Short Fiction ~ Richard Garcka
Honourable Mention, Strands International Flash Fiction Competition - 15
That’s decided, Sam thinks. I’m semi-naked for the team videocall.
A logical progression. Last Friday, he wore his cricket pads. Yesterday, it was his ex-wife’s wraparound skirt. Cross-dressing is not his thing, though he did find the experience strangely liberating.
OK. As acts of rebellion go, inappropriate out-of-shot clothing is not exactly The Storming of the Bastille. What’s more, he can disable the webcam if necessary, so the risk of discovery is low. Yet, he finds the idea tantalising. What the hell. He reaches down, slips off his pyjama bottoms and lets the morning breeze from the open window do its worst.
The call is as mind-numbingly dull as normal.
“Right, let’s kick the tyres on this sales pipeline. I want to move the dial on those quick wins.” declares his boss, Matty, murdering metaphors with his customary relish.
Sam slumps, mentally switches off and lets his mind wander. He imagines himself in the Caribbean. Bowling slow right-arm leg-breaks to the West Indies openers. The oppressive heat. The crowd barracking. His captain urging him on. Then, trying the off-break. The “wrong’un”. The classic Googly. Ball onto pad. That’s LBW surely. The whole team appeals.
“Howzaaaaat!” screams Sam, leaping to his feet arms outstretched, eyes squeezed shut and mouth agape.
“Love it! Bloody love it, Sammy-boy! Showing some real cajones there. Love it!”
Sam shrieks, drops both hands protectively, then collapses into his chair, which skids backwards before clunking into a cupboard. He stares aghast at his image on the monitor, still in full view. His team are all applauding. Matty punching the air. Sliding slowly to the floor, he crawls on all fours out of shot, cheers ringing out of the speakers.
Sam curls up in the corner, hugging his knees, face aflame.
Trousers next time. That’s decided.
Richard Garcka is relatively new to writing. Following Creative Writing classes, his short fiction over the past couple of years has been published by Arts Quarter Books, Cranked Anvil, AudioArcadia and Spellbinder magazine, along with several other commendations.