I’m not quite clear anymore on why I signed up for this blogfest.
The thing is, I don’t really write short-short stories that often, and out of the complete stories that I have that are about the right length, I’ve already shared most of them on this blog since I started doing ‘Sharing Exercise Friday.’ And I didn’t really want to do a repeat for a blogfest.
But I found this little piece in my files, it was from some kind of a prompt at the Chester’s Beers of the world Hamilton Writers group. It’ll be interesting to hear what you think.
On the Halos of a Dilemma.
She hesitated at the post box, not knowing if she should really send the letter.
This was one of those moments where you normally pictured an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, Caroline thought. The problem was, at the moment, she had two little critters who both appeared to have white robes and halos arguing with each other, and she couldn’t really tell if one was a devil in disguise, or maybe they were both well-meaning angels who happened to be having a difference of opinion over her tough choice.
“You have to tell her,” the voice from her right shoulder told her. “There are certain things that you have to do if you want to do the right thing, and this is one of them. You’ve stumbled across a secret that’s about your friend’s life, and you can’t keep it from her. You have to let her know somehow, and this is the best way – anonymously, so that she isn’t hurt by finding out how you know, on top of everything else.”
“Oh, yeah, let’s start there, shall we?” came the reply from left shoulder. “So that she isn’t hurt. Isn’t it better to start with sparing Lizzie as much pain as you can, rather than inflexible rules? If you tell her this, then you’re causing her pain, and not sparing her any further down the road. There’s no upside except keeping your own conscience clear of keeping the secret, so just suck it up and do what’s best for Liz.”
“That’s just a load of rationalizing…” Right shoulder started.
“You can’t attack a valid argument just by calling it a rationalization,” Left called back. “Either point out the flaw, or go on the attack by saying right out why you think I’m making this up…”
“I’d be delighted,” Right called back, and leapt onto the mailbox so as to most effectively taunt the other angel, since Caroline’s blonde hair got in the way otherwise. “You’re just more comfortable when anybody stays out of other people’s business, and…”
Just at this point, an older man in a snappy gray suit walked up and waved a slim parcel meaningfully. “Oh, by all means. I’m on the horns of a dilemma here,” Caroline mumbled, stepping away from the mailbox. Unfortunately, gray suit opened the door so firmly that it shook the box slightly, and the angel from Caroline’s right shoulder lost her footing and tumbled down into the mailbox. The angel from the left shoulder immediately went into a very exuberant victory dance, shouting ‘in your devil face, loser.”
Caroline shrugged and dropped the letter into the box, holding it open for a little white-robed figure to fly back out as she did so. She was pretty comfortable with inflexible rules of right and wrong, actually, and she hated people, or apparently even angels, who acted that smug when they thought that they’d won.