak of

Four years, eleven months, and twenty-three days
they’ve been asking me “What will you do when you leave here?”
and I promise never to steal again
even though I’ve never stolen before

Four years, eleven months, and twenty-four days
when my attorney finally tells me that the courts know I’m innocent
“A computer glitch or human error” he says
“We’re sorry” “so sorry” “oops”
Apologies left and right as if each sorry could remove a day

Four years, eleven months, and twenty-five days
when they give me my things from day one
I barely remember the clothes I wore here
but I see the stain on my shirt and
recall the ice cream my daughter spilled on me
as we walked through the park.
I remember her laughter.
She’s not waiting for me at home
No one is.

Four years, eleven months, and twenty-five days
for this?


If you enjoyed this story, consider voting for it and the other entries at Brigit’s Flame starting on Monday, July 27th.

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10 thoughts on “The Countdown – Fiction

  1. Now I am starting to have my doubts 😀
    I can’t decide whether ‘doll’ is better or this one 😀
    You have put me in so much trouble 🙂

    I have shared it to twitter, google plus and Facebook.
    Forgot to share the dolls 🙂 would do now 🙂
    Anand

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