Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the one hundred and thirty-third piece in this series and the 2,738th post on this blog! (since 30th March 2011) This week’s is a 302-worded two-part viewpoint piece by yours truly, Morgen Bailey. This story will be podcasted in episode 40 (with two other stories and some 6-worders) on Sunday 25th May.
Both Sides (© Morgen Bailey)
“Why are there two lorries in our street?”
“Two recycling lorries. They’re like buses; nothing for ages, then two come along together.”
“I don’t know. Maybe they’re going in opposite directions and this is where they meet up.”
“On a one-way street?”
“I don’t know, Vera. Come away from the window – the neighbours will think you’re spying on them.”
“I’m not spying on anyone.”
“I know that, Vera, although you are staring at the binmen.”
“One lorry’s collecting one side of the road and the other lorry behind it is doing the other side.”
“There we go, Mrs Marple, mystery solved.”
“She wasn’t married, was she?”
“No, but… never mind. What’s for lunch?”
Stan ‘the binman’ Lee shook his head as he put on the handbrake. He watched his colleagues in front collecting the bins from the left side of the street and another lorry load of council-contracted workers collecting from the other side. This was their first week on the new rota and it’s one most disagreed with.
Stan had told his wife, Ava, the suits didn’t know their arses from their elbows. Ava, being an English teacher, had tutted and walked back into the kitchen.
Stan knew there’d be complaints when not all the rubbish was collected so the suits would have to go back to the old plan.
He saw no.72’s curtains move. He smiled at the face he imagined to be behind it. An old dear, probably, with nothing better to do because her husband’s had the sense to run off with his bridge partner. There’d be another version of her at the end of their route, lifting up the phone at a minute past six because her rubbish was still outside.
A slap on the passenger door made Stan jump. He nodded and released the handbrake.
Here I usually ask my guest what prompted this piece, so this is what prompted me…