Incandescent Ideas

Flash fiction.

Photo prompt:

flash fiction idea cages

Image via Flickr by Farhan Perdana (Blek)

Oliver Prin walked along the dark city street with hands deep in his pockets. His chin was tucked into his chest and his collar was turned up against the wind, which howled between towers of glass and steel. He needed to get off the street, if only for a moment.

Oliver wiped his running nose on one shoulder and sped up. Most shops would be closed by now. Restaurants usually wouldn’t seat him. They said he smelled bad. Oliver believed them, though he didn’t have much sense of smell left – too many sinus infections over his years on the streets.

A bright up ahead. It was coming from an alley. Oliver turned into the alley without looking. He didn’t have anything worth stealing and it was too damn cold for muggers to be on the streets anyway.

The wind lessened once he was off a main road and Oliver was grateful. He lifted his chin and looked for the source of the light. It wasn’t hard to find. There was only one shop still open.

“Incandescent Ideas”

Cartoon lamps contorted to form the letters on the front window. Oliver peered inside. The floor was a bright, polished hardwood, which was clearly visible because there was nothing on except a desk at the far side of the room. Instead, the merchandise hung from the ceiling.

Oliver’s nose crinkled as he squinted up. What were those things?

The bell tinkled when he walked through the door and a rush of warm air momentarily made him forget about the mysterious hanging objects. Oliver closed his eyes. Warm air was like a tonic on his throat as he breathed in.

“Can I help you?”

Oliver looked at the desk again and saw an old wire-haired woman looking at him from over turtle-shell reading glasses.

“W-what are those?” Oliver asked, pointing up.

“They are ideas.”

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