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Short story: <i>Eight Thirty Five AM</i>

I keep my head down as I walk along, and it feels like I'm in a black and white movie, travelling lack-lustrely in the same direction as everyone else on the street as though we are a dull shoal of fish in blacks and greys.

The rules are thusly:

Dress in moderation. No bright colours.

Try not to inhale the personal hygiene of others.

If you wish to speak, do so in mutters to your closest companions.

Look down, keep your hands in your pockets, and try not to think about where you're trudging to.

Suddenly, a frizz of bright hair and bushy red beard bobs against the tide, pushing up against the press of grey-blacks. A fuscia and orange shirt flaps open, revealing a proud and fuzzy chest swarming in grime and lean muscle. A pair of eyes dart brightly, staring deeply in to the crowd. A pair of hands raise, trembling, and the whole ensemble starts shaking and dancing and swooping and whooping through the grey people, swimming up stream, making joyous afirmations as the overcast sky parts for a dazzle of blue.

I turn my head after him wistfully, but quickly look back after being chastised by the sober grey me behind me and beside me.

Another day at the office.

This is the result of a fifteen minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were speak, affirm, hygiene, shoal, and moderation.

Image courtesy of Bill Meyring.

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