NaNo is done, so Flash Fiction Friday is back! Yay!
I’ve been watching a lot of a TV show called Grimm lately which is sort of a cop show with supernatural creatures. It’s pretty good, but once in a while when I watch it I wish there was a more slow-paced supernaturally themed drama, like maybe a crime show styled more after British cop shows where each crime takes a few episodes or a supernatural community center. I want less action and more talk and worldbuilding, basically. So this little scene is a first exploration of that kind of idea… Enjoy!
The staples sank into the notice board with a tiny thunk sound, fixing the poster with the little silhouette of a cabin next to the name “Propp Shelter & Treatment Center” in place. Leigh tucked the stapler under her arm and ripped two of the tear-off tags from it. It felt like such a silly thing to do, but it was true that people were less likely to take a tag if there were already some missing. She’d kept informal score for a while a few years ago, hanging intact posters in some places and torn one in others and then casually asking newcomers where they’d seen the poster… tearing was definitely worth it, so she’d been doing it ever since.
Tucking the torn pieces into the back pocket of her jeans, she moved to the other end of the wide cork expanse that covered this side of the train station wall and fished another poster out of her plastic folder. As she lifted the stapler, she sensed someone approaching. After the little thunk she looked over to her right and saw a lanky figure, seemingly a teenager, in a grey hoodie eying the first poster and glancing her direction occasionally. She tucked the stabler under her arm again, maiming this poster, too.
“Wh-what’d you do that for?” The voice squeaked a little. Definitely a teenager.
“Sorry?” she asked, turning his way with a small smile.
“Why’d’you need a tag if they’re your posters?” He made eye-contact for not even half a second, then looked off somewhere for equally long, then looked at her again.
She smiled. “I don’t need one. But studies show most people don’t want to take tags from untouched notices, and I want people to take them so…” She shrugged and held up her hand with the two torn-off tags in it.
“Oh.” he said. He looked away again, but he didn’t turn away and it looked like he was reading the poster so she stayed turned toward him, tucking her folder with the posters into her messenger bag and straightening things up inside it with slow movements.
“What does that mean, ‘unconventional problems’?” he asked, nodding toward the poster. “Is it like… people who got arrested and stuff?”
“Sometimes,” she said. “Usually not, though. We work with people who… haven’t been able to find help within the regular system, for various reasons. Sometimes being in legal trouble can be part of that.”
“Oh,” he said again, scrapping a sneaker against the floor. He was almost as tall as her, but seeing his face now he couldn’t be more than fifteen. He had that aura about him of someone who had something to say that he didn’t want to say, but she couldn’t tell from looking, even with her own skill-set, whether he was a supe or not.
“You want a tag?” she asked him and, though his eyes were fixed on the piece of paper, she got the feeling he was about to say no. “I figure since you asked, maybe you know someone who has unconventional problems… You can give it to them.”
“Y-yeah…” he said, reaching out for the tag. His eyes scanned the contact information on it. “Maybe I do.” He tucked it into his pocket and gave her an upwards nod, then turned to leave. She went to zip up her bag and when she looked back up, he’d disappeared around the corner. She wondered, as she often did, if she’d see him again.
It’s just a quick little spontaneous thing but I am tempted to try to make something bigger around this idea, centered around an older female character (Leigh in this scene) who tries to take care of all the “special” outcasts in her town. I do dislike the word “supes” though, for supernaturals, but I couldn’t find another one I liked. “Specials” or anything like that feels silly, monsters or creatures feels off, too. Happy to take suggestions for other words for, basically, non-human humans.
Anyway, I’ve got an early appointment tomorrow so it’s time to go to bed. Bye, lovelies!