Flash Fiction: Crumbling - BlueAnteater.com

Flash Fiction: Crumbling

“Remember, there are cookies waiting here for you.”
― Dean Koontz, Deeply Odd

Ann hadn’t seen Lucas in a while.

After the day of the drug test, he had just . . . disappeared.

Her manager, Derek, came around to Ann’s desk to ask if she’d seen him.

“No,” Ann said, a tinge of worry stealing into her gut again.

Derek gave an annoyed grunt. “He better be delirious with the flu or something.”

“Well, I mean, maybe, because he was eating these cookies, they were on his desk every day . . . ” Ann trailed off. Even to her, the words sounded ridiculous.

After giving her a strange look, Derek went back to his office.

* * * * * * * * * *

The next day, Ann came into work, and Lucas’s cubicle was entirely clean: no papers, no photos, no sign reading, “THIS IS THE DESK OF LUCAS RODRIGUEZ. PLEASE STOP STEALING MY PENS. THANK YOU”.

She went to Derek. “What happened to Lucas?”

The older man shrugged. “No idea. Just got a call from corporate that he’s no longer an employee. Like he quit or something.”

A terrible thought brushed the back of Ann’s mind, and she quickly went back to her desk.

She had Lucas’s number, though they hadn’t — didn’t — really talk outside of work. She’d called a few times since his disappearance, but they’d all gone to voicemail.

“Hello, you’ve reached the phone of —”

She tried five more times, then finally tossed her phone aside.

* * * * * * * * * *

By the next day, the entire office knew that Lucas was gone for good, and other friends expressed their concerns to Ann.

“It’s not like him to do something like that.”

“He hasn’t been going to D&D either.”

“Man, I’m gonna miss the guy, he knew the best puns.”

“Maybe he hasn’t quit, maybe he’s — ”

And then Ann would cut them off, saying she had to get back to work.

* * * * * * * * * *

The days went on, and a new person came to sit in Lucas’s cubicle, an older woman who was decidedly un-peppy and did not appreciate Ann’s choices in hair ribbons, the color of her clothes, the way she talked — Ann in general, basically.

Ann tried to stay her usual positive self about the whole situation, and if she was being honest with herself, Lucas hadn’t exactly been a close friend. If he really had quit, then good for him — maybe he had found a better job.

But she was still bothered. The circumstances around his disappearance were so . . . weird. After being tested for drugs, after there had been no cookie on his desk (just this box that Ann had desperately wanted to open but restrained herself), and there being no answers to anyone’s calls, totally disappearing off Facebook and from friends . . .

Ann stopped typing.

There really was no point in further denying it.

Lucas was dead.

She let the thought turn into realization, and then acceptance. Then she went to the bathroom to cry.

* * * * * * * * * *

The next day, there was a cookie on her desk.

She stared at it.

It looked to be chocolate chip, the same kind as Lucas’s very first one all those months ago.

Ann picked it up, looked it over, smelled it . . .

. . . and then threw it in the trash can.

 


 

Slight apologies for . . . well, a couple things! First, I’m afraid this story probably won’t make much sense on its own; it’s a continuation of sorts from this story that I wrote almost a year ago. This week’s prompt was really difficult for me, and for some reason, thinking about that story sparked a sliver of inspiration, so I just grabbed it and banged this out. Second, slightly connected to the first, my apologies for not having any stories or hardly any content at all, really, up for a while. Work developments have kept me very busy, and when I do have free time, I haven’t been motivated to do anything creative. I’m hoping that now that summer is here, I’ll be able to sort of reboot and get organized and finish a few ideas and projects and such. And there won’t be any book reviews this month, but that’s because, to shake things up, I’m going to be reading nothing but non-fiction, and I don’t like to review non-fiction because it’s hard to, y’know, critique facts and reality. But yeah, HOORAY FOR SUMMER!! XD

The prompt came from Yeah Write, which is doing a year-long short story challenge for 2016! I’m a bit late to the party, so this is Week 13’s prompt. You can read all about the challenge HERE!

“cookie” by Avacados is licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0.

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One thought on “Flash Fiction: Crumbling

  1. If you enjoy flash fiction and stuff like this maybe check out our writing experiment going on with one Author typing 500 words and passing it to the next author and so on. Easily accessible

    Liked by 1 person

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