Julie Duffy of storyaday.org has been giving us daily writing prompts this week which I’ve been blogging and summarising on this blog’s SADM 2014 page. I’ve been writing to them but not posting them daily here this year as I have done 2011-2013 but instead picking my favourite of the week and posting it as Flash Fiction Fridays for this month only. Below is my first which was Monday’s prompt of Shame. This story will be podcasted in episode 41 (Sunday 29th June).
A Different Kind of Sympathy
I knew it was wrong as I was putting it in my bag but I had no choice. Then, as I walked out the store, willing the detectors to go off – they didn’t – I felt a hand on my shoulder. It had happened twice before so I was expecting the words, “Please come back inside, Miss”. I took a deep breath and turned round to the man.
They always look sympathetic but you know when they’ve got you in that little room that any sympathy they did have stays outside the door. But this man’s different; no uniform. A different kind of sympathy. Genuine. I look down at his outstretched hand. A twenty-pound note. “Miss, you dropped this.”
I shake my head. Can’t remember the last time I owned a note that big, and I certainly don’t have them long enough to let them go that frivolous.
The man nods and pushes the note towards me.
I take it and mumble a “thank you” before he changes his mind, before he realises it wasn’t me. I tuck it in a zip pocket of my bag and glance at the stolen tin of Irish Stew that was to keep me going for who knows how long.
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