Maybe, Someday

“Will that be all, Mrs. Kramer,” Mol asked, sincerely hoping it was. She only had to stop by the office to make her last report and she’d be through.

The wizened face pouted. “I’m going to ask Papa to make you stay.”

“Mm-hmm,” Mol said, collecting the dishes.

“Aren’t you going to say thank you?”

Mol gripped the medicine bottle tightly for a moment but didn’t turn around. “Goodbye, Mrs. Kramer.”

The old woman began to shake and sob. “Of all the ingratitude! That’s why papa says being nice to your kind is a waste. You’ll never work again.”

Mol pushed her cart out of the room. She could still hear Mrs. Kramer railing as she locked the door behind her but stopped to take a few notes before she reported to Ms. Harris.


Ms. Harris greeted Mol with a smile. “How bad was she?”

“Not too bad today,” Mol said, sitting down. “I’ve heard stories from other interns, and history books of course, but nothing prepares you for the real thing. She still believes her father is in power. I don’t think she even knows there was a war.”

“The most promising candidates get the hardest assignments.” Ms. Harris said. “I’m looking forward to your write-up. Let’s get the exit interview out of the way.”

“Sure.”

“At the beginning of your internship you said you believed its main purpose was to impress upon candidates that to lead justly, one had to learn to serve. Do you still feel that way?”

“Yes. Though this experience reinforced compassion’s importance.”

“Did you start to feel compassion for her?”

Mol paused, wondering how honest to be. “The subject made the evils of the past viscerally real. Her complicity in perpetuating them is unquestionable. In her world, I’d likely be dead. That she’s alive and cared for just shows how compassionate society has become.”


I really aced that interview, Mol thought, pouring herself a glass of wine. She took her glass to her apartment’s large picture window and looked out at the city. She didn’t feel anything close to compassion for Ida Kramer. But she was grateful for a world where compassion was an option...if not today, maybe someday.

Photo by Jonas Kaiser on Unsplash



Song Choice: Those Were The Days

This flash fiction piece was created for Poets and Storytellers United's Weekly Scribblings Prompt, Things Were Different Back Then.

35 comments:

  1. Fascinating! I love how you do these things, with so many background details left out – and yet there, in the unsaid, the implied ... and in our imaginations, where you cleverly insert them!

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    1. Thanks Rosemary. I definitely was curious to see how that would work out when I started off. It was a neat exercise in the power of negative space in writing. :)

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  2. This is absolutely brilliant! I love how seamlessly you incorporate the message here. Lol, I would have said something similar like Mol did in the interview!💝

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    1. Sometimes, that's all any of us could do in a similar situation

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  3. Depth, nuance, bite, perspective, and time all knotted together and then woven into this narrative. Excellent ~

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    1. Thank you so much! I was glad I was able to pull it off.

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  4. I agree with Rosemary about the unsaid and the implied being cleverly inserted in our imaginations, Rommy. The invisible stitching of the message into the story is expertly done.

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    1. Thanks Kim! It's always fun to see what I can pull off within the word limit.

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  5. The pacing and progression are just perfect. You told the story in a way that builds the right kind of suspense. The same goes for transitions--they happen exactly when the should and at the speed they should, allowing the reader a moment to digest what has just being said (or left unsaid) without slowing down too much. And the ending? Exactly what it needed to be. One can't help feeling the interviewer's feelings, especially today.

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    1. Thank you. I was concerned about getting that pacing right. This ended up being more ambitious than I had originally pictured it.

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  6. What an excellent and perceptive piece of flash fiction. Kudos to you.

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    1. That word limit really forces me to make each word count

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  8. For me this line creates a very clever bridge in the narrative
    “Did you start to feel compassion for her?”

    Bravo on a very creative entertaining write

    Much💖love

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  9. As people get older they often lose sight of their past and fail to remember both the good and the bad in their lives then there may others that cling to experiences that have no relevance any more. Aging is not always a good thing.

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  10. I am amazed at how much you accomplish in a few words!

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  11. Very interesting, it kept my thoughts focused. A two different world conversation. Hard of hearing people are also like that. Compassion, I cannot think of a modern public leader with compassion which showed as such. Science fiction, or a real character whom I did not recognize?
    ..

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    1. It falls more under the fiction umbrella

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  12. Aha! Less is more...and yet you complete the tale! Enjoyed this!

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  13. Oh, well. She is pretty good at making words get around the real feel, isnt she? Excellent write.

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  14. Seamless writing. One thought flowed into the next.

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  15. Compassion as an option - excellent close - love pieces that want to make you hear more of the story!

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  16. Great piece of writing which held me captivating. Intriguing question
    “Did you start to feel compassion for her?”

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  17. Stunning. This caught me up and that last idea--compassion on social versus individual scales--brought me up short. And gave me a slight chill.

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  18. I suppose that if I had to teach a class on how much more preferable exposition is than merely telling, I'd steer the students to THIS particular narrative. Well done!

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  19. great storytelling! you wrote it with great turning points and such. nice write!

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  20. So much of the story comes through in the dialogue--I love that!

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  21. Love it! Although you didn't describe the background I can see it through the dialogue of your story. I love how you write to engage the reader's imagination.

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