By Kenny Kimberly
I’m not exactly overflowing with spare time over here, so I’ll try to make this quick. Recently, I noticed a girl from my classes around the campus. She’d be at another table at the cafeteria, another computer in the library, across the room in class, all that.
I never thought much of it. After all, why would it be strange to see a classmate around campus?
Then, I started to see her a few other places. The supermarket, the restaurant where I work, the park where I walk my dogs, and a few other places. That was a bit strange. I don’t normally see people around, as I live in a rather large city. Running into someone is a bit happenstance around here, as you see so many people and life goes so fast that you just miss each other.
The coffee shop. The bookstore. The diner. I saw her almost everywhere. She never came over and spoke, and she never even waved at me or acknowledged me. But every now and then, when I would see she was there, I would catch her looking away.
By now, I was incredibly unnerved, so I approached her in class. I asked if it was her that I’ve been seeing around so much, and she said yes with a smile. It was a strange thing, and it isn’t something that I can expect everyone to understand, but you could tell that she had been through hard times in her life. She had that look in her eye, a hollow look of defeat at the hands of what life had thrown at her.
Her name was Brittany, I learned. Pursuing a Criminal Justice major and getting a feel for the town. She said that was why we kept running into each other in public. She had just moved over from Arkansas to attend school here.
I didn’t really see her anywhere else until I saw her on the side of my bed at three in the morning with a hammer. After that, I saw the hammer come down, and then didn’t see anything until I woke up with a headache in a trunk. When I went to speak, I realized there was a gag in my mouth, and when I went to remove it I realized I was handcuffed.
When I woke up once more, I was in this room. Not furnished, save for a cot in the corner. She says that if I’m well-behaved, she’ll get me a mattress. After the first month she gave me a sheet. I’m still working on the pillow.
I’ve heard of Stockholm Syndrome, and I likely have that, but it isn’t bad here. Of course, I don’t know exactly where “here” is, and I’m sure my family misses me very much, but I’m okay. Brittany doesn’t hit me, except for that one time with the hammer, and she feeds me quite often. She only asks that I write her homework assignments for her.
Which is why I was short on time. This one is due in an hour, and if I don’t get it in then she’ll drop below an A, and then how will she get into medical school? Perhaps someday I’ll “escape,” but I’m perfectly fine here until then.
This is beautiful! No cliches, quite a few unexpected twists packed into a flash fiction. Keep up the great work, Kenny!
I suggest you find things to illustrate your stories; it always helps draw the reader to the page. best wishes. miles