Flash Fiction Day #5

Inspired by Life (2013) Season 2 Episode 21 and the tragedies of Orlando, FL in 2016 and Aurora, CO in 2012. This is a work of fiction.

Flash Fiction Day 2016

Part 2: One plus one equals 1

The professor strides to the front of the room as the class volume lowers to a low hum. He scribbles “Professor Halmen” on the white board before turning to address the students.

“Good morning, class. As you can see, my name is Professor Halmen. In case you stumbled into the wrong classroom, this is GSNI 101 – Introduction to Culture and Diversity…”

Three students pack up their laptops and slink out the door. Professor Halmen watches them go, eyebrow raised.

“Yep, always a few of them every year… Now that we’ve gotten that out the way, the core concept for today is-”

Turning to the white board, Professor Halmen picks a blue marker and writes:

ONE + ONE = ONE.

A chuckle from some wise guy in the back has Professor Halmen turning back to his audience with a smile.

“I see some of you are amused, care to share with the class?”

“Yo, professor! I get this isn’t math class, but everyone knows 1 + 1 = 2.”

“‘S right! That’s not correct!” Another chimes in.

Professor Halmen smirks and stares down over his glasses. “Really? Well, I’m hoping that in this class we can expand beyond the mathematical realm into something more enlightened. So restrictive…”

He shakes his head solemnly and pauses before the front row where the puzzled geniuses are jotting down his every word.

“To better illustrate this lesson, I will share two stories.”


Story 1

-“Hey, I’m back.”

~”Hey!” *hug

-*smile. “I missed you.” *kiss

~*kiss. “Mmm, I missed you too, babe.”

They swung in the hammock. Belinda’s arms tight around Amy’s shoulders, encapsulating her in warmth. The blue sky arching over them, a scuttle of clouds like wayward sheep escaping their windy shepherd. Somewhere in the distance, a disgruntled goose honked in warning or temper.

Amy could hear Belinda’s heartbeat, calm and deep like drums on an island beach.

If only the moment could last forever. Amy sighed in contentment.

“Belinda, babe, promise me something?”

Amy could practically hear Belinda smile. “Promise what?”

“Promise you won’t leave me.” Amy twisted around, trying to face Belinda as the sky grew darker and the wind blew leaves through the air. The warmth was disappearing, and Amy felt fear as the trees began to groan from the strength of the wind.

Trees supporting an empty hammock. “Belinda?”

Lights out.

Amy spun around in the darkness. Lights began to flash, music blasted and the bass pumped through her bones.

“Belinda? Where are you?!” Amy stumbles through the unending space. She bumped into something, and it shoved back -“Watch it!”

Claustrophobic. So many people, so many bodies pressing in. Amy shoved back and forth in the ebbing wave of people grinding on a dance floor.

BLAM BLAM!!


 

Professor Halmen draws a line down the white board and writes STORY ONE in red on one side. “The next story, goes like this…” he continues, writing STORY TWO on the other side.


Story 2

-“Hey, I’m back.”

~”Hey!” *hug

-*smile. “I missed you.” *kiss

~*kiss. “Mmm, I missed you too, babe.”

They swung in the hammock. Brett’s arms tight around Anne’s shoulders, encapsulating her in warmth. The blue sky arching over them, a scuttle of clouds like wayward sheep escaping their windy shepherd. Somewhere in the distance, a disgruntled goose honked in warning or temper.

Anne could hear Brett’s heartbeat, calm and deep like drums on an island beach.

If only the moment could last forever. Anne sighed in contentment.

“Brett, babe, promise me something?”

Anne could practically hear Brett smile. “Promise what?”

“Promise you won’t leave me.” Anne twisted around, trying to face Brett as the sky grew darker and the wind blew leaves through the air. The warmth was disappearing, and Anne felt fear as the trees began to groan from the strength of the wind.

Trees supporting an empty hammock. “Brett?”

Lights out.

Anne spun around in the darkness. A giant screen lights up and a movie plays. The sound effects shudder vibrations through her bones.

“Brett? Where are you?!” Anne stumbles through the unending space. She bumped into something, and it shouted back -“Sit down already! We can’t see!”

BLAM BLAM!!

Claustrophobic. So many people, so many bodies pressing in. Anne shoved back and forth in the ebbing wave of people sprinting down the aisle.

 


 

“Two stories. Two tragedies,”Professor Halmen intones as he paces slowly down the middle aisle. “One takes place in 2016, the other in 2012. One in a theater, the other in a club. People died.”

“Both had victims and tragedies. Both were senseless killings perpetrated by dangerous misguided men. So many similarities…until you meet the social reaction.”

Pausing at the back of the classroom, Professor Halmen’s voice booms out. “In one, a nation came together to morn and share condolences. In another, the nation divided itself in acts of slander, hatred and discrimination. Why? Because of sexuality and identity.”

Striding back to the front of the room, Professor Halmen faces his silent and serious classroom. “It is unfortunate that our ancestors would let such concepts divide them. And in this, you could say there is a parable.”

He circles the initial equation before continuing.

“Many of you wondered, how could 1 + 1 = 1. The answer is… love. Love creates unity. Solidarity. Love unites people and acts as the catalyst that transcends differences and brings individuals together.”

Capping his marker, Professor Halmen turns one last time to face his class. “And that is why, in 3054, we look back at the history of the world, to remind ourselves of how far we’ve come after we allowed love to permeate our society.”

Shaking himself from his revere, Professor Halmen takes a deep breath. “So, any questions? I understand there are 3 weeks during the add-drop period, make sure you come to the right classroom. This is GSNI 101 – Introduction to Culture and Diversity… and I am Professor Halmen.”


What if I shared that every
Strike you carved into my skin
Scarred your back,
What if I said
That every brutality inflicted on me

Bruised your muscles and skin.
When will you realize that
Hurting me, hurts you more
And yet you would return.

And yet you would go back to the past,
And allow it to dissect us
And reject us, to destroy
Us with all your permission…

 

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Published by

opalflame

I am artist, analyst, author, poet, composer, musician to name a few aspects of myself. A bit of a jack of trades, I dabble into many fields that encourage the blossom of imagination and allow me to channel my creativity. I dream vividly and view the world through the lens of optimism and opportunity while acknowledging the ink and shadows.

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