Flash Fiction: The People Watcher

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is “People Watching,” and today’s tale comes to you from Cathy MacKenzie.

If you need editing or formatting for print and/or e-books, check out Cathy’s website: www.mackenziepublishing.wordpress.com

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The People Watcher

by Cathy MacKenzie

She sits across the room from me, her eyes dark and filled with tears. I’ve never seen her before, don’t know her name. Perhaps her eyes are always dark. She entered the room late, after everyone was comfortably situated.

She stands, obviously ill at ease because she sways a bit and her eyes dart around the room several times, her eyes stopping on individuals, examining their faces as if she can delve deep into their souls. But she can’t, of course; no one can. She falls back to the chair alongside the wall. If she were a teenager, she could have been a wallflower, one of those pitied girls ignored by guys at school dances. I sympathize, for I’m one of those wallflowers, but I’m not bothered by it. I quite like it, actually.

She glances around the room again, and her gaze lingers on a male. She stares at him for a long while until he senses someone’s eyes on him, for he looks up from his conversation with a female and immediately catches the watchful eyes. Their eyes lock, both glare unwavering as though a game in which the winner is the one who averts his or her eyes the last.

She wins.

It’s as if he can’t stand the look of her, for he drops his eyes, pretends he’s never noticed her, and jumps back into his conversation.

She remains seated, now viewing the wall where I am as if it’s a work of art, a masterpiece one can’t ignore. But she’s embarrassed. A splotch of red splatters each cheek. Her eyes well up. More than embarrassed. Sad, upset. Dejected? Unloved?

Suddenly, Loser grabs the arm of the woman he’s with and steers her toward the exit. Winner watches them leave.

I look back at her. A slight smile graces her face as if the sun suddenly transformed a gloomy day. A healthy flush spreads over her face, her eyes morph into a light blue, and her lips curl to reveal even, white teeth.

She stands and smooths her skin-tight skirt. She unbuttons the top button of her blouse, picks up her purse from the chair beside her, and heads to the exit. Loser has to be long gone by now. I don’t think he’d linger, waiting for Winner to appear. I don’t think she wants to see him either.

But what do I know? I’m just a people watcher. I enjoy being a fly on the wall, but I have to be on guard at all times. Who knows when one of those people I don’t watch grabs a fly swatter or another similar instrument?

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The Spot Writers—Our Members:

RC Bonitz: rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Tom Robson: https://robsonswritings.wordpress.com/