The new resident, Brian, backed through the breakroom doors with his arms held out in front of him, bent up at the elbows like a surgeon. Like all of us, now. He didn’t notice me as he went straight to the sink, tapped the footplate for hot water, collected some soap, and began scrubbing.
I waited until he was done before speaking. “Take a load off, Brian.”
He put on fresh gloves, made some coffee in the Keurig, snagged a chair with his foot, then lowered his mask to sip the bitter brew.
“How long you been on?” I asked.
He squinted at the wall clock. “Comin’ up on forty hours. You?”
“Almost the same, but I just had a four-hour nap in my car, so it’s all good.”
Brian shook his head. “I didn’t sign up for this.”
The evaluation form for the GentleApril20 flash fiction contest is now up! Thirty-one stories and nine categories, for each of which you can nominate up to three stories. Plus the usual feedback page, which as an author I can assure you is at least as important.
You have until May 24 to read the stories and fill out the evaluation.
So, when I got up this morning, I had written 680 words of my story for GentleApril20, the deadline for submission to which being, um, tonight. I just finished editing and submitting it. I actually feel pretty good about this, because I had a firm idea of what I wanted to do before April even started, and this was one of many month-end deadlines I was able to juggle, pandemic nonwithstanding.
It was fun to write, and I hope you like it. Great success!
It was Tracy’s freshman year, riding a soccer scholarship from her small exurban high school to the big state university. Trying to find her place in the throng, she saw no reason why she—a short, muscular girl with no impressive social connections—shouldn’t join a sorority. Erring against the side of caution had served her well so far, and she wasn’t afraid of picking up a few new scars.
She rushed three houses, but she felt the deepest affinity for Gamma Gamma Gamma. Their rush dinner was hosted by Kristina, a tall Korean-American woman with long rich brown hair and proud cheekbones. All the Tri-Gams were confident and welcoming, and they seemed quite diverse in their backgrounds and ambitions. Kristina showed more than a polite interest in Tracy’s stories, talking with her long after the other rushees had left. There was a resourcefulness to Kristina’s smile that Tracy wanted to get closer to.