Eh, fuck it, I might as well dump a couple pieces of quick microfiction I did for a fiction writing class last year. Uh, enjoy!
The collective vibration of the congregantsâEUTM low singing voices rumbled through every seat packed into the synagogueâEUTMs sanctuary. Hannah was part of the melodic thumping of the ancient heartbeat of her people, on its holiest of holy days, and it bored the shit out of her. She winced with a mild, automatic pang of guilt for cursing in Temple, even if it was only in her head. Her stomach growled. âEUoeHow much time is left?âEU she murmured. Her mother mouthed âEUoenot much longerâEU and turned back to her prayer book. Hannah slumped back in her seat and tried to think of what else she could do to pass the time. She had already spent what seemed like countless hours playing with the veins on the back of her motherâEUTMs hand, drumming on the arms of her chair, counting the panels on the floor, pretending to go to the bathroom and wandering around the buildingâEUTMs perimeters, staring at the fascinating and grotesque flapping jowls of the old man sitting in the row in front of her, and listening to several teenagers receive sharp whispers for trying and failing to stealthily peek at their phones. In a moment of true desperation, she had even briefly tried to follow along with the service. But now, with âEUoenot much longerâEU to go, Hannah was out of ideas. All she could do was look up at the sunlight coming in through the high windows, wondering what all the Christian kids were doing on their day off from school and what they were eating for lunch.
- - - - - - - -
The early afternoon sun cast a tired, half-hearted trickle of light through the blinds of PeteâEUTMs bedroom window, almost as though it, too, were hung over. After mentally steeling himself for several seconds, he managed to slide out of bed and stumble over to the closet, where he groggily put on the first t-shirt and pair of jeans he saw. PeteâEUTMs mind, still weighed down by sleepiness, went into a sort of tunnel vision where all ideas and plans for the day evaporated the second he thought of them, leaving only a single word that pounded at the back of his skull: âEUoecoffee.âEU He threw on a coat and plodded out into the street.
As he rounded the final corner on his arduous journey, PeteâEUTMs awareness of the world around him was so muted and his head drooped so low that he barely even noticed the young woman eagerly bouncing back and forth between dispassionate passersby, waving a clipboard in their faces. A permanent smile was plastered onto her face, the kind that teeters uneasily between fake and genuine. Not a single person she approached so much as made eye contact with her, but her enthusiasm and energy never seemed to waver. She had been out there for hours. When Pete suddenly noticed her zipping towards him, he became so overwhelmed by this new obstacle to his mission that he made the deadly mistake of stopping in the middle of the sidewalk.
âEUoeHi, would you like to sign a petition to-âEUoe The rest of her spiel trailed off into unintelligible noise as Pete desperately searched for an avenue of escape. Wherever he turned, she appeared, rattling off her chirpy gibberish at a constant clip.
âEUoePlease. ItâEUTMll only take a second of your time, plus-âEUoe Pete could see the coffee shop down the street behind her head. He could give her an emphatic yet polite âEUoeno thank youâEU and walk away, but he couldnâEUTMt muster up the will for that, and she would never let him finish a sentence anyway. He could try to sneak around her, but she was faster than him. With a heavy sigh of resignation, Pete took the pen out of her hand and scribbled his name on the clipboard without even looking. Despite this being her first success on a long and unforgiving day, her expression and demeanor did not change one bit.
âEUoeThank you so much, you have no idea how much youâEUTMre helping.âEU
âEUoeThatâEUTMs true,âEU he mumbled, and shuffled past her, defeated yet relieved.