Flash Fiction Friday – How May I Help You?

Yesterday I finally manage to do my writing stream! I think it’s been 2-3 weeks since the last time, but it feels like longer. I have moved my writing stream from Thursday evenings to Thursday mornings because it suits my current schedule better. I did some conlanging, and also wrote the following piece based on a Seventh Sanctum prompt. As I usually do, the prompt was the first sentence:

“If I have to deal with anymore fallen gods, I’m killing myself,” Leo groaned as he plopped down in the worn-down, slightly lumpy sofa in the staff lounge.
“You shouldn’t joke about things like that,” Judy said, half-heartedly whacking him on the knee with her dog-eared paper-back. “Here of all places.”
“Hey, if there’s anywhere to joke like that, it’s here,” Kay said, adding a dash of creamer to her coffee.
Judy rolled her eyes.
“No, but seriously,” Leo went on. “I get that it’s a ‘big life change’.” He air-quoted around the emphatically pronounced words. “but if ‘I can’t bend mortals to my will anymore’ is the biggest problem in your life, maybe you’re not actually depressed. Maybe you just need a hobby.”
“There is no such thing as a bad reason to be depressed,” Judy reminded him. “Do I need to send you back to training?”
“No no, I’m good, I’m good,” he insisted. “I’m just… I don’t get it. I don’t know what to say to that. ‘Not being all-knowing sounds really rough’? ‘I understand it must be hard not to have immeasurable power anymore’? Except I don’t understand at all because that’s just life for all the rest of us, right? I’ve never even been a manager, how can I relate to the struggles of no longer being a god?”
Kay giggled, sitting down next to him on the sofa. “I mean, if you think about it, it makes sense they’d get depressed,” she said, always one to see both sides. “Gods must have, like, neurotransmitters that are literally not of this world. Either just vast quantities, or maybe even kinds that the rest of us don’t even have. And then suddenly they’re mortals with mortal bodies and everything. But be a hella shock to the system!”
“I guess that’s true,” he said with a shrug. “Still, it’s hard to know what to say. And a ton of them sound like real a-holes.” He shot a look at Judy, who had gone back to reading, to check whether the shift manager had picked up on his obfuscated swear. She didn’t seem to react; good, technically there was no swearing allowed in the staff lounge.
“Oh yeah, totally…” Kay agreed, nodding. She sat back against the mismatched cushions, and looked thoughtfully into the middle distance as she sipped her coffee. “Honestly, I imagine it’s hard to be a god and not just be… awful. What’s the thing that whoever it was said… absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
“Doesn’t get much more absolute than godhood…” Leo scratched himself under the chin.
They were quiet for a little while, the sounds of the clock on the wall, the soft turn of Judy’s pages and Kay’s little sips of coffee the only ones in the room. That, and breathing.
“I had a depressed maenad on the line this morning,” Kay said then, sitting up a bit straighter.
“Really?” Leo cocked an eyebrow. “I thought they were all party, party, party, all the time.”
“So did I!” she exclaimed. “But nope, this one definitely wasn’t. She thought she might be bipolar or something and apparently that’s super common in those circles but there’s the huge stigma against talking about it because… well, they’re supposed to be all party-party, right?”
“Hm…” Leo said, nodding slowly.
“I mean, it might not be true, it’s just what she said, but still… I was surprised! Anyway, I talked her through how to get an appointment set up and all that.”
“Interesting…” Judy said. “Come by my office after your shift, Kay. I want to hear more about that. We don’t have a policy for maenad callers yet…”
“Okay.” Kay shrugged. She finished her last sip of coffee. “Anyway, time to get back!” She rinsed out her cup before heading out of the staff lounge and winding her way between the computers back to her seat. Logging herself back into the system and putting her headset on, it didn’t take long before her first call came in.  “Greenfields Mental Health Helpline for the Supernatural, this is Kay speaking. How can I help you?”

I’m not sure what I think of this piece. I like the concept, but it’s the sort of thing I am not sure I’d be able to pull it off well. It reminds me a bit of this snippet I wrote about a year ago. Maybe some day they’ll become something together…

One Reply to “Flash Fiction Friday – How May I Help You?”

  1. Pingback: Twice Fortnightly – A Pre-NaNo Triumph! – Emma Lindhagen

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