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#stayathome stories – #16

In this installment in our series, KL shares flash fiction set during the pandemic. 

Rinse and Repeat

by KL

One, one thousand . . . two, one thousand . . . three, one thousand . . . four, one thousand . . . Really? Twenty seconds? Why not thirty?

Five, one thousand . . . six, one thousand . . . seven, one thousand . . . eight, one thousand . . . Damn. (Oder verdammt. Hah! German!) I haven’t put the shopping bags away yet. Maybe I should stop and do that first and then . . . 

Nine, one thousand . . . ten, one thousand . . . eleven, one thousand . . . twelve, one thousand . . . No, I’ll finish this round and take a break. Need a break. Freakin’ grocery store with its tiny aisles and hordes of stockers—no masks—blocking everyone and everything. Then that woman shoved me out of her way. Hello? Social distance?

Thirteen , one thousand . . . fourteen, one thousand . . . fifteen, one thousand . . . sixteen, one thousand . . . And speaking of hordes. Here come the kids, screaming and running. Right outside our windows. Breathing, exhaling. And yesterday. A gap-toothed smile appeared in the slanted opening of the window. A doll’s hand gripped the frame as she started to pull herself in. No-no-no. Nein. Nein. Softly, closer. I shooed her away. She was so close. We were so close.

Seventeen, one thousand . . . eighteen, one thousand . . . nineteen, one thousand . . . twenty, one thousand . . . Right. Where was I? Right. Break time. Maybe a little review of the Perfekt. Maybe not. Ugh. My skin is going to crack and fall off.

One, one thousand . . . two, one thousand . . . three, one thousand . . . four, one thousand . . .

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