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Joelin8r t1_jdity87 wrote

"That's it then, eh?"

"That's it."

"Just the two of us on a bench."

"All ya need, really."

"Not exactly compelling, is it?"

"Who said it has to be? Everyone's out there bringing Death Itself, God, the Devil, floating head numbers and time travel... A little inconsequential chat would be nice, wouldn't it?"

"I guess I just don't much see the point."

"Not yet, at least."

"Oh, so you do? You see some grand purpose in this chat? In this bench?"

"Never said it would be grand."

"But there is some purpose. There's something to this, right?"



"Think I just saw a Blue Jay."



"How long do we have to sit here for? It's not like there's a grand story arc that will find a pointed resolution."

"I'm sure they'll wrap it up when they get bored of us."

"And then what?"

"Well, nothing really. Then we're done."

"So that's all we get? Just the two of us on a bench for a few paltry minutes until suddenly we poof out of existence?"

"I think you'll find we all have a time limit shorter than we'd like."

"Oh and do we all have to sit on a bench with an old soul who can't admit he's been dealt a shit hand in a rigged game?"

"You seem very upset about all this."

"Of course I'm upset! I coulda been a dragon! A god! One of those humans who wipes out an alien race because we're just so goddamn special!"

"Those stories all end too, y'know."

"Yeah well I coulda at least done something cool in my time."



"Beautiful day."

"There's no stopping you, is there?"

"I'm just trying to enjoy my time here, is that so wrong?"

"It's futile! Useless! We're gonna just stop existing any second anyway!"

"Ah yes. Much better to spend the time we have wishing it was some other way."

"I... Hm."

"Nice of them to make it so warm out for us."

"Yes, yes I suppose that much is nice."

"I think the two under that tree are on a date."

"I think you're right. I always loved picnic dates. Dirt cheap but some of my best dates have been just good conversation and a blanket in a park."

"Hmm... How do you think it's going for them?"

"Does it matter? We both know there's not gonna be a second date."

"Even so, I think it's going very well." The girl laughed at something the boy had told her, leaning her shoulder on his as she did. She said something back that sent him into his own fit of laughter, both going back and forth building on the bit. They were happy.

"...Yeah, I think you're right."


[deleted] t1_jdkchtk wrote



Joelin8r t1_jdkh0ng wrote


That's fun! I intentionally left out any description of them because my own ideas of what they might look like weren't really relevant, even though I had something in my head. It's neat to see how that results in others coming up with their own ideas of what they look like, even subconsciously!


MrRedoot55 t1_jdkxafu wrote

It seems things don't have to be eventful for them to matter.

...even then, I guess seeing Mordecai himself is worthy of note.

Good job.


PancakeTune t1_jdl1kfc wrote

Absolutely adore your R and G are Dead take on this prompt!


Joelin8r t1_jdl59en wrote

Never seen it, but having looked it up I'm glad to merit the comparison!


zeekoes t1_jdiohfy wrote

He felt a tingle on his cheek, where the wisp of wind touched aging skin. Breathing in deep smells of fresh cut grass and blooming roses, life wasn’t all that bad. He rubbed his thighs with his hands to stem the slight ache of walking that accompanied him everywhere nowadays. Oh how he remembered the days where he could walk for hours on end without tiring. Aging wasn’t the struggle people made it out to be. You just had to pace yourself a little more. Sitting here on this bench in the park, under the budding branches of the birch trees was true bliss.

Next to him sat a young man, visibly exhausted. Not in a physical way, that made you catch your breath, but emotionally. The deep rims under his eyes spoke of hard times. The boy didn’t speak, or even acknowledged that he shared the bench, but he didn’t need to. Benches were made for two people, so two people sat on it side by side. He was curious about the life the young man lived. Whether he enjoyed the youth that was only given to him briefly. Did he go to school or had he found a job early in life? Maybe the boy didn’t have a job, a home even. Could the lad be homeless? That would explain the periwinkle stained bags under his eyes and his frail posture. Must be hard not having a safe place to sleep, having to struggle each day for food and water. Maybe he wasn’t homeless. He could’ve recently be confronted by the many other ills life throws at you. A break up or the death of someone close. He had forgotten that despite being contend with life at the end of it, it hadn’t always been this way. He too had known tough times. The visible strain on ones face wasn’t unfamiliar.

Maybe there was something he could do to lift the weight of struggle ever so slightly for this downtrodden youth. He took in the panorama of a park at early spring. Wind making trees wave at one another. Birds chirping and hopping from one spot to the other. People walking their dogs and talking to each other.

There! Under that old sturdy oak tree. A cart with wafts of smoke rising. The smell of freshly grilled sausages lifted by the currents of air until it reached his aging nose. He could hear the growling that betrayed the hunger of the human being next to him. He must have smelled the same smells. Oh how he remembered the torturous feeling of an empty stomach betrayed by scents without sustenance. He slowly raised his protesting body from the bench, his popping joints betraying his age to the world. If the young man next to him had noticed, he kept that fact to himself as he kept his eyes staring to whatever was in front of him.

He had reached the cart and found himself lucky with the absence of a queue. With clear and precise language he ordered two sausages on a bun and dropped the coins as payment in the salesman's hand. With both hands occupied he slowly made his way back to the bench, feet slightly scuffing over the path he walked.

Arriving at the bench sitting down was trickier than usual. Keeping his balance took more effort now that his muscles strained ever more. With slightly more force than anticipated he sat his aching body down on the creaking planks. Catching a few audibly breaths he took the bun in his right hand and put it out in front of the young man. The boy tilted his head and met his eyes. He nodded and the fellow grabbed the sausage bun with both hands and fervent eager.

On a quiet noon in early spring two men sat next to each other sharing food on a park bench under budding birch trees. Not a word was spoken, but within the silence a friendship bloomed out of compassion and gratitude between young and old.


IAmTotallyNotSatan OP t1_jdisafy wrote

Amazingly written! I love how we were able to learn so much about this man without him actually doing much.


zeekoes t1_jditlhq wrote

Thank you! It was a great exercise to keep it really small, but still tell a story. Really enjoyed the prompt!


Voyage_of_Roadkill t1_jdihr35 wrote

Cherry blossoms and a cool breeze under a mild sun. The hot dog vender's cart vents off steam from his product and makes stomachs growl. Birds chirp and old men sit on benches chatting the time away.

"He said no gods," he wears a fedora and scratches at a mustard stain on his brown sweater vest missing the glob of onion on his trousers.

"I know," says the other man who could be the twin of the first. Right down to the white orthotics and black cane. He didn't eat a hotdog but holds a stale slightly gummed on pretzel in his palsied hand.

"Or monsters."

"How dare you, but I know that also."

"Only People."

"I know."

"So, what are we going to do? Things have already gone too far. We can't just turn everything off and go home."

"Be a people I guess. Can't make the big guy mad."

"How do you be a people?"

"Well, the way I see it we are the people of this bench."

"What the hell does that even mean?"

"It means that if a census taker were to come right now and take the census of this bench we would be the people he would count."

"Wouldn't that census taker want to know particulars?"

"Like what?"

"I don't know, like religion and skin color and education level?"

"I would tell them the truth."

"What's the truth?"

"I would give them my name."

"Which is?"

"My name is Legion, for I am many."

"Stop, it is beyond certain that the census taker would have heard that old line, you'll give the game straight away with it."

"And you would what? Give him our real names? And that wouldn't give even more away? Just picture the news headlines, Abaddon and Apollyon have come to earth when will the malady mayhem begin? When will the seven trumpets blare?"

"Do you really think they have time to print another run of papers? Things are pretty much about to kick off any second."

"I know. Just fantasying."

"Look, I know you are disappointed they didn't catch on any sooner. Whether you checked with me, or not, they certainly had enough clues. But here we are. Go ahead stand up on the bench and shout it out. Let everyone know what's about to happen. It might make you feel better."

"I wanted a war."

"You get slaves."

"I have had slaves, I wanted to lead a great army and ride a bloody path across the earth. This? This is too--- "

"Easy, yah I get that. Look we didn't pick each other, we got punched together by fate. And now we make due."

"Speaking of due."

"You're right, lets's get started."


VauntBioTechnics t1_jdiniyd wrote

On a warm spring day, far from the center of the city, in the park by the lake, stood a bench. It was an old wooden bench, with metal stands and siderails, but was in good conditioin, and would have made the diety of park benches proud, if there was such a thing.

On this particular bench sat two people. They had been there for some time, and would be there for some time again. On this warm spring day they had nothing in particular to do, and so sat in companionable silence.

One of the pair, a woman with mismatched shoes and an air of solemnity and grace, glanced at her companion. For a long moment it seemed she might say something, perhaps an observance of the fine weather, or a comment on the children playing in the field nearby. But she did not, and the moment passed.

Her companion, a man of middle age, yet who carried a cane and had a limp that spoke of trauma when he walked, also turned slightly, his gaze lurking near the woman. He too seemed about to communicate, a query about her life, or to volunteer an opinion on some topic. But he too, after an anxious moment, stayed silent.

And so it went, for hours more, the woman and the man quietly sitting together. The children of the fields went on their way, young couples walked the paths, and workers returning home made their way through the park. Then, later, the sun settled down below the horizon, the sky lit crimson, then darkness. Stars made themselves abruptly known, and around them the park lights came on one by one.

When it was fully dark, the woman rose, extending her hand to the man. He took it, and she helped him to his feet. Then he took up his cane, and together they walked home.


Mitschu t1_jdij24f wrote

"Pretty peaceful, ayup?"


The two old men sat in companionable silence, watching monsters and demons walk by. A few jeered at them, getting a cheerful wave in return. None dared to enter, despite their overwhelming power, because --


Behind them, Loki fell over dead, the anti-god trap surrounding the bench triggered by his attempt to sneak in. Not even the trickster could fool it into thinking he was just another human. Another spying attempt, failed.

"Beautiful day, innit?"


The two old men sighed happily, secure in their little microcosmic bubble of society, while all around them the world went crazy as all the mythical elements of history came to life and wrecked havoc.


LegalSeries t1_jdiu6vs wrote

The bright rays of light warmed Ethels skin. She was thankful for the tranquility and grateful for the company next to her.

"Those people are in the news again..." Said Barry.

Ethel already knew who "those people" were. She didn't want her friend to get worked up again.

"Oh, you pay those people no mind, Barry" she said hoping to come up with a different topic.

"if I would have known that this is how the world would have ended I would have never given the best years of my life for those- those-"

"You need to just focus on the good. The time you spent over there was not wasted. You got out alive, you raised a beautiful family." She was hoping bringing up Barrys family would inspire him to change the subject.

"You know what they called me the other day? They called me a Nazi. How the hell can I be a Nazi?" He said.

"They did not." she said. Flabegasted by the very thought.

"A couple of them came into the store, holding hands and kissing. It was disgusting. There were kids there and these- these-"

"They were kissing? In front of kids?"

"Hell, if I wouldn't have stopped them who knows how far it would have gone. I kicked their butts out of my store and thats when one them called me a nazi." Barrys voice squeaked when he said it.

"It's all over the place." He continued.

Ethel asked about his grandkids: "Does Marcus like living in DC?"

"aww, hell, we barely hear from Marcus ever since he left for Howard" Barry said in the same tone.

"It's not the same university I went to when I was a kid." Barry was getting ready explode.

Just then Duke, their neighbor across the courtyard, waved at the widow/widower couple. Duke was a young man, he looked to be about 20 to Ethel and Barry (altough to them, anyone under 40 always looked like a 20-year-old).

"How you doing young brother?" asked Barry. Despite Duke being a white man, Barry still called him brother. It was just like Barry to treat all people with the same level of affinity. Duke was a respectful young man that went out of his way to be friendly to his neighbors. Duke was in PT attire but still postponed his workout to chat with the elderly couple. He brought up the weather and made a few self-deprecating jokes. That seemed to change Barrys whole demeanor. Duke waved goodbye and went on his run.

"I like that boy" said Barry.

"Me too, he's so respectful" Ethel said.

"Not many men his age know how to wear their shorts" he said.

"or pants" said Ethel

"It's a damn shame"

The two sat on the bench, absorbing sunlight and enjoying each others company. If Ethel wasn't on dialysis she would have brought tea for them to enjoy. Barry reached into his pocket and pulled out a some hard candy. He silently offered Ethel a piece but she politely declined. The two had been neighbors for a long time. Neither of them had ever met each others spouses but each knew about them in detail. Ethel would talk about her late husband, Frank, and Barry about his late wife, Gladys. Sometimes Ethel would cry at the memories of Frank and sometimes Barry would hold back tears when he brought up Gladys. The one thing they both had in common is that each one found a perfect love and were given big families because of that love.

Before either of them knew what time it was Duke was back from his run already. He was drenched in sweat and his smile was an indicator that his run went well. The sun had shifted and two no longer were under it's direct light.

"Well, that's it for me Ethel. I got to back inside and take a nap" said Barry.

"ok, Barry." she said.

Barry made a grunting noise to get up and slowly made his way back to his home.

"Barry!" cried out Ethel. He turned around (despite all his shuffling he was only a few feet away from her).

"Try not to watch so much news, they only want to make you mad, it's how they sell their crap" she said.

Barry laughed, agreed with Ethel and made his way back home.

Ethel sat on that bench a little longer and took in the site. For her, every breath was like a fine glass of wine. She knew that soon her and Frank would be together again.


NextEstablishment856 t1_jdios7t wrote

I sat on the bench, eating my lunch, a nice meatball sub from Gina's. It was hardly the only bench, another was maybe ten feet away.

So why had this stranger sat next to me? Did I know him? He gave me a half nod as he took a seat. No, I don't think so. He is mid fifties, tanned so not from here or just back from vacation. His graying black hair is parted in the center. He has perfect teeth.

I don't know him, I don't know why he sat, not even at the other end of the bench but right in the middle. If I don't watch me elbow as I eat, it will bump him. Why is he this close?

I try shifting in my seat to show my discomfort, to tell him to move away. Instead, he speaks to me.

"Bit nippy, huh?" His accent is local, and the term "nippy" is fairly common here for these chill spring days. Must be back from vacation.

"Yep," I squeak out, keeping my voice small.

"You must be local, eating at Gina's."

"Born and bred."

"I'm a transplant from Florida, but been here since I was seven. Just went to see some family down there."

That explains the tan, if nothing else. "Missed the storm."

"Yeah, got lucky there. Tom, by the way."

"Davey. Not Jones." I hate that joke. Why do I always tell it? Why am I still talking to him.

"Nice to meet you. I gotta head out, but thanks for the chat."

"See you around." Oh god, I hope I don't. This has been so strange.

He stands and walks off, and I try to finish my lunch in peace.


GrunkleStanwhich t1_jdj0tc7 wrote

This was a particularly cold winter in Evergreen, birds left quick, the trees turned early. I noticed it all the way back in October, their changing from life colored greens to yellowed shades of dead. The disease licking up their foliage disguised as something beautiful.

Birds had left around the same time, the same October day. Took their songs south and left the park as quiet as it was empty. Now only I and the bench remained. Not much of company, but it's what I think I preferred. And all in all it could always be worse. There could be no bench at all, then I'd truly be alone.

As I looked around the park, the empty patch of land whitened by falling snow, I wondered if this was all for me. That truly would be something special then. But I knew that it could not be. The snow would thaw, the people would return, and the park would be reclaimed by the birds, bugs, and children. Even now a man across the path was walking my way with purpose.

I tried to avoid his gaze, but his gaze was obviously meant for me. An older fellow, long coat and wide brimmed hat. He hobbled over and took a seat by my side with a sigh. Then, a long silence. Me looking anywhere but him. Him glancing over to me.

"It's spectacular is it not?" He gestured to the whitened landscape, speaking aloud to nothing and nobody in particular.

"It's dead...." My reply felt cold leaving my throat.

"And that is not spectacular?"

His words hung off in the air, but were extinguished fast by the falling snow. And I was left thinking of what to say and how to say it.

"It's death. Just a thing. Would you call walking spectacular? Does driving your car simply blow you away?"

"Some days not so much." The man continued. "But on others those simple things do prove to impress, and I can honestly say that those days, the days where the simple things mean so much, are my most memorable."

Above a flock of birds flew overhead sending both of our heads upward. I watched as they curved through the sky in a unified pattern, separate but together. Upon returning to the man he was staring at me with a grin.

"Are we both here for the same reason then?" The older man spoke, reaching into his coat pocket and withdrawing a necklace. With a small metallic click the locket opened, revealing an old picture of a woman. On the opposite side a message read: Forever Entwined, My Love Always.

"Ah- I suppose so." Hesitantly I held up a picture of my own. A girl, young and fair haired. Still young and fair haired today, never aging in the only place left for her to exist: my mind.

"If you wouldn't mind, I think I'd prefer to be alone now." The words choked up in my throat.

"It's no mind, seeing as you already are alone. It's just you and the park bench."

The man kissed the locket and returned it to his coat pocket, then turned and stared out to the park in renewed silence. And we sat. Both of us just sat, alone together.


Successful_Craft3076 t1_jdj2p4r wrote

The invisible world

"No, I told you just to wait, no, I don't want it." The man sped through the park. Faceless figures everywhere around him. "Okay, call me when it is done. Goodbye." It was a hot summer day and he was sweating hard inside his black suit. He found a bench and sat down to catch his breath while browsing his phone. He hated the summer. Burning sun, children's noises. Constant sweating. All of them.

Then something dropped on his phone. A bird's faeces. "God damnit" Someone laughed. He turned his face towards the origin of the voice. It was a girl, she was wearing a sports top, exposing a well built body, and had an open book sitting on her lap. "Sorry, your face, it was just too funny." "Glad one of us is enjoying this." "Here" she gave him a napkin. "Thank you." he replied.

"You are exercising and reading?" The man asked. "Two things I love the most." The man took another look at the girl. Deep black eyes, Golden hair, inviting lips, and a killer body. She was actually very beautiful.

"What are you reading?" "Cathedral" "Carver? You have a great taste!" "Wow, you've read it?" "You know, I wasn't always a boring suit." He paused: "Before I started working in finance, I wanted to be a writer. " "What happened?" The girl was smiling. It was as if she actually sympathized with him. "Reality happened. I figured I was not that good. At least not enough to make a living out of it." "Did you even try?" The man looked down. They both knew the answer.

The bench they were sitting on was one of the four benches around a small square, at the center of a small square there was a statue of a blindfolded man. Offering his eyes in his hands. "It is beautiful isn't it? Beautiful and scary" the girl asked pointing at the figure. The man answered: "Yes it is. somehow I never noticed it." "They say the artist himself was blind. He is offering his eyes so others can see what he can't." The girl replied.

The man looked at the girl. She smiled. The sun was illuminating her hair like a golden crown. Children were laughing nearby. "I know it might look strange, but would you be interested in sitting here with me this same time tomorrow?" He asked. "I would like it!" She answered. He was fixated on her face, her lips, her body, he didn't even realize his phone was ringing non-stop the whole time. "It is Sarah by the way." "I'm Philip, and I can swear you just made the world a more beautiful place."


NicabarP t1_jdj7ic7 wrote

It was a beautiful spring day, and the sun was shining down on the small park nestled in the heart of the bustling city. The park was quiet except for the sound of birds chirping and the soft rustling of leaves in the gentle breeze.

On a bench in the middle of the park sat two people, an elderly man and a young woman. They sat in silence, staring out at the world around them.

The man was dressed in a simple gray suit, and his face was lined with wrinkles. His hair was white and thinning, and he wore a pair of round spectacles on the bridge of his nose. He looked as if he had seen a great deal in his life, and his eyes were filled with a quiet wisdom.

The young woman was dressed in a bright yellow sundress, and her long, blonde hair flowed in the breeze. She looked up at the man and smiled, and he returned the gesture.

They sat like this for a few moments, enjoying the warmth of the sun and the beauty of the park. Finally, the man spoke.

"You know, I used to come to this park all the time when I was your age," he said. "It was my favorite spot in the city."

The young woman looked at him curiously. "What did you do here?" she asked.

"Oh, nothing really," he said with a chuckle. "Just sat and watched the world go by. It was a simpler time back then. There weren't as many distractions as there are now."

The young woman nodded thoughtfully. "I know what you mean," she said. "Sometimes it feels like we're all so busy rushing around that we forget to enjoy the little things."

The man smiled. "You're wise beyond your years," he said. "I wish I had learned that lesson earlier in life."

The two of them sat in silence again, lost in their own thoughts. But then the man spoke up again.

"You know, I lost my wife a few years ago," he said. "We used to come to this park together all the time. She loved it here."

The young woman reached over and took the man's hand in hers. "I'm so sorry," she said softly.

The man squeezed her hand gratefully. "Thank you," he said. "It's hard, but I try to remember the good times we had together. And sitting here with you now, I can almost feel her presence with us."

The young woman smiled. "I'm glad," she said. "I believe that the people we love never truly leave us. They live on in our memories and in the places we shared with them."

The man nodded. "You're right," he said. "And I'm grateful for this moment we're sharing together. It's almost as if my wife is here with us, enjoying the sunshine and the beauty of this park."

The two of them sat there for a while longer, enjoying each other's company and the peace of the park. And in that moment, they both felt a sense of comfort and belonging that they hadn't felt in a long time.

As the sun began to set, they stood up to leave. The man turned to the young woman and smiled.

"Thank you for sharing this time with me," he said. "It's been a pleasure getting to know you."

The young woman smiled back. "Likewise," she said. "I hope we can do it again sometime."

And with that, they went their separate ways, each feeling a little lighter and a little more connected to the world around them.


Dodecadungeon t1_jdkedwa wrote

“How have I never been here before?” I asked, looking out into the pond, “The flowers are beautiful, and the pond has turtles and koi! This garden is so full of life!”

Azalea chuckled, “I’m glad you like it, not a lot of people visit gardens or parks nowadays, the world has so much entertainment vying for our attention, which means nature gets taken to the wayside.”

I smiled, “I disagree, look at these turtles, there has to be a story here.”

Az leaned over the ponds railing to get a closer look, having to stand on her tip-toes to get a better view, “You’re right… it’s almost as if they’re holding some sort of council.”

“I’m not surprised,” I said, adding to her scenario, “See how they’re all standing on those rocks with their necks stuck out. Those are clearly noble turtles, they have all the best real estate. This is the prettiest part of the pond after all.” I nodded toward the murky waters to our left, where only a few sad turtles lurked.

With a smirk she grabbed my hand and pulled me over to the murky waters, “Oh really? Then tell me about these turtles.”

“The slums district turtles, obviously,” I said without missing a beat, “But…” I began, my mind forming a larger narrative, “Not just because of economic equality. See those markings on that turtle’s shell? They’re the same as the high class ones. She used to be a member of the council, in fact. However, her ideas were too radical, and in return, she was banished to the slums, dismissed as low life, her name forgotten.”

Azalea’s gaze was fixed on mine, listening to my story, “The plot thickens, now…” she glances around, then points at a nearby bench, “I bet we could see the whole pond from there, that way we can really get an idea of what’s going on with those turtles.”

My eyes widened, “Great idea!” I grinned, “Though if you think this conspiracy stops with just turtles you are solely mistaken.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything else!” Az led me to the bench and patted the space next to her.

I sat beside her and shifted slightly, “This bench isn’t exactly in the shade, but it does have a nice view… 7/10.”

She snorted, “You rate benches?”

I shrugged, “Others deserve to know what they’re getting into with this bench, rating it warns them it’s just a 7/10 bench. We must inform the masses.”

“And what does a 10/10 bench look like?”

I pointed to a bench across the pond, sealed off by construction tape, “That one. My guess is that tape has been there for years, that way only the employees get to use it. See how it’s in the shade, has a nice curve to it for improved comfort, and offers a fantastic view? A 10/10 bench if you ask me. Not only that, but it’s got a dedication on it, they only dedicate quality benches, after all.”

Azalea sighed, “Oh to have one’s namesake immortalized in a bench…”

“You think it’s that difficult to get a bench named after you? I’m sure with a little bit of patronage and digging I can get a bench named after you in no time.”

She cocked an eyebrow, “Really?”

I nodded, “I’ll look into it for you. Besides, you’re just as deserving of a bench as anyone whose ever been dedicated on these things. Probably mostly crusty old snobs with enough money to donate to a garden so they look as though they care about the environment.”

Az beamed, “Well when you put it like that…” She struck a pose, “I suppose I might just be benchworthy.”

For the first time in the conversation, my breath caught. The image of Azalea posed on that bench, hair shifting slightly in the breeze, her eyes twinkling in the sun… it was, well, needless to say it was enough for me to change my rating of this bench.

Her laugh sailed through the air, “What? Do I really look that ridiculous?”

I shook my head, “No, it’s not that. I just… nevermind. Anyway, I’ll let you know what I find about bench dedications.”

“Oh don’t worry about that, I’m sure only those snobby rich folk get dedications.”

“No, I said I’d look into it and I will. I promise.”

“Those turtles are the ones who really deserve a dedication, especially the ones fighting against the status quo.”

“They’re doing much more than that.” I pointed over to even murkier waters, where a lone turtle stood on a jagged rock, “That turtle is trying to achieve godhood.”


“Yes, he’s a practitioner of the dark shell arts. It’s been banned by the turtle pond council, he has his koi spies infiltrating the turtle council and planning his attack once his ascension ritual is ready.”

She chuckled, “Those turtles sure have more interesting lives than us.”

I leaned closer to her to watch the turtles, placing my hand over hers, “Too bad turtles don’t get bench dedications.”

Azalea’s eyes met mine, “Too bad indeed. I’ve had a lot of fun with you today, would you perhaps want to meet up again?”

I grinned, “I’d love to, just name the place?”

Az looked around before her eyes settled back on me, “Let’s meet at this bench.”

My smile brightened, “Perfect.”


YoureInHereWithMe t1_jdkfgpp wrote

“Wednesday are never great for table tennis,” the man said, voice low and rough.

She blinked. Glanced his way. “Sorry?”

He kept his gaze ahead, as if he hadn’t said a thing. His hair was greying, tucked under a flat cap that didn’t quite suit him. He wore dark rimmed glasses that sat too low on the curved bridge of his nose.

“Wednesdays are never great for table tennis,” he repeated.

Perplexed, she quickly surveyed their surroundings to check he wasn’t talking to anybody else. Aside from a lone dog walker in the distance, though, there was nobody in the vicinity.

“…it’s Friday.”

He did look at her then, a deep line appearing between his brows, his mouth flattening tightly.

Perhaps he was confused, she thought. Unwell.

She cleared her throat, turned to face him slightly. Their knees knocked and he glanced down, but still he remained quiet. Gently, she said, “It’s Friday the eighth of June.”

“Yes,” he said, pointedly. “Friday, eighth of June, forty nine minutes past eleven. On the ninth bench of the east-west path through Melody Park”

Tilting her wrist up she could see that he was right about the time. A quick glance to their left told her he was correct about the number of benches, too. “Right,” she said.

He stared still, one eyebrow eventually arching expectantly. “And Wednesdays…are never great…for table tennis.”

She lifted both hands, palm up, nothing to offer except for a barely perceptible shake of her head.

His shoulders slumped. “Just give me the bag.”

Instinctively her grip tightening on her satchel. It had been fairly expensive a few years ago, one of very few luxuries she’d ever afforded herself, and even though it was a little tired and a little worn now, she loved it.

He reached out an impatient hand and gave the bag a little tug. “We don’t have time for this, give it.”

She clutched it tighter still. “Wh…? No.”

For a second he bared his teeth like a gorilla.

“These one-off hires, I swear to god,” he muttered, shaking his head as he reached into his jacket. “How old are you, twenty one? Christ. Retention issues, they say. The economy’s tough even for us, blah blah blah.”

She heard the noise before she saw it. A sound she only knew from movies. A muffled click. And there it was, a long black gun, aimed right into her side.

She felt her heart rate spike, a sudden dizziness coming over her.

He was as casual as ever. “Meanwhile here I am, wasting my time because you can’t remember the code phrases. No, not as young as twenty one. I can tell by your frown lines.”

He huffed, nudged the tip of the silencer into her lower rib.

“Anyway,” he said. “Bag. Now.”

He nudged again for good measure.

Her clammy fingers loosened, seemingly one by one, until he was able to wrangle the bag from her grip.

“Thank you,” he said, the words steeped in sarcasm.

Then he was up and gone, setting off to the right past the duck pond with her bag tucked tightly to his side, a handful of geese waddling furiously out of his path.

She watched him go, his steps seeming to match the quickened pulse that thundered in her ears.

The sudden vibration of her phone in her back pocket made her shriek. Nearby pigeons scattered into the air, but the man didn’t turn back.

Dad calling, her phone read.

She took a moment before answering.

“Hi,” she breathed, tongue clumsy and dry.

The response came fast and clearly worried. Her dad had been so apprehensive about her moving to the city.

“No, I’m- I’m okay…I just…” She sighed.

She didn’t take her eyes off the retreating figure.

“I think a spy just accidentally stole my lunch.”


Mitschu t1_jdlmf3u wrote

[Sorry, had the irresistible urge to continue this.]

He hung up the phone finally, sighing in exasperation. That silly girl didn't want to go to the police. She wasn't hurt, nothing of particular value taken, no names, nothing to go on. To top it all off, she thought that some random confused spy had just bombed a top secret mission exclusively to get access to her lunch.

He hummed to himself, rocking back and forth in his chair while he thought. If only he was still on speaking terms with her estranged uncle, Louie. He lived in the city, and was the only family he could count on to look over her while she settled in. But... there was the wedding incident. He struggled, but finally, he made up his mind and placed the call with only a quick grimace.

"Thank you for calling, how may I direct your call?"

"I wanted to reserve my usual table, under the name Hank McGuire?"

There was a pause. "Sir, this is Senior Getaway Adult Care. You were probably trying to reach Don's Athletics. 8898, not 8889."

He grimaced. "Sorry about that. Must be nerves, my team's in the league and about to go to the finals, you've probably heard of us? Big Lou's Paddlers?"

The woman on the other side issued a friendly tsk. "Of course I have. And this happens a lot. Would you like me to hang up so you can redial?"

"Yes, thank you. Geez, that was an amateur mistake. This is why I always say: Wednesdays are never great for table tennis."

He heard a pause, then a hum and a buzz. The woman's voice chirped up again, still polite and bubblingly cheerful, although slightly muffled by the white noise of static. "But you know: you can still win if you scrimmage until Thursday."

"Or show up early and beat them on a Tuesday." He chuckled agreeably. There was a loud, crisp click, and another voice came on the line.

"Hey, Hank. You know I don't do family discounts, so you prepared to pay this time, or just wanting some chit-chat? Either way, make it quick, this ain't a good time, my boys are coming in hot right now. Some A+1 shit, you know what that means."

Hank began to explain about his daughter, and how she had moved to the city recently. Lou listened, growing more exasperated as he realized what the call was about.

"And you want me to play babysitter? What part of 'no family deals' didn't you comprende?" The voice faded as Lou leaned away from the phone. "Tell him to come right in, I'm done with this call. No shit bring the documents with him, did he think I liked his fashion sense and wanted pointers?"

His voice rose again. "Yeah, Hank. You want a bodyguard, you got the wrong guys. I'm gonna hang up now, business to do. Good hearing from you, bro, don't call again." A pause. "Well? Show me the goods."

"Lou. Be reasonable. You know you still owe me for --"



Verified_Hunter t1_jdiw38f wrote

Just two people sitting on a park bench. Nothing suspicious about it. No gods, or fairies, or demons, or devils, or anything out of the norm. Their names were Jack and Mary.

Jack turned towards her and said, "You know I've been feeling rather blue lately, Mary."

"Oh, what's the matter Jack? You've always been happy and energetic."

"That's just the thing! Nothing happened, yet I feel like something absolutely horrible has happened, as if a ghost is sucking the life out of me, as if my soul has been sold to the devil. These words feel unnatural just I am speaking them."

Mary shook her head as if to say that this was something she vehemently disagreed with, and something that was absolutely not good. She hmm-ed, as if ending an argument, and put her arms together.

"What could it be I wonder." Mary said.

"I think it might be the doctor!" Jack said. "He gave me a couple of pills last night, and it feels like they've stuck inside of me all of this time, like they've changed me in a way that is unalterable. I sit here and wonder if I've lost myself. If who I was is a thing that has dissapeared, and that I will never get back. Thoughts like that worry me."

"You musn't say that Jack! Everything will be alright."

"And what if they're not? What if, my life is at the beginning of a downward spiral that will take me to hell? What if this is as good as it ever gets for me? That's the thing, there's no way of knowing. I guess that's a good thing. Would you want to know how you die Mary?"

"No, god no, why would I ever want to know that?"

"Some people try to prevent it. If they know they will die in a car crash, maybe they'll hang themselves, or put a bullet against their brain. It's a worthless thing, because what they fail to understand is that our lives were never ours in the first place."

"Oh god Jack, you are truly sick. What are these words you are spitting out?"

"See that's the problem!" Jack said. "I read a book, and those damn thoughts haven't been getting out of my head. I think they've changed me. I think the person who I used to be dissapeared, and I'm scared to death that it might be the case."

"Oh no Jack. What will we do?"

"There was a similiar thing to this that happened me once," Jack said. "I was nearly twelve years old, and on my way to school when a grizzly bear stepped into my path. It was a ferocious things, with long claws, dead eyes, a mighty jaw, but you know, it looked so soft. Just like a teddy. So I hugged it!"

"Jack, what are you saying? You're going crazy."

"I know," Jack said. "Nobody believes I hugged the bear. People called me crazy then too. But I felt it. I felt its warm fur against my arms. I heard it grunting. I felt it pushing me away. I think it was full on food. Otherwise I think it would have aten me. Honestly, I'm not sure why it didn't. I think that might be fate working its magic right there."

"Jack! What will we do?"

"I don't know. I don't fucking know."


AstronomicalObserve t1_jdixev7 wrote

Watching the ducks dip their beak into the lake repeatedly, the two individuals toss crumbs into the lake. One, holding the bag filled with bread. The other, crossing his arms, letting the sunlight rest on his face.

"Gramps." The boy holding the bag speaks, ripping the silence between them.

The old man, with his arms crossed, peace interrupted responds with a passive-aggressive tone, "Yes, son?"


The boy sits proud and towering, a strong wielder of his youthful physique. While the grandpa, sitting with a bright head, a phenomenal wielder of wisdom.


"What's the meaning of life?" The boy asks. The bag slipped off his palm gradually.

The old man chuckled for a bit, before responding with, "Son, such questions are proposed by those who have nothing more to do."

The boy stares in confusion, still expecting a direct answer.

The old man lets out a sigh, "I suppose you have nothing more to do? Playing outside? How about your dog? Teach him a few tricks."


The boy, also lets out a sigh. "Gramps, I have no clue what I want to be. An artist like my interests, or an accountant like my parents said?"

The old man stretches, letting out a yawn, hands extended. "My boy," The old man pats the boy's head, "I know that your parents' statements are contradictory to mine. However, I suggest you pursue a profession that is in your interest, not for the sake of money."

"Why is that, gramps?"

"Those who pursue jobs that depress them die immediately at that work place, afterwards you're simply a corpse with the capacity to breathe. Yet, those who pursue what interests them will continue to live on, up to their deathbeds."


The boy immediately nods, "I think I'll still be an accountant. The idea that I would lack money scares me."

The old man lets out a huge sigh, "Son, sometimes I question if you're listening to me. Why even ask questions?"


The boy chuckled, "Okay, okay. I still have more questions."

The old man yet again, sighed followed by a grunt. "Once I'm dead, I hope you realize how crucial my sayings are." Another chuckle ensued.


They continued having conversations, both chuckling, both sighing. Until the sun slowly sets into the back of the mountain, causing them to get up, and proceed walking.


dbzmm1 t1_jdj78fq wrote

An old man and his grandchild sit on a park bench.

As I ride by on my bike I wonder what it's like for both. I never had a grandpa. He died in a military accident before my mom ever met my dad. My family reveres him like he's some sort of saint. Saint Grandpa. Would I like him? Would he have liked me? Does grandpa look out from heaven and say "Yup, I'm proud of that one." ?

I went to the military too but only for a bit. I didn't feel that matched me well. Would we have swapped service stories? I don't know.

And the kid...

My wife and I have been trying for a child for years now. Nothing.

Will I get to see a little me walk around? Does all my family end with me? I always liked being a teacher, a mentor showing people bits of the world. Who do I get to share the little moments of discovery at all the things that are so cool in the world?

I pass by on my bike and try to focus on the trail ahead. No need to think right now.


Narutophanfan1 t1_jdjkmzg wrote

The two were sitting together in silence as they both seemed to struggle to find words. Eventually Tim spoke to his companion.

"Jason, i uhhh didn't think you would come honsently. But thank you for being here. "

Jason turned and looked at the person sharing the bench with him. "I am kinda surprised I came as well."

Tim took a deep breath before continuing. "I just wanted to clear the air. We were friends for so long and I wanted to apologize and hopefully make amends. "

Jason stayed silent letting his former friend continue. "Oh Christ this is hard. I am dying. Probably not tomorrow or next week or even next year but the doctors give me five years maybe 7 tops. And I wanted to start re connecting to those I knew once upon a time."

"I am sorry to hear that. Tim I know we didn't part on the best of terms but I never wished any harm on you. "

Tim smiled a sad smile "that was never a thought that crossed my mind you were always a better person than me. Anyway I will let you go and stop taking up your time. I am sorry by the way i... Took our dreams and dashed them because I saw only dollar signs. " Tim began to get up before a gentle hand stopped him.

"I would also like to apologize in retrospect you were just trying to take a chance you might never have gotten again. Our band had been floundering for years and you saw a way out and took it. I can not fault you for that. "

"Thanks Jason that is far more than I deserve. I will let you go about your live. I am sure you have better things than to talk to a washed up one hit wonder. " Tim once more began to get up from the park bench and walked a few feet a way before turning back to Jason. " I think that old sports bar we used to go to in college is around here."

"I believe it is. The one with the really really greasy nachos?"

"That's the one. Hey how about for olds times sack we go and have a beer? I think there is a game on. My treat."

Jason smiled as he got up from the bench and headed towards his friend. "I would like that Tim. I would really like that."


RivCA t1_jdkamm2 wrote

On mobile, so sorry for the errors.

Edward and Mitchell were sitting on a park bench. They were watching the sun begin to drop below the treeline enjoying the breeze.

"Hey, guys, sorry I took so long." William walked up with his dog on the leash. "The line at the can was real, this time." Arno was sniffing away looking for her place to sit. She laid down after William squeezed into his customary spot on the bench.

After a few minutes of the quiet, William muttered, "It's windy.."

Thanks to the wind, Edward didn't quite hear him. "No, it's Thursdee."

Mitchell said a little too loudly, "Me too, let's go get some beers!"


Lolosmirnoff-md t1_jdkd6bs wrote

1999 Carol was old she minced words about her age when her knees bent to sit on the small park's only bench they crackled and her balance went. But Carol didn't hit the pavement; she didn't hit anything. Still kinda wably from the slip she heard a faint voice, “man carol you really scared the shit out if me. Are you ok?” again, no reply. “Carol it's me, Frank. We are having lunch together in our bench. It's Monday.” he looked into his best friends eyes and “Boy I had you scared ya old bastard. “ she brushed her clean as Frank gently sat her back on her cushion. She brought it every Monday; wood was to hard. Frank finally cocked a smile and anger disapTex into humor. He loved carol to much to stay angry. “That was a cheap trick carol” he reminded her “you're just an old mean which. A cackle escaped from carols mouth. To be clear she wasn't anything of the sort, but she did cackle like the classic persona would sound like. Her laugh was franks first attraction to her, attending bigger park up the street he at alone. Everyone did there enough places for all seniors and you workers to spread out. Frank didn't like it, his wife just past away six months ago he was ready to talk. . Carol smiled and invited him over with a wave. Introductions through they each explained why they came here everyday. Both were tired of stuffed inside their senior size apartment, “there's another park near here no one goes to anymore frank. We could go there and eat in privacy” it was so mych a question as a reminder of flirting and how much she enjoyed it. Frank agreed eagerly, “ how about Monday? We can have a nice time without loud yuppies yelling at homeless men. So they are together every Monday, “did you see the track that singer had? If I were twenty rears younger watch out!” carol finished her sandwich quickly. Soon Mondays replaces backward silence from Father Michaels who didn't agree women and men shouldn't eat together. Both seniors laughed, rather Frank laughed and Carol tackled. Their lunches were long and despite rain or snow they attended. Frank wanted to tell her how deeply his feeling had grown but was worried it might ruin an already perfect scenario. They did this till the park's number of visitor dwindles. They both understood; they both hoped and prayed every Sunday during Mass too. 2020 Frank sat on their bench waiting for carol. It wasn't like her to be late. “ I hope she's ok. I hope she didn't leave town.” causing him to giggle to himself. Frank felt hungry so he ate alone that Monday and the next too. And then he stopped. The day before, Sunday, Father Michael's recited the prayer for all who fell to the still new Coronavirus. On the third Sunday he was I formed of carol, his most special friend had past away three weeks earlier. Frank almost wept but held it together throughout Mass. He tried to leave but Father stopped him, “Frank I know the loss of carol is painful but she had prepared a letter for you. When he life was ending it was only you she thought Frank, only you.” he placed a hand of frank shoulder and frank left quickly with his letter. He could read it In only one place. As he sat on their bench he laughed, he cried and... He said goodbye to his most special friend


ArtistRedFox t1_jdkvxrh wrote

When I took my nightly walk, I noticed two people out of the corner of my eye. They sat, side by side, on a park bench. A tree was planted behind them, its leafy branches reaching out to cast soft shadows over the couple.

They spoke in quiet voices as if breaking the fall silence would shatter them into pieces.

Gentle words whispered for only their ears. Secrets between two souls, shared on a chilly evening. A conversation that would never be told to another.

They huddled closely together, as though the brisk autumn wind could rip them apart.

A hand resting on the opposite shoulder, keeping a partner close. A head settled where the other's neck meets their collarbone. Two people who fit in each other's shape snugly, like puzzle pieces.

Two silhouettes on a bench in the park, out in the open, but in their own little world.

I smiled to myself, and continued my walk.


GrossGrimalkin t1_jdl7n9u wrote

It was silent in the autumn breeze with only the wind blowing golden leaves across the empty park. Not even the crows who often belted their croaking melancholia from the oak shifted. They puffed up their feathers like black coats and pulled them tight as they sat in their nests. Winter's chill sat in potential on the weathered clouds, darkening a pale yellow fluff to dark grey with a promise of frigid rains. It never snowed here, but the chill of winter bit deeper every year. Well, it wasn't quite correct to day it never snowed, for almost every year since that fateful day, if snowed. Technically.

No children played in the park, as the stones that crunched beneath their feet had been long since bleached too white in unabating sun, and no more green sprouted to break their fall. I could remember their laughter, though. Even after all these years, I don't think I'll ever forget the sound of a child's laughter.

"You think the weather tomorrow will be good?" He asked beside me in a creaking voice.

I began to tell him. I told him how the double headed crows told me of now coming soon. The hogs in my garden got bolder. The bats and all four little wings fluttered in my attic, seeking warmth. I told him about every struggle and strife I knew.

"You think the weather tomorrow will be good?" He asked, for that was all I knew how to make the creaking skeleton say, and I never was creative enough to come up with something. He'd said that to me the day the bombs dropped. Im bad at making things up... but I know how to remember.

I don't think I can forget.


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Omen224 t1_jdl49pq wrote

We could totally purple prose this, lovecraftian style.

Should I?


Monodeservedbetter t1_jdl0uty wrote

"Awfully quiet today..." Dr Achebe said to her colleague on the same bench in the courtyard. They seemed to care more about their sandwich than how quiet today was.

Dr Achebe was not used to such a boring day. The usual stresses and problems she dealt with refused to come up. She knew she didn't miss them, but you cannot just go cold turkey on these things without feeling something was missing. It would just be a boring weirdly memorable day...

If all her problems just weren't there today, that meant there was no need to escape them. Which in turn meant she had nothing to do. She was just beginning to think that her luck was holding when out in the distance came a familiar but not comforting sound....

A faint muahahaha


hypergx t1_jdladcy wrote

The bench overlooking the old, overgrown quarry was still slick with morning dew, smattered with fresh-fallen leaves and aching from years of rain-battered use.

On it were two people, one old, one young. The old one, a tall, thin man in an overcoat twenty years out of date, wished his unintended companion would leave, please and thank you. He had been coming to the quarry to sit ever since he had moved to the area, one foggy, far-off day decades prior. Now he struggled to make the hike up on a good day, and he feared that he may not get many more chances.

The younger bench-sitter was initially a bit worried he might disturb the old man as he came around the bend and up the hill to where the bench kept its silent watch at its apex. Now he was beginning to think his suspicions were correct, as he tried very hard to creep over to the farthest end. Attempts at eye contact, and perhaps a conversation, were met with annoyed ignorance.

Leaves rustled, fell, and came to rest on the ground surrounding the bench. Early autumn wind blew through the trees, and time seemed to stop, as if nature herself was contemplating the absurdity of the silent melodrama playing out on the bench.

It was as if the men themselves, and the bench too, had become a part of the dun quarry walls they overlooked.

At last, after several empty seconds had passed, the young man took out a careworn copy of Walden from a ragged, stitched up hiking bag. As he flipped to where his place was marked, the old man slowly turned his head to look over his shoulder.

And as they let their guards down and began to talk, the earth opened herself up once more, to bask in the joys of autumn wind, fallen leaves, and new friendships.


markingthespotbot t1_jdlv66l wrote

"Annnd- now!"
"I told you, us, on the bench. Nothing more than that."
"wait, wait i can sense some cool action scene, just give it a!"
"nothing has happened, accept the bench."
"i dont want to! Something will happen, you'll- break into tears and confess some cool power of yours! or that you- work for the government!"
"Or ill sit here, with you, on this bench."
"or maybe you'll stand!"
"i will not be standing.."
-a few hours later-
"Ok..Ok... so- nothing happens?"
"Nothing happens."
-the two slowly look toward your own screen.-
"Make something happen reader... i cant live on a bench in a short story forever, can i?"


CarsonCooperWrites t1_jdmc85b wrote

“Good morning” said the elderly woman.

“Uh..good morning.” Said the angst teen.

The teen, Ross, looked over at her between the black hair obscuring his eyes. The lady was smiling at him. Her eyes literally sparkling.

Ross looks away and eyes his formerly white PF flyers, now scribbled with upside down crosses, (admittedly in poor taste) a nazi symbol and various other insignia. He thumbs the bottle of aspirin in his coat pocket.

“What’s your name?” The lady says.

“Hey lady. I don’t want to talk I just want to sit here and THINK.” He snaps. This must surely make the lady leave him alone. But no, she speaks again “My names Evelyn. You look just like my grandson.”

Ross remains quiet. Evelyn still staring at him he presumes. Ross thinks ‘I’m gonna punch this lady if she doesn’t stop fucking talking to me.’

“Is your name Justin?”

He looks at her at this, snapping his glare in her direction. “No my names not JUSTIN.”

“You look like my grandson Justin.” She says again. This time she sits back and kind of scoots into the bench seemingly getting comfortable for a long wait. She now looks straight ahead and is watching two squirrels chase and twist their way up a tree.

Ross, not Justin, is looking at her with a disgusted and confused look on his face. He looks at what she is looking at and himself settles back into the bench. Now sitting up straight instead watching the squirrels dance instead of hunching over staring at his offensive shoes.

A few minutes go by. Ross thumbing the bottle of aspirin, the pills every so often making a rattling noise a full bottle of pills make. Evelyn seems to not hear what he has hidden in his pocket. What he has hidden in his mind.

“Nature is something.” She says.

Ross takes a sigh. “Yeah. I guess it is.” His mind clearing up from the red haze that filled it’s every chasm minutes earlier.

“My grandson Justin would’ve loved watching these squirrels go nuts.” She smiles (not noticing the pun she just made which her grandson also would’ve gotten a good laugh from) her scaly, wrinkled hands lying crossed on her lap. Ross takes notice that she is wearing all black, like him. Except she doesn’t look like a punk like me, he thinks.

“What happened to him?” Ross asks, his curiosity taking over. He forgets the bottle of pills in his pocket.

A tear rolls down her eye.

“The world just isn’t as beautiful without the people that make it beautiful. What’s a world without the ones you love?” She speaks, her voice quivering.

This hits Ross. He actually came to this bench to clear his mind before swallowing over 10,000 milligrams of aspirin.

“If Justin knew how much his grandmother loved him, maybe he wouldn’t ‘ve…” her voice trails off.

Ross thinks about his grandmother who looks very much like Evelyn. His “guardian” is what the school system calls her. How she would feel if he killed himself. Would she be sitting on this same bench crying to some stranger?

Ross stands up. He gives Evelyn a big hug (not even caring if any of his “punk” buddies see him). “I’m sorry” Ross says.

He feels her shaking. She’s taking Deep breaths and crying into the shoulder of his black hoodie with a Rams skull patch on the chest.

“Justin” she mutters between breaths.

Ross releases her and stands looking at her, he doesn’t bother brushing the hair out of his eyes because he now has tears to hide. He says to her “I have to go now.”

Evelyn looks up at him through teary eyes and says “Thank you young man. It’s people like you who make this world beautiful.”

Ross’s brain, heart and lungs choke up at this. He thinks about his grandmother. He turns and begins to jog toward his house. He stops suddenly when he notices the loud rattling of pills in his pocket. He turns on a dime and jogs back, reaches into his jeans pocket and tosses the bottle of pills and tosses them into the trash can seated beside Evelyn.

He looks at her and smiles. She smiles back. A remnant of a tear she forgot to wipe hanging just below her cheek.

Ross turns once again and jogs home.