Flash Fiction Friday- "Startled"

“Startled”
by Jennifer Patino

Deep in thought I was startled by my roommate today.

I was coming in from the back porch and realized I left my lighter out there and looking back I think that it was only a lighter and why was I so concerned with it anyway?

I saw her shirt first as green as well…that lighter and then the fact that she was waving at me in slow motion before the features of her face even came into view.

The eyes first, then the hair.

(And was it really slow motion?)

I saw her eyes widen and felt my mouth open in an expression of terror and wondered how I looked to her and vice versa.

And if we were almost reflections of each other.

If fear is that quick to catch on to.

If it’s the fact that others are scared that really makes us so scared.

If…if…

I was having a heart attack!

No!

My heart was stopped…I was going to die…

Exhale.

An exclamation of surprise found its way out of my throat and thank goodness because it’s a survival mechanism that served its purpose.

My roommate started explaining how she was trying not to frighten me.

At the same time I start babbling about how frightened I was.

“One of three things could have been a possibility…” I said catching my gasp.

“That it was me?”

“That I was going crazy…”

We talked over each other.

“Like seeing things?”

“That it was a ghost visiting…a full on apparition,” (Did I really just say that?)

“The landlord?” (Everything she came up with sounded so normal.)

I said no more.

“Wow…you’re pretty vivid,” she finally said blankly.

She didn’t say insane.

So I just took it as a compliment.

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