Outlier (flash fiction)

Marcy wishes she had a do-over. She misses the days when anything seemed possible, the days when the future stretched out like a second-grade summer, and failure felt temporary. Marcy is sitting at the kitchen table, nursing her second cup of half-caff, and wondering what happened to her life, to her dreams, to her husband. It was like she missed her bus, and the next one never came. 

Marcy got up from her perch and went to get dressed for another day of waiting tables, and of counting hours until she could come home again. As she pulled her hair back into a low ponytail, the photos taped to her bedroom mirror caught her eye. They were the smiling faces of dead relatives. They were her company.
 
Each person who loved her and died made the world a little dimmer. She tries to find new lights, but they never turn on. They just flicker and fade to black. Marcy knows it is her fault. There is something missing inside of her.
 
She is missing some connecting parts, like Lego bridges. They are magnetic social norm parts. They are the parts that make people like sports, and book clubs, and Dancing With the Stars.
 
Marcy was born an outlier, an observer, and an artist. As she grabs her coat and heads for the door, she wonders what life would have been like if she hadn’t missed that bus, and if she had learned to fit in. 

(If you leave a comment, please check back. I always respond.)

6 comments

  • Ale

    Ale Rome

    A very deep story that captures the reader's attention and helps also to look at our inner, and to think... very nice, it could become a beautiful song, brava Denise

    A very deep story that captures the reader's attention and helps also to look at our inner, and to think... very nice, it could become a beautiful song, brava Denise

  • Denise Moser

    Denise Moser

    Thanks Ale! Thank you for reading it, and I love that it touched you. Marcy made me look inside myself too... Who knows, maybe it will turn into a song. Thank you for commenting. So appreciated.

    Thanks Ale! Thank you for reading it, and I love that it touched you. Marcy made me look inside myself too... Who knows, maybe it will turn into a song. Thank you for commenting. So appreciated.

  • harry

    harry maine

    you manage to put soo much into a short piece. the images you "paint with words" are easily accessible and push me forward for more, like cake and soda. i was sad and longing when i woke up today. reaching but not knowing what for. i'm looking like the rope swing no one is on but keeps swinging, relying on momentum and the wind. i hadnt opened your blog yet, even though i had it for a few days. life was in a hurry and i wasnt keeping up. Marcy is my best friend right now. i didnt miss the bus but i got off too soon, at the wrong stop. i'm sipping my coffee, 2nd cup, after a long late sleepless night; thinking too much, cycling in circles, passing people but going nowhere i went back and read the last blog and saw the word 'positive'. i can go there. i have the directions. right now my tires are flat and the engine wont turn over. thanks for being there, writing, letting us in, and sharing what gives us all strength.

    you manage to put soo much into a short piece. the images you "paint with words" are easily accessible and push me forward for more, like cake and soda. i was sad and longing when i woke up today. reaching but not knowing what for. i'm looking like the rope swing no one is on but keeps swinging, relying on momentum and the wind. i hadnt opened your blog yet, even though i had it for a few days. life was in a hurry and i wasnt keeping up. Marcy is my best friend right now. i didnt miss the bus but i got off too soon, at the wrong stop. i'm sipping my coffee, 2nd cup, after a long late sleepless night; thinking too much, cycling in circles, passing people but going nowhere
    i went back and read the last blog and saw the word 'positive'. i can go there. i have the directions. right now my tires are flat and the engine wont turn over. thanks for being there, writing, letting us in, and sharing what gives us all strength.

  • Denise Moser

    Denise Moser

    Hi Harry! You just put so much into a short piece too. I know that rope swing well. I also know that sometimes we can't see who is attached to the rope. It can be surprising. I am sorry you are struggling right now, and I am glad Marcy helped you. I am here for you too. I know you. You will find the air for your tires and your engine will rev again, but I know the despair of the moment. Sending a hug...

    Hi Harry! You just put so much into a short piece too. I know that rope swing well. I also know that sometimes we can't see who is attached to the rope. It can be surprising. I am sorry you are struggling right now, and I am glad Marcy helped you. I am here for you too. I know you. You will find the air for your tires and your engine will rev again, but I know the despair of the moment. Sending a hug...

  • sunny

    sunny

    I am not sure what fitting in means. Since I was a kid it seemed like fitting meant being a part of a group and I would not have known me if I had tried to fit in. The group always seemed like just a bunch of noise ie: chatter. I knew that I didn't want that but I didn't understand what it was that I did want. So, I would go into my head, or get lost in the beautiful woods nearby where I lived, or reading "Little Women or Black Beauty" or playing catch with myself on the side of a wall. I didn't think of fitting in but I was most definitely in the moment. And so it is today. I fit in with my work. Or if I take a class to learn more, I fit in with the instructor and not necessarily with the chatter, albeit quiet chatter, in the class room. I Just had an ah ha moment regarding what is missing and why I can't always feel as though I "fit in." There is no passion in the chatter, idle smiles, folks who don't listen, not that I expect them to do so, I just don't want to be in that moment with them. What do I feel when I don't fit in? I think it is a feeling of loneliness, not for that company, but for something that is missing. I think it is passion, inspiration, or even the quiet in my head. And I think this is what keeps me from pursuing my dream. Maybe it is the fear of not fitting in, of being rejected, of not being understood. Not sure, but I also find exercise a good place to be and good work to do. It also adds to my energy level all of which I find helpful.

    I am not sure what fitting in means. Since I was a kid it seemed like fitting meant being a part of a group and I would not have known me if I had tried to fit in. The group always seemed like just a bunch of noise ie: chatter. I knew that I didn't want that but I didn't understand what it was that I did want. So, I would go into my head, or get lost in the beautiful woods nearby where I lived, or reading "Little Women or Black Beauty" or playing catch with myself on the side of a wall. I didn't think of fitting in but I was most definitely in the moment. And so it is today. I fit in with my work. Or if I take a class to learn more, I fit in with the instructor and not necessarily with the chatter, albeit quiet chatter, in the class room. I Just had an ah ha moment regarding what is missing and why I can't always feel as though I "fit in." There is no passion in the chatter, idle smiles, folks who don't listen, not that I expect them to do so, I just don't want to be in that moment with them. What do I feel when I don't fit in? I think it is a feeling of loneliness, not for that company, but for something that is missing. I think it is passion, inspiration, or even the quiet in my head. And I think this is what keeps me from pursuing my dream. Maybe it is the fear of not fitting in, of being rejected, of not being understood. Not sure, but I also find exercise a good place to be and good work to do. It also adds to my energy level all of which I find helpful.

  • Denise Moser

    Denise Moser

    Thank you Sunny for sharing that. I can relate to what you said. I think we are built the same way. Maybe that is why we always get along so well. We always go deep... You gave me something to think about. Thanks!

    Thank you Sunny for sharing that. I can relate to what you said. I think we are built the same way. Maybe that is why we always get along so well. We always go deep... You gave me something to think about. Thanks!

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