Chuck Wendig has a flash fiction challenge – not to write flash fiction (because that would be too easy) but to create a character, that possibly some of his other readers might want to ‘borrow’ for a future flash fiction contest. (Got all that? Me neither). Anyway, following is my attempt at this challenge:
I don’t know his name but he has the kind of face that you forget the second you turn away. Medium height, medium build – pale skin and eyes (green, maybe blue). Pure vanilla. No danger there. No heat. Totally blendable. In a crowd, he’s a ghost. Nobody sees him. Nobody seeks him out for friendship or advice. Air dressed in a human suit.
And so he’s free to do his work. Free to seek out the downcast and forgotten. The erasibles that society steps over, upon and around. The children whose mothers bond more with their cell phones than them. The husbands who serve only to provide credit cards and hold purses or shopping bags. The pets that nobody wants. The seniors whose families leave them in nursing homes or ‘communities’ and never visit.
While they sleep or cry or sit alone on a bench or stoop, he listens. To the words they dare not utter, the dreams hidden in their hearts, the tears they show no one, the pain that is daily living. And with a breath as soft as a summer breeze he sends all that pain into the ether and exchanges it with hope.
Where it goes from here is anybody’s guess but I hope there are superpowers involved.