Thursday, October 26, 2006

And now, for a little fiction.

I wrote the bulk of this at McDonalds, with a headache, and with little attention to grammar or spelling. Whee!

Hope it’s a fun read.


Hanna cradles her cup, letting the warm, sweet aroma from her non-fat double with whipped cream and a hint of cinnamon filling her lungs. She will eventually take a sip to convince herself that it was worth the three-forty nine, but she will probably let most of it go cold. Then at least, she thinks, she can say it’s gross to drink it cold, instead of buying gourmet coffee simply for the aromatherapy.

She glances at her watch, and then brings the cup closer to her lips, indulging on a taste of the whipped cream, and immediately feeling a twinge of guilt. Unconsciously, she puts her hand on her stomach, before realizing that the silly notion that it might settle there. No, usually those bad carbs end up somewhere you can’t see, she thought.

They end up somewhere you can’t see, like your butt or the back of your arms. At least for me, she sighs.

“Cause I’m a Picker, I’m a Grinner, I’m a Lover, and I’m a Sinner…
I play my music in the sunnnnnn…”

I keep forgetting to do that, thinks Hanna. Nothing like dating yourself by announcing your favorite song as your ringtone. Doesn’t Jay-Z have a new song out, she asks herself, trying to remember what Jay-Z looks like, but inaccurately recalling Ludacris in her mind.

Let it be Andy. Let it be Andy.


“Hi Mom. Happy Morning to you too.”

“No, Mom.”

“Just having some coffee…”

“No, just by myself. Per usual.”

“Actually, I prefer the isolation. Allows me to hear the other voices without all that interference you get from human interaction.”

“I’m joking, Mom. Stop crying.”

“All right, see you for dinner.”

“I know, I know. Men prefer pretty, not funny. Golden advice mom. Look, I’d better be going. Gotta get back to work.”

Hanna glances at her watch.

“Really, mom. I’ve got to go.”

Hanna puts her cell back into her purse, and looks around the room. She tries to single out the one person who might need it the most, but she also knows that she’s a tremendously bad judge of character. Smiles and good manners fool her, and she has to remind herself that a lot of good people hide under a mask of indifference and mild aggression. Thankfully, she seldom figures out what becomes of the chosen, though once she did see a man she had previously helped. He was standing in line at the local Safeway, berating an elderly checker who was too eager to apologize, perhaps excabating the situation.

Hanna flirted with the man afterward, disgusted with his behavior and believing that he didn’t deserve her help. It was to her shock when she found out later, that he was a local congressman whose childhood ailment finally caught up to him. She didn’t know that he had a family.

Hanna has thought about giving it all up – it was just too much responsibility for her to deal with, and the weight of the consequences were too much to bear. But she recognized that her gift, a burden as it was, could save humanity. Not humanity as a whole, of course, but she could help restore faith in people, one by one. That good things can happen. Miracles can happen.

God, I’m corny, Hanna scoffs to herself. Just get it over with.

Suddenly, she realizes that the little tidbits of conversation she’s been overhearing in the next booth meant something. This was Hanna’s lucky day. The answer just presented himself in front of her.

“How old is he?” asks Hanna.

“He’s two,” answers the Mother, without looking up from her book.

“Cute kid. I like your glasses, buddy,” Hanna says, placing her hand squarely on his face. The Mother is ready to protest, but Hanna has already walked away with an odd smirk on her face.


The anxious Mother holds her son close, whispering consolations to him that he cannot hear through his own sobs. She tries to convince herself that it’s nothing. A viral infection. Maybe a bug. But nothing serious.
The doctor walks in, studying his chart, a curled brow perhaps too much of a giveaway.

“How long has your son felt this way, M’am?”

“I don’t know. Sometime this morning after breakfast, he just started crying and I haven’t been able to calm him down since. What’s wrong with my son, doctor?”

“I’m not sure. We can draw some blood and run tests, but I just like to rule out the obvious… Hi, Little Man.”

The little boy continues sobbing.

“Can I ask you where you owie is?”

“Honey,” the mother whispers, “Can you show the doctor where your owie is?”

The little boy points to his head in between breaths.

“Is there something you’re not telling me, doctor? Please, just tell me if there’s something you can fix and…”

The doctor holds up a finger, then slowly reaches for the boy’s glasses. He folds them and places them beside him.

“Let’s try that for a while, okay?”

“Doctor, he needs that for the strabismus, I’ve been told to leave them on him.”

“He looks fine to me. His eyes are looking right into mine.”

The mother holds up his boy and looks into his eyes.

“But… What happened to your eyes, Henry? What…”

“The glasses. They’re giving him a headache. He doesn’t need them.”

“But how?”

“I’m just a doctor, M’am. Let me know if his owie comes back.”

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