Writing Prompt

The sunlight shot through the blinds while Frank continuously tried to rub the sleep from the corners of his eyes. His seat made him shift. His neck twisted around as he tried to ease some hidden pains. He shoulders flexed. He right leg moved. He left leg moved. His thigh was scratched and then his chest was scratched. His eyes blinked. He waited.

The lady sitting across the desk had two pale white pages of paper between her hands. After glancing back and forth between the two, she finally placed them in front of her. She took a pen, and going from top to bottom, she stabbed the paper in the margins, forcibly checking off a mental list. Frank hoped she wasn’t leaving a mark.

“Mr. Friedman.” The voice echoed in the empty office.

Frank’s body grew tense and his eyes opened a little wider as he drew in a deep breath through his nose. His nose was itched afterwards. His eyes centered on the lady in front of him. She was still reading his papers.  His thighs were scratched again. His eyes flittered around the room. A few filing cabinets on the right of him and a printer nearby. On the left, below the window, was a small shelf with some memorabilia. A portrait displayed a family rigidly posed and near the corner of the shelf a ribboned medal was laid out in a display box.

The sunlight caught the corner of the medal and shot into Frank’s eyes. He pushed his fingers back and forth to scrub his eyelids.

“Mr. Friedman,” echoed the voice again. Frank once again was turned to the lady at the desk. Her face was to him and his body lifted up in his chair again. He collar was adjusted with his right index finger, his throat swallowed forcibly as if the shirt had been impeding this, and a little cough came from deep.

“Uh, yeah?” was all he was able to muster.

“After reviewing your petition, I must once again give you the same verdict. Your mother can not be buried here.”

“But she…,” Frank began softly, but the words were soon lost to those across from him.

“Yes, I understand. But as I stated, we have previously denied your requests for military burial at this site. They’re not warranted.” Her statement left a dry hum in the air. She waited.

Frank’s hand went to his puckered lips and pulled on them. His mouth opened and then closed. His eyes shifted back and forth between her and his hand. His brow furrowed. The neck of his shirt opened again by his finger and he stated hesitantly, “But she was in the military.”

She glared in his direction. “Yes, we are aware of this, but it doesn’t mean she gets to be buried here. She had no high honors or distinctions.” She looked towards the medal on her shelf and his eyes followed her gaze. They looked back at each other and his eyes dropped. “We can help you find the services to bury her, but she doesn’t fulfill the qualifications to be buried in this cemetery.”

Frank drew pensive. His eyes flickered back and forth between the documents on the desk and the face in front of him. He mouth pursed back and forth, not deciding whether or not to be used.  He wet his lips and they stood open as he stared at her. She waited for him.

“But she was distinguished. She was in the military for years… She was my mother.”

“I’m sorry, but it’s not enough for our plot.” She picked up the papers and shoved them his direction. He tentatively put his hand up, and slowly reached out to let the papers fill his hands. She immediately went back to work on something else while he sat there holding his papers in front of him.

His face resumed its continual pattern of wanting to be used to say something, but his body eventually lifted from the chair. His eyes looked toward the door and then back at her. His mouth opened. It closed. He frame shrugged and breathed loudly as if to get attention. She didn’t look up from her work. He was taken outside by his legs.

Scenario given via website  http://shortstoryideas.herb.me.uk/scenarios.htm

A graveyard is the location. Shyness is the theme. A desk is an object that plays a part in the story.

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