Flash Friday Fiction: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Construction of the Statue of Liberty’s Pedestal. CC2.0 photo by National Parks Service, Statue of Liberty ca 1875.
Construction of the Statue of Liberty’s Pedestal. CC2.0 photo by National Parks Service, Statue of Liberty ca 1875.

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness -205 words

Nobody notices me. Nobody marks my presence. My absence.

They never have. Never will. I like it that way, or so I tell myself.

Invisibility served me well as a child, when my older brother, Jimmy, took papa’s guff, crying out as I hid in the corner. Unscathed.

Invisibility served me well as a young man, when they needed recruits for the War. Called up every man between fourteen and eighty, they did. But not me. Nope, not Tommy Tuckerson.

I didn’t count. I never have. Never will.

Look at them, standing there, top hats on their heads, acting as if they were somebody. Building the American Dream, they say.

Been working here months, and not one of them knows my name. Not one called me down to be in the photo-graph.

I’ll show them.

A lifetime of invisibility is enough. I surrender. I give my life over in defeat. I accept my nothingness, a lack that has always been, a lack that will always be.

Will they notice, I wonder, when my body hits the ground? Will they stop their labors, their self-congratulations?

Or will my blood be one last testament to a life wasted, one quickly washed away?

This is no dream, boys.


I’m thinking next week I need to go back to humor. My last few stories have dragged me down, man. Then again, when given the theme of “defeat,” a happy tale hardly sprang to mind (which tells me I need to work harder at thinking outside of the box). Still, this is my 200 (+/-10) word effort to encapsulate the theme and the photo prompt into one cohesive, short (very short) story. What do you think?

Visit Flash Friday Fiction for other authors’ tales and much more! (The Dragon Emporium is now open; go check it out!)

 

2 Replies to “Flash Friday Fiction: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”

  1. Poignant. Hit home. “Invisibility served me well.” A statement of survival, yet the words of Tommy Tuckerson will live forever, now. Well crafted.

Whatcha Think?