Theodore Jerome Cohen Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Theodore Jerome Cohen is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In case of a tie,  the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:

3L0A0723 winterfest jan 2020 FF writing prompt sm
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Plain Sight
by Theodore Jerome Cohen

“Hey! You! You lookin’ at me?”
“Yeah! You! You lookin’ at me?”
“No . . . I wasn’t looking at you.”
“Well, I don’t see anyone else lookin’ this way, do you?”
“I wasn’t looking your way, miss, I—”
“Gimme a break, will ya! Do ya think I’m blind? Every time I turn around, I see you starin’ at me. I’ve been here for 20 minutes to cash a check, and all I see when I look your way is you lookin’ back at me. What’s your problem, man?”
“Ah, I don’t have a problem, miss. And I’m sorry if I’ve offended you—”
“Yeah, yeah . . . I’ve heard it all before. You’re all alike. See someone in a skirt and your brains turn to fluff. Well, back off, buster. This ain’t your day. My alarm didn’t go off, the coffee maker broke, I couldn’t do my laundry last night because all the machines in the basement were full, dinner was delivered late—and cold—and now, having already wasted almost half an hour in this line, I’m definitely gonna be late for work.”
The man with whom she was talking, who was waiting in the adjacent line, shook his head. “I’m truly sorry, miss. I meant no harm.”
“Well, as you can plainly see,” said the young woman, softening her tone, “I’m havin’ a bad hair day. Maybe tomorrow will be better.”

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