Flashy Fiction Prompt for November 19 – Here Comes the Sun

I’ve been checking out the Flashy Fiction blog for a while now, and one of their prompts struck a chord with me yesterday.

The post Here Comes the Sun asks readers to post about commuting on a sunny morning. Inspiration hit me, and I ended up with 800+ words about driving on 2 different mornings, with a 3rd one entering the narrative at the very end. It’s just slice-of-life, really, and an experiment in jumping between different threads in a story.

Here’s what I came up with:

Monday

I clench my eyes shut, trading the glare for an angry green blotch on my retina. My eyes slowly open, focus returns. Green LCD proclaims 7:15 from the dashboard. So much for getting out before 7.

Tuesday

The light flicks off with the slam of the door. My teeth chatter as the engine fires into life. A small smile finds me as a ray pokes through the grey horizon ahead. I check the clock. 6:40. I ought to get a good parking space today.

Monday

A convoy of cement mixers and dump trucks crawls ahead of me. The turn signal clicks away as my eyes scan the left lane and the unbroken stream of cars in the mirror. I drum my fingers on the wheel, curse under my breath, turn up the radio. Something heavy and fast drives through the speakers, electric guitar blaring. Good music for racing. Too bad I’m moving slower than I jog.

Tuesday

I’m singing with the raucous chorus of metal blaring through my speakers. I even have the singer’s slight southern twang as I mimic his rough voice. I veer to the right just as the tunnel opens, avoiding the truck crawling in the left of the darkness. I quickly pass through the dark, and sunlight greets the corner of my eye. I take the downward twist of the off ramp, speedometer hovering just upward of the recommended limit. I grin stupidly at the tug of centripetal force. Or is it centrifugal? Damn science classes. I let out an audible giggle as the car rights itself. Only a couple of blocks now. I smile into the sun’s light, absentmindedly pulling down the blind above my forehead.

Monday

Morning sun bathes asphalt at the end of the tunnel ahead. My knuckles whiten around the steering wheel. I just had to get into the left lane, didn’t I? The brightness grows, resolving the greys and blacks of the cars consuming the right lane. I emerge into light, slowing even as the freight truck behind me eats the inches between us. No space opens in the tight crawl to my right. A klaxon cuts across the morning as the truck brakes, a hairsbreadth short of plowing into my car. More angry horns blare as I stifle the morning’s flow. I glare over at the right lane exit. If I leapt from the car, I could cross that space in a few strides, run cackling with the sun at my back, and reach the office in a few short minutes.

Tuesday

The end spot, the closest to the door, is open before me. My car glides in, halting at last with a ratcheting of the handbrake. I’m still singing softly as I pull the keys out, grab my bag, and close the door.

In the wide, empty foyer, the elevator opens quickly. My reflection greets me in the mirror on its back wall, and I sing under my breath as I’m whisked upward.

Monday

I drag my car down into the depths. Passing by cars packed into tiny spaces, I come at last to two consecutive empty spaces. I back in sharply, the car shaking as the rear wheel hits the parking block.

I tear my keys from the ignition and snap up my bag. The slam of the door rebounds from concrete walls. I storm through the cold, sunless confines of the basement. I jab at the button next to the bare metal doors of the elevator. When it finally opens, I stand with the mirror to my back, glancing away from the miserable face I see there.

The office bustles. Blinds are drawn, allowing busy workers to clearly see everything on their monitors without competition from the sun. I nod in polite return to any who bother to greet me. I find my desk, and sit at last. I drag the laptop out, opening it. I turn a wistful glance to the light poking around the screen in front of the large window.

Tuesday

Sun pours in through the large window of the shared office. I bask in its warmth as my laptop faithfully wakes from its slumber. I sigh as the sound of the elevator door opens, signaling the impending end of this moment of serenity. A small group of co-workers filters in through the door, and I turn my relaxed smile in greeting.

Wednesday

I adjust the mirror, removing the glare of the sun behind my car. The clock reads 6:55. Good enough. Should be some spaces left above ground. I start the engine, and click on the radio. Here Comes the Sun. Thanks for that one, Mr. Harrison. A turn brings the sun’s light to the corner of my eye. Calm seeps through me as I softly sing along.

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