Welcome back my wonderful readers!
What a past few days it’s been, huh?! The big changes occurring and all? (And no, I’m not just talking about Daylight Saving Time-LOL!)
Today’s story can be seen as a reflection of such…
Change Is Inevitable
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When Stephen’s smartphone hit six a.m. it triggered his alarm, the young man not needing to open his eyes to know where to find it and turn it off.
He loved how the morning sun reached in through his bedroom window, its warm embrace caressing his face to awaken every part of it like a flower coming into bloom.
On up Stephen jumped out of bed, blurred vision being all he needed to navigate the couple of taps on his touchscreen that would bring up his playlist and get his dopamine tappin’ to the beat.
Straight to the bathroom, to the faucet of the shower, finding that perfect temperature within seconds and stepping in to further blossom for the new day.
Once dried off and half-dressed Stephen brushed and shaved before completing his professional appearance by slipping on a dress shirt and tie, buttoning and knotting to perfection.
His briefcase had been set up the night before, sitting it on the kitchen counter as he went on to pour himself a quick yet satisfying bowl of cereal.
All set and ready to go, Stephen just had one more thing to do. But it would be an act unlike all the others, slow caution now taking effect as he proceeded to engage toward unfamiliar territory.
Carefully he pulled one of the kitchen drawers open, then reached in to take hold, one finger at a time, a heavy handful of steel.
It was a Magnum, the cold sleek piece of lethal steel made to do one thing and one thing only: to destroy. But only when accompanied with ammunition, Stephen using the fingers of his free hand to open the small box the gun had been lying next to to pick out one single bullet. He didn’t snatch up the first to be touched, but fished a bit, like choosing a raffle ticket.
Stephen looked down at these two items, one in each hand, when separated like this, pretty much useless, but when combined, possessing the power to change lives.
Still exercising caution, the young man released the cylinder, looking through each one of those six holes and seeing long tunnels of uncertainty.
Which one to fill, which five to leave empty, which one would bring about death, which of the remaining would prolong life?
In a way it looked like a clock, the symbol of time, ironic in the sense that his choice of which chamber to fill would determine if he indeed would have more time to live or not.
As if his subconscious was taking the lead, Stephen’s two fingers which held the thick slug and its shelled explosive powder zeroed in on the hole that would have been marked about nine if it really were a keeper of time.
He dropped the round down into the chamber, the echo it let off when filling it reminding him of a cartoon anvil being dropped from off the side of a cliff.
Now it was time for the consequential spin, the sound of the rotating steel so cold, so unattached to whatever the outcome would be, the speed of the spin coming to an abrupt halt when Stephen maneuvered it with the shift of his hand back into place.
One last move to turn it from dormant to deadly, his thumb making contact with the small grooves of the hammer before pushing down hard on it, the act itself being as nerve-racking as cocking a rat trap.
Stephen was now very careful as he brought the barrel of the 357 Magnum up towards his face, the hole at its end staring into his eyes like a monster that was all too real.
The coldness of the barrel seemed to pierce past his lips, through his jaw, down his throat and deep into his heart as he slid it into his mouth, the taste of it bringing the image of the long curved blade of Death’s scythe to mind, and how it would probably have a similar flavor.
Applying the same thumb he had used to cock the hammer, Stephen ever-so-slowly put it through the hole that housed the trigger, looking down as he did so to be sure not to prematurely set it off.
As gentle as an angel’s kiss he placed his thumb against the curved steel, again being reminded of Death’s scythe.
It was now or—
No time for never, the deed had been done, the trigger squeezed, hammer slammed, and nothing else.
Brains still left intact.
On to another day.
Six a.m. The alarm wakes, the sun toasts, the music gets the blood flowing, Stephen’s routine of preparing for a new day being as second nature as each breath he takes while performing his morning rituals.
By now this includes his intimate yet quick encounter with the Magnum, caution being long gone as he pops a bullet into one of the chambers, hard spins it like roulette, cocks the hammer, slides the barrel over his tongue for that chilly taste he has grown accustomed to and pulls the trigger.
Done and over with in two seconds, his daily vitamin that is no longer a big deal.
Snap, crackle, pop, onto another day.
Six a.m. While some people dread the sound that signifies it’s time to start another eighteen hours, Stephen is pumped by it, seeing his morning routine as the launch pad to another amazing day.
Breathing in deep that basking sun light, whistling along to the tunes of his playlist, feeling the nourishing vitamins of his cereal fueling him up for the big race called life!
With a pep in his step and a precision of movements that have him on time every time Stephen and his briefcase are ready to set out, already thinking of his to-do-list as he takes his daily dose of cock, spin, and pull—
The sound that instantly follows is not the hollow click of the hammer hitting an empty chamber but rather an explosive blast so shocking it scatters the mind into a million pieces, the inner sight of Stephen’s soul being able to see each and every one flash right before him while at the same time JOLTING his eyes open, the echo of the gunshot merging with the reverberation of a meditation bell.
He’s back where he started, back in the garden of ponder, where minds come to grow, to flourish, to understand.
Never before has he been so grateful to be alive, seeing the circle of fellow mind explorers through a new perspective. Seeing the smile of wisdom across the face of their guide, their teacher, as he brought this session to a close.
Stephen now truly realized, routine may be comfortable, but Change Is Inevitable.
See you Monday! And remember, all followers of The Flash Fiction Ponder who sign up via email receive a FREE copy of my critically-acclaimed autobiography, normally priced at $2.99 on Amazon!
There’s no greater fuel for a pen than life experience, creativity, and a love for storytelling. A fact which led Rico Lamoureux to the realization that he was destined to become an author. From a childhood of abuse and poverty to overcoming life-altering health conditions. From being trained in an ancient martial art to finding his soul mate. With an artistic heart and an ambitious spirit, this diverse journey Rico takes the reader on is indeed an intriguing and unforgettable one! (Includes nearly 100 color photos)