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November 16, 2015

Continuing with the Flash Fiction stories I wrote this year for the Writer Unboxed FF Contest (Round 4). Here’s one that didn’t win any awards. Enjoy the day, and please feel free to comment.
After Peters lugged the rooter out to the schoolyard drain, he cleared the debris from the grate, removed it, and pushed the cable down the drainpipe with the hope if everything went as planned, the snake would clear the line without a problem, and he could get to the dozen other maintenance jobs marked urgent on his list.
His mind drifted.
Had it been that long? He couldn’t help smiling, remembering Andrea’s face when she told him the ring fell down the bathroom sink.
He pulled the line back. His left knee acting up again. “Damn,” he said. “These drains.”
It’ll get easier, friends said. Give it time. To them, time was appointments and places to be and slots to fill. Peters saw time for what it was, a place without light.
“How’s it coming?”
Peters didn’t turn. Not Reynolds’ inquiries, not now.
“Listen,” said his supervisor. “Finish here and get that broken window by the teachers lounge fixed. If you can’t clear this, don’t waste time with it.”
Reynolds left.
The rooter cable caught. Peters jerked the line. “C’mon, dammit.”
Andrea had always said his temper matched his determination.
He yanked the line, sent it through again. Nothing. “C’mon, dammit.” He tried again. “C’mon.”
He explained elbow joints to her, but seeing he’d retrieved it, she never let him finish. “Needs a good cleaning,” he’d said, handing Andrea the smudged wedding ring.
The line clear, Peters coiled the cable, and crossing the schoolyard, sought that place of light.

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