Lucky Twenty

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Today is the anniversary of my death and the universe shakes me from my slumber with a start. When the disorientation settles it dawns on me where I am, and what I’m about to do, again. I materialise into the body I had when alive and head down a familiar tree-lined street, bound for the corner shop. Sparrows fall silent as I shuffle under their rustling elm trees. The twenty-dollar note has returned to my clenched fist. The twenty is charmed with choice, I’ve understood this for a while, but I can’t as yet get control my hand to spend it.

This frustrates me to no end and, even though for this day I am a seen as a solid man with all human desires and senses reinstated, the stench of guilt eats at me. Years pass for the living and mobile phones transform from bricks to pebbles. And I am stuck to observe this for an eternity. Trapped by a stupid mortal mistake.

A northerly breeze warms my face and blowflies buzz in a symphony across my shoulders. At the traffic lights I round the corner and leave the side street behind. The main street bustles with weekend shoppers and doof doof music. The sky is a blanket of baby blue. I stretch my neck upward and savour the control, the movement a small freedom from my captor.

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Three Men in a Lift

‘Bloody hot, hey?’

‘What have you got to whinge about? You’re not in a suit.’

‘Good old boardies. Love ’em.’

‘I wish they’d fix the lift. Can the air conditioners reach in here?’

‘Jeez, I’m stuck in here with a couple of girls.’

‘I get claustrophobic. It’s a real condition. I could have a panic attack.’

‘Yeah, mate, didn’t you learn that at fancy suit school?’

‘Least I went to school.’

‘Burn, man. Heartless.’

‘My head hurts. Did the elevator just move? I need some air.’

‘Take it easy now, aren’t you supposed to visualise a safe place or something?’

‘My garage. I think about my garage. I restore old chairs you know. The smell of wood oil helps.’

‘There you go.’

‘You two want to get a room?’

‘You’re not helping. Negativity causes cancer you know.’

‘What a load of rubbish.’

‘Dear me, I think I might throw up.’

‘You better not.’

‘Come on now, take it easy, it wont be much longer.’

‘This is bullshit. I thought this building was new?’

‘It is.’

‘How the fuck would you know? You look like you haven’t worked a day in your life. Let alone stepped into an office.’

‘You’d be surprised, mate.’

‘Extremely surprised actually. Oh dear, I don’t think I should talk, the walls are spinning.’

‘Put you head between your knees. There you go, better?’

‘Mmmm.’

‘I don’t believe this. I’ve got places to be.’

‘Taking your suit for a walk then?’

‘None of your business.’

‘Have it your way.’

‘A job interview. Not that you’d know anything about it.’

‘Really, for what floor?’

‘Eleven.’

‘Interesting.’

‘What’s that stupid look for?’

‘Better leave him alone unless you want vomit for lunch.’

‘It’s alright, the nausea is easing. I wish this lift would move.’

‘Hang in there. So a job, hey?’

‘Like I said, it’s none of your business.’

‘It’s moving, it’s actually moving. It is, isn’t it?’

‘Sure is. Here give me your hand, the doors are opening.’

‘About fucking time.’

‘Mate, don’t bother getting out.’

‘Get stuffed.’

‘No, mate, job’s off the table.’

‘What the —?’

‘It’s my company, mate, and you’re not welcome.’

‘Oh, fresh office air, I feel so much better.’

‘Is this a joke?’

‘I guess they didn’t teach manners at fancy suit school. Don’t bother calling HR.’

‘Look, shit, I didn’t know. It was hot.’

‘Tough titties, mate. Off you go now and I’d take the stairs next time.’

‘But —.’

The End