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"Time is the only commodity we deal with which cannot be counterfeited, stolen or placed in inventory. Remember, time is irreplaceable."

By Matthew FrommPublished 10 months ago 2 min read
Photo by Ethan Chan on Unsplash

“Here you are, ma’am. I found her wandering off across the park.”

“How old am I? Seventeen tomorrow! Some big plans in my future.”

“What? Ohh, no, Little girl looked lost and scared, that’s all.”

“Give her something? No, no way. I saw her crying, so I asked her where her momma was.”

“Steal her? You got it all wrong, ma’am. Your daughter was crying when I found her.”

“Scaring her? Look, I just tried to help. I gave her a candy to try and stop her crying.”

“No lie, I’m sorry. I forgot I gave her some is all with you coming at me.”

“Intimidating you? Really? I tried to help. I just wanted to get her back to her momma. Promise.”

“I’ll be going. Have a nice day.”

“No need for that. Come on, put the phone down.”

“What the hell? I helped her! She was lost and all scared by herself.”

“Get down? Why?”

“You’re listening to her? She’s crazy. She lost her! The girl was lost and crying already. I did nothing.

“Look, here’s my hands. I wanna go home. I didn’t try to steal nobody!”

“I gave her Skittles. I’ll show you!”

“Please… Momma… Why?”

By Matt Popovich on Unsplash


Author’s Note

I played fast and loose with the prompt on this one. Still, I was interested in exploring the idea that a single moment, miscommunication, or misunderstanding could lead to a stolen lifetime, either in absolute terms or in the taking of wholeness that can come from the proximity to trauma.

Sadly, the type of stolen lives, innocence, time, and opportunity arising from a lack of empathy and understanding occur daily, and ignorance of them does not force them to disappear because they are too uncomfortable to address head-on. The victims are all too real and deserve our attention.

Additionally, I was discussing the metafictional writing of Mohsin Hamid, whose novella The Reluctant Fundamentalist I would rank among the most impactful literary works I’ve read in the last five years, and I wanted to try my hand at the style.

PsychologicalShort StoryMicrofictionCONTENT WARNING

About the Creator

Matthew Fromm

Full-time nerd, history enthusiast, and proprietor of random knowledge. The best way to find your perfect story is to make it yourself.

Here there be dragons, and knights, and castles, and quests for entities not wished to be found.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

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Comments (7)

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  • Addison M8 months ago

    Stylistic and one-sided commentary of the event pushes the concept and allows the reader to imagine how the intermittent interactions played out in their own way. Well done!

  • Jazmin Fernandez10 months ago

    Interesting article. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • Interesting take on the challenge and it is always great to see new perspectives. Excellent work

  • Lamar Wiggins10 months ago

    I agree with your author's note, misunderstandings happen all the time. There are so many innocent people in jail right now that didn't do it. Groups like the 'Innocence Project' are out there listening to the stories of the innocent and doing something about it. I enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cendrine Marrouat10 months ago

    You did a great job with this piece, Matthew! The one-person point of view was the best way to convey your concept.

  • Ian Read10 months ago

    Unfortunately, this happens all too often. This story is heartbreaking but revealing. Great piece!

  • Kim Loostrom10 months ago

    Very intriguing viewpoint! Well done!

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