Grinning, the newsreader finished his story and muttered something half-funny to the reporter next to him. Edmund muted the sound and redialled Atlas, flicking crumbs off his armchair as the phone rang.
‘Heyyyyyy mateyyy…’ Atlas’ voice trailed off.
‘Problems with your connection?’ Edmund asked. The newsreader handed over to the hot weather guy, Edmund tried to remember his name, but he couldn’t put his finger on it. Something like Phil, or maybe Mark.
‘Yeah, the line’s bad and I-’ Atlas broke off. ‘Look mate, I’m sorry I hung up on you, I didn’t mean to answer the call, I was dealing with a bank robbery and I forgot my phone was in the suit.’
‘Bet everyone still came out alive though.’
There was a pause. Edmund tracked the weatherman as he indicated high pressure coming in from the west.
‘You ran headfirst into a train Ed. What did you think was going to happen? The way Tulis tells it, you damn near split your skull like an egg.’
‘Bruised noggin’, nothing more. Stopped the train.’
‘And killed every, single passenger on board.’
‘Most were dead already. Didn’t do them no harm really.’
The weatherman was wrapping up, the camera panning back to the newsreader.
‘Heard you got some certificate,’ Edmund said. The newsreader was grinning again, all teeth and thin lips. Atlas had thin lips, thin nose too, and beady little eyes. A wonder anyone trusted him. Beady eyes were better than a monster out of myth.
‘It’s the Nobel Peace Prize, not a certificate.’
‘Papers, paper,’ Edmund shrugged.
‘It’s not- ah forget it. Look I got to get going, I’ve still got reports to fill out and the league wants me to drop by once I’m done here.’
‘I- er- I’m not sure.’
Edmund tapped his finger against the chair and sucked in a breath.
‘They want you to deal with me,’ he guessed.
‘No, no, I’m sure it’s not that.’
He pressed the off button, listened to the empty apartment around him.
He kept listening.
‘Hey Atlas,’ he said quietly. ‘I think someone’s here.’
It’s been a while since I made use of one of the writing prompts from The Story Shack, mostly because I’ve been writing more poetry than flash fiction over the past couple of years. I think a little variation is good to stretch to writing muscles however.
I’d love to hear any feedback you have on how this format reads. I’m still trying to get to grips with the new block editor so any comments will be greatly appreciated.