Not I

Free Read – Flash Fiction:

Crowds bother me. The press of bodies eager to reach their destinations and the accompanying frustrated energy doesn’t help, but worse than the wall of chests and backs is the random searching touch snuck in knowing they couldn’t get caught. Four more arms to protect myself would be welcome and better than an extra length of height. Though I wouldn’t turn down a dozen or so more centimeters of height, then I might be able to see where I’m going. The stall should be over here somewhere.

“You,” a voice growls from behind and a vise like grip embraces my upper arm and pushes. I try to look at who’s forcing me through the mass of bodies, but it’s impossible. There’s no choice, if I don’t move my feet I’ll trip. Surprise makes way for the indignity sparking at my core. I dislike being handled more than anything.

“After all of this time, you’re alive?” he asks and spins me around. We’re in a narrow passageway between buildings where the light can’t quite reach, and his hood isn’t helping.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Who are you?” I try to pull away but he pushes my back against a crumbling plaster wall. He throws his other hand against the building blocking me from scooting further into the alley. My pulse quickens as the worst thoughts flood my mind. Is this a ploy for him to do the unthinkable? I need to get away somehow.

He removes his hand from the wall only long enough to push his hood back sending light across his face. A twinge of recognition courses through me, kind eyes hide beneath furrowed brows and shadows, lips press in a thin line. Nice features, like so many others. No specific familiarity erupts, no memories spring forth. I have no clue to his identity nor why he should recognize me.

“Sorry, I think you have the wrong person.”

“No. It’s you. Don’t you remember? We were kids, so much has happened since then. Your face is the same though.” His expression softens.

Squinting draws up no images of what he might have looked like years ago. But then, there’s so much I can’t remember from back then. Everything’s been so fuzzy since that night.

His grip on my forearm tightens and he tosses his head back into the thick hood before looking back to the shoppers. I’m not sure if he’s able to see around the fabric to whatever had caught his attention, but he turns back with a sense of urgency. His eyes dart back and forth as though memorizing my face in fine detail. “I have to go, they’re coming. But it is you, I’m sure of it and now that I know you’re alive, I’ll find you again.”

Quick as a lightning strike he presses his lips on mine, and then returns to the crowd.

I’m left standing in the dim passageway with my pulse in my throat and totally confused.

The prompt is out of 3 A.M Epiphany by Brian Kiteley.

#79: MISTAKEN IDENTITY. Write a fragment of a story in which the first person narrator is mistaken for someone else by a stranger. 500 words


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