Carbon Empathy

Today’s Flash Fiction comes to you thanks to two people: Chuck Wendig for the prompt, and JC Hemphill for the opening line.

The challenge was to choose an opening line from the submissions on the previous week’s prompt challenge (there were quite a number to choose from), and write a flash fiction piece of 1,000 words or so using that line as our opening line. So everything but the first line in today’s story is original by me. I’d really like to thank JC Hemphill for the excellent sentence and I hope a dozen people write flash fiction using it. There were a lot of good ones to choose from, but this one caught my fancy more than the others. So let’s get this party started, eh?

Carbon Empathy

by Rick Cook Jr.

“I met a man made of smoke today.”

I almost slammed on the brakes when my five-year-old son said that. As it was I practically drove off into a ditch less than two blocks from the school after his first day. The front tire bumped the curb, I over-corrected into oncoming traffic and my heart skipped a beat as we dodged a plumber’s van and righted us in our proper place.

“A man made of smoke?” I asked. We had run from one of them before, and I thought we’d given them the final slip.

“Yeah, he was walking around at recess talking to everybody, asking questions.”

I grabbed my cell phone and dialed home. “What kinds of questions, sport?” Continue reading