Another week, and this time, we’re off to Subway. This one wrote itself, and is probably odd, but I was happy with the tone.
More Friday Flashes on the Friday Flash site.
Steve and Yam were having a Subway. After the Subway, they were probably going to hit the pub. After a few equalising pints, maybe a game of pool, then home. It was six o’clock on a Thursday.
“What did y’think of the girl serving?” said Steve, jabbing his thumb at the sandwich area.
“Alright,” said Yam. He’d stared at her so hard whilst queuing for his dinner, he didn’t need to look round again.
“Better than alright,” Steve decided he did need another look, “I reckon.”
And then she looked up at him, and Steve quickly went back to looking at the sub.
“Maybe,” said Yam, pretending he hadn’t noticed that.Before either of them could finish their mouthful and speak again, the door slid open and a kid stormed in. Well, a young person, in a beanie hat and a big jacket. There were a few other people in the sandwich shop, and all of them turned around to look at the kid, including Steve and Yam.
He looked like he was talking to himself at first, pretty angrily, and the entire sandwich-buying public inspected his body as one, until they satisfied themselves that he was wearing a handsfree kit. But even though he had someone to talk to, he was getting weirdly agitated. “I don’t want to,” he’d say, before waiting a few seconds, then saying “No, you ain’t listening, I don’t want to! I just don’t!”
He got into the short line for a sandwich, insisting more of the same. He looked up briefly to say: “Yeah, footlong wheat bread, ham, no salad,” then went straight back to protesting down his in-line mike.
Not once did his eyes linger on the hotness of the girl behind the counter, Steve and Yam noticed that and exchanged glances.
“For fuck’s sake, I said I don’t want to, how many fucking times?”
He handed over his money for the sandwich, without looking up or saying anything, taking the change with a nod.
“Look, I seriously don’t want to, okay?”
The kid took a tall plastic table, a few across from Steve and Yam. They both watched him for a while, as he trotted out his unwillingness a few more times, but they eventually decided it was safe to turn their eyes back to each other.
“So, what do y’think?” said Steve. “Psycho?
”“Maybe someone wants him to go to Lloyds on the high street?” offered Yam.
“True facts, mate. That place is a shithole,” agreed Steve, who once slipped over on a wine puddle there and kicked his then-girlfriend in the crotch very hard.
“Or he just doesn’t wanna go back to whoever’s at home.” Yam pondered.
Steve slapped Yam around the head. “Come on, he’s too young for that.”
Yam glared at him, then back at the girl behind the counter. Then at the kid again.
“Look, please, I really don’t want to, can’t you just leave it?” His voice had dropped very quiet, Yam had to strain to catch that last one.
Yam took another look at Steve, then sucked the last few drops out of his drink. “Yeah, do you want to head down the pub? If we don’t get down there now, some prick will probably swipe our table.”
“Sure you don’t want to swoop in and give that kid a cuddle?”
“Sure I’m sure.” Yam said, and he really didn’t want to. They left Subway, and he beat Steve 4-2 at pool, then feel a bit better. He made sure to drink enough to put him to sleep.
SEQUEL UPDATE: Well, sorta. Fellow Friday Flash writer Kath Kerr has written her take on the other side of the kid’s phone conversation.
Always interesting to see someone else’s take, and also, does this count as my first fanfiction? Pretty cool either way, check it out.
Sulci CollectiveApril 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm
have you noticed how today's yoof barely move their lips when they intone their mantras of non-compliance? A few generations down the line & the labia will be a vestige like our appendix or webbed feet…
Katherine HajerApril 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm
"until they satisfied themselves that he was wearing a handsfree kit, so was not a mental."
Is where I started really laughing.
Everything here is spot-on — the narrative, the dialogue, everything. I also really loved the transition between the phone conversation and the ordering of the sub.
nickApril 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm
Marc – We'll probably all communicate by on-screen typed commands by then anyway.
Katherine – Yeah, that was a particularly good line. Glad you liked it, I have just started a possible novel in a vaguely similar tone, so that's always encouraging.
runningnekkidApril 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm
What excellent cadence! I think this bit wrote itself quite well. 😉
Eric J. KrauseApril 12, 2013 at 9:11 pm
Just another day in the sub shop, eh? Good story!
nickApril 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm
I've seen the dark truth that lurks in Subway and felt compelled to share. Glad it struck a chord.
Katharine KerrApril 12, 2013 at 10:57 pm
I hope you don't mind Nick but I have been thinking about this since you posted it and got so caught up imagining what he might have been saying no to, that I used it as my prompt and wrote his mother's side of the story for my #fridayflash. Great stuff and very compelling.
Here's mine and I have linked to yours on my blog. http://mrsflash365.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/347-subway-denials.html
nickApril 13, 2013 at 12:17 am
Haha, no, go for it, glad it inspired someone. I honestly have no idea what he was replying to, so I'm as interested to find out as anyone. Will add the link onto the end.