I’ve written my first ever piece of flash fiction (short story) and it’s a 1000 words long all together. The plan is to create a mini series where each story can also be read as a stand alone piece.
The Liberty Project – A Final Journey
Jimmy exited his cabin, he locked the door behind him and walked towards the closed double doors on the left. They opened smoothly at the push of a button, he stood back letting the woman enter first. When they were both inside the doors closed automatically.
“Yes, I think so, yes” she replied hesitantly.
Jimmy pushed the only visible button and they began their journey.
The woman had no bag but she was carrying her mobile phone in one hand. She was wearing a full length red coat, it was buttoned up and covered the rest of her clothes and only her black shoes were showing. Neither person spoke which was fine with Jimmy, he was paid to stay silent, or talk, depending on what the customer wanted. Jimmy caught her eyeing his sharply pressed uniform, red tie, white shirt, gold waistcoat, black trousers and shoes. Helen realised she’d been caught looking at his uniform and smiled apprehensively; she had never done anything like this before and her gut was churning with a mixture of nerves and excitement.
The idea of being free and no longer having to bear the pressures of the world had driven her to this place. She was ready to flee the shackles of life and escape her demons, but knowing what she was about to do brought feelings of regret, shame and panic. Helen took some comfort knowing that she wasn’t the first person to take such drastic measures and she wouldn’t be the last. Her friend Hayley had told her about the Liberty Project, saying she was going to become part of it. She encouraged Helen to do the same, even going as far as mentioning a pact which in the end they never made. Helen didn’t know if Hayley ever went through with it, she’d not heard from her since they talked about it. She only hoped Hayley was ok wherever she was, Helen couldn’t help her anymore.
Helen spoke “Can I ask what your name is?”
“Jimmy” he replied
“Can I show you a picture Jimmy?”
“Yes, of course”
Helen swiped through the photos on her phone, looking for a suitable photo of Hayley. She found a decent one; it was a selfie of the two of them taken at Rockefeller Plaza on a recent trip to New York. She turned her phone around towards Jimmy and pointed at the screen.
“Have you seen this woman, the one on the left?”
“No, sorry I don’t recognise her” lied Jimmy.
She looked crestfallen at these words but Jimmy didn’t react. He didn’t like to lie but sometimes it was a necessary part of his job. The Liberty Project demanded anonymity for all its clients, they paid a high price to be a part of it and the anonymity was one of the things they required so they could go through with what they’d signed up for.
“Is she a friend of yours?”
“Yes, a good friend. She was the one who told me about the Liberty Project, I know she was planning to come here but it looks like she couldn’t go through with it.” She spoke these last few words sadly, feeling more alone now than ever before.
Helen now had silent tears running down her face as she looked longingly at the photo on her phone. This was always the hardest part for Jimmy. Most people cried during the journey, some with sadness, some with relief and some with happiness at finally being able to do what they had thought about for so long. He was used to the crying but it didn’t make him immune to the emotion. Over time he’d taught himself not to react and not to get too involved. He generally found the emotions would pass quickly, most people were embarrassed at crying in front of a stranger and after the tears they usually found a renewed sense of determination. The customers had paid for a service and they had come here for a reason, Jimmy had yet to see anyone back out.
Their journey ended and the doors slid open, Helen looked back as she stepped out of the lift. She wanted to say thanks to Jimmy but the doors had already closed and he was gone. Tentatively she walked to the middle of the plateau; the wind tugged at the flaps of her red coat and whipped her blond hair around her face. There was nobody around but there was a notice board with a few simple instructions, It read:
THE LIBERTY PROJECT
You are here to escape your demons, congratulations on reaching this point.
You will not see anybody else here; your final journey has to be taken alone.
When you are ready please step to the edge and embrace freedom.
Helen took off her coat revealing a t-shirt and knee length skirt, she didn’t want it to impede her bid for freedom so she put it down next to the sign. She took a few moments to gather her thoughts before walking purposely forward to the edge. The sun was shining and the view was stunning, she could see clouds for miles around, it felt appropriate for the place where she would finally find her solace. She looked out, took a deep breath and with a smile, she took the plunge. The feelings of guilt and shame were fleeting and on the way down a wave of euphoria swept over Helen, causing her to smile with ecstasy at the realisation that the dark days were gone.
Jimmy was back in his cabin when he saw the set of double doors on the right open up. A blonde haired woman with a red coat and black shoes stepped out of the doors; she was radiating serenity and happiness. Jimmy turned away and smiled to himself, he had noticed the lack of mobile phone in her hands as she walked towards the exit.
The Liberty Project had awakened another soul to the world.
Written by Phillip Ross – Published on MyCreativeJunction.com 10/7/16
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