Friday, April 26, 2013

"Please Give Me A 5 Star Review" - #FridayFlash

Morning rush, we're shorthanded and every customer has a special order. I can see them shuffling, huffing, eye-rolling and muttering. One surreptitiously - or so he thinks - holds up his LifeFone. Reading my badge and knocking a few points off, no doubt. The woman in front, her skin's tan exceeding her handbag's, wrists clanging with aurelian fandango, purses her lips at the scent of failure obviously emanating from me.

"That's not what I ordered. I distinctly said without ketchup." Turning to the people behind her, she loudly asks for God's help in dealing with "these people who can't perform a simple task. Probably up half the night with 3 brats from 3 different fathers."

I don't have kids but I did have 3 different "fathers" and so perhaps she has some shred of psychic ability. What she does have is a LifeFone, which she wields like a crucifix. At this rate, by the time my shift is over I'll be lucky to have 1 or 2 stars, enough to get paid the bare minimum.

I apologize profusely, admire her blouse, produce the gift card I'd gotten from my boyfriend Giorgio, and offer it to her for her “trouble”. She grudgingly accepts it and drops it into the cavernous maw of her alligator bag. 

"I'll give you one, little girl, because you seem to at least be making some effort. Unlike most of you people." Her eyes slide to Giorgio, who is slowly dragging an overflowing trash bag to the door. I want to tell her that he lost part of his foot by snatching a child out of harm's way (which earned him so many stars that we could eat and pay the rent for almost a year) but it felt safer to distract her evil stare from him.

"Yes ma'am. I do try, ma'am. Thank you so much for coming in today, and I hope to see you again." She holds up the gadget and I feel my badge tingle as a star is added to my rating.

Barring anymore censorious customers, I'll earn enough this week to keep the electricity on for another month. There's talk that the next generation of Lifefones will live up to their name. Trying to weed us out by means of poverty is simply taking too long.

Which leaves buying a lottery ticket and keeping my eye out for for places where fools rush in.


  1. Wow...really powerful piece. Excellent in how much is conveyed in so few word. You are a master of Flash Fiction. You should know that. This was a powerful indictment of how people view and treat those who "serve" them. Great work.

  2. Now that is a scary glimpse into the possible future.

  3. That is wonderful. It fills me with a sense of foreboding and horror... especially since this could actually become reality one day. Thank you for sharing and happy writing!

  4. had me going, from the tweet of the title I assumed it was a poor indie author on the beg... But instead this was a neat piece of dystopia

    marc nash

  5. Thank you Stuart, Alex, Lissy and Marc, for reading and commenting.
    Apparently the comment box does not always appear - if that happens, refresh the page and it should then appear.

  6. A strong and compact story. Very nicely done.