Lunchtime – By Ian Lamberto
Micro Fiction / March 8, 2009

Surrounded by the foliage of fall, Charlie and Sarah sat on the only bench in the park still made of wood, the only one that still creaked and cracked when used. They liked the sounds, the way the aged pine reminded them of its presence, the warmth that it kept between its decade-old wrinkles. There was something reassuring about it, something gentle, something that helped sweeten the taste of the peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches that they shared. It was their lunch hour. It was their tradition. “Nice day today,” said Charlie, as he always did. “That it is,” responded Sarah, as she always did. “Busy in the office.” “The phones won’t stop.” “Wouldn’t be much work if they did.” “Suppose not.” A few moments passed. Birds chirped from above, making their own idle conversation. The trees, ruffled by a cool breeze, released a sampling of golden leaves to the air. And Charlie stared at his half-eaten sandwich resting idly upon its bag. “I’m leaving,” he stated. “Okay, bit early though, isn’t it?” “That’s not what I meant,” Charlie’s leg started to shake. “I’m leaving…tomorrow…for good….” Sarah took a drink of water from her thermos; this new script was…