Furious Fiction – January 2021
The brief of the AWC Furious Fiction—January 2021 short story competition was as follows:
- Your story has to begin at sunrise.
- Your story has to use the words SIGNATURE, PATIENT, BICYCLE. (Longer variations permitted.)
- Your story has to include a character who has to make a CHOICE.
The New Year started for me with the sun rising, the light of it slowly coming through my mostly closed blinds. In previous years I would have viewed the light from the rising sun as God judging me for my drinking only hours before. Now I welcome it as I no longer wait until midnight for a fresh start and mediocre kiss from a random man.
While I may not drink anymore, there is still one other New Years’ cliché I still indulge in – resolutions. My resolutions were almost as cliché as resolutions themselves – a holiday, weight loss, meet the love of my life. However much like my drinking, I’m trying to being more realistic with myself.
The ding from my phone woke me up a little more as I went downstairs to make a coffee, “it’s here for you today if you want to pick it up.” I’d been waiting for this text from Leroy for a while and was excited as a kid on Christmas, but I also really need coffee. Coffee first or meet Leroy first and then grab coffee?
I was too excited to make my normal choice of the former, running back upstairs to throw on some sweats, grab my keys and meet him. It’s a good a thing that being patient is not the resolution I’ve chosen for this year.
Leroy, knowing this about me, was already at the shop waiting for me with coffees for both of us. He had what I was waiting for under a worn, white cloth.
“Ta da!” He said, lifting up the cloth with gusto, as if I should be surprised. I was surprised – by how much better my new bicycle looked better than the picture.
“All I need is a signature and you’re good to start training for the Olympics.” Leroy joked.
Leroy joked knowing why I bought the bicycle, not to become an Olympian, not to try and keep a cliché resolution, but to keep me going.
“By the way, I got you something else as well.” He said handing me a small, red velvet ring box out of his counter drawer.
“You’re not about to get on one knee are you?”
“Nah, you know my lot in life is to be the group’s hunky bachelor. It’s not gold and shiny but you’ll still like it.”
My chuckle at Leroy’s confident response to my joke turned into a tearful smile when I opened the box to find a round bronze coin in place of a ring.
“Happy sober birthday love! I told you you’d make it.” He said holding his arms out for a hug, his own 10-year coin, made into a necklace, poking out from under his shirt collar.
Unlike Leroy, I didn’t think I’d make it to a year. Second year of sobriety here I come.