Moody Mark

Flash Fiction

Their beard itched under their KN-95.  Do I even need this fucking thing anymore?

Mark smiled suddenly, reflecting on the latest COVID vaccination and positivity stats as they turned a sharp corner and ran into a maskless person coughing.

Then again…

Could Cuomo, of all people, be trusted for accurate stats?  Were the CDC’s swings (from masks-aren’t-necessary to masks-are-essential) any more predictable than Mark’s moods had been over the past year?

But then it hit them.  The view of New York Harbor with the sun just beginning to set behind the Statue of Liberty.  Nothing gaudy, just a soft, gentle glow.  Mark all but ran the remaining steps needed to get onto the Brooklyn Promenade.

Open sky stretched out all around them.  Clouds swirled with stately dignity into a serenely majestic vortex.

“Watch where yer goin’!”

They looked down to discover another maskless person easily within six feet of them.  This one was, at least, kind of cute.  “Sorry!  The harbor…”

“Yeah.  Never gets old, that view, does it now?  I’m Pat.  You’re…”

“Mark.”

“Nice ta’ meetcha’.”

Mark could smell an inviting human warmth, even through their KN-95.  Would it be tactless to ask if Pat was fully vaccinated?

Pat and Mark exchanged a bit more by way of introductions.  Turned out they’d both gotten the Pfizer vaccine earlier than most in their early thirties, because they were both teachers.  Turned out Pat, at least according to Pat, lived in an apartment on the promenade with the best view of Manhattan anywhere.

Mark smiled beneath their mask and looked out over the harbor again.  The sunset behind the Statue of Liberty had turned into a sizzling hot fire.  Mark felt better than they’d felt in many long, dreary months.  They giggled, so delighted that they stuttered.  “Meeting you, Pat, it’s…it’s…almost as good as…as…when Pennsylvania went to Biden!”

Oh this was going to be wonderful!  Just what they needed!  Just what they’d needed for so, so long!  Except…why the silence?

Mark turned to find Pat’s maskless face had turned to stone.  Finally, slowly, Pat spoke:  “You mean when Biden stole Pennsylvania?”

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