Friday Drabble: Grate

drabble is a very short story of exactly 100 words. Feel free to join in and write your own drabbles on Fridays and tag them with “friday drabble” and on Twitter with the hashtag #fridaydrabble.

Grate

The man didn’t move as beneath him the subway exhaled its rotten-egg breath of cooling vapor. Mallory walked on waving her hand before her, holding her breath.

The man on the sidewalk didn’t look as Teresa and Carla kept talking, but veered in tandem to avoid his outstretched legs, the reek of his ragged clothes.

The homeless man on the sidewalk didn’t react as an ear-budded Justin absently stumbled over his foot, getting a clipped “Sorry…” with no glance back. Or down.

There but no longer there, the homeless man on the sidewalk by the grate waited to be found.

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16 thoughts on “Friday Drabble: Grate

  1. This reminds me a lot of another short story I read years ago, except it was written as horror. A homeless man, with neither family nor friends, literally becomes invisible and eventually turns into a ghost. He then haunts the city’s streets along with the other invisible people who have been forgotten. Your story saddens me, however.

    • HG — this story saddened me too. It came from when I used to work in Philadelphia and would pass homeless on the streets on the walk to and from the train station. After a while, you just didn’t see them.

    • Lauri — good call. When it was coming together, I originally had him dead and no one noticing. I changed the last lines to make it more ambiguous — though it could still be read either way, I think.

  2. This is really good. Kind of a downer, but pretty relevant to the way things are.

    Lauri is obviously mistaking you for me. I’m the one who writes sick, twisted, and violent stuff, lol. Yours are always more thought provoking.

  3. So many memories were evoked from this drabble. We started feeding the homeless in a park many years ago – this led to opening a rescue mission over 10 years ago. I took this video on youtube in 2007. Although we are retired – the Bread of Life Rescue Mission continues to feed thousands on site and in outreaches. Some are not homeless, some low income or seniors – from babies on up. The meals are nightly and the 50 bed winter shelter is always full.

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