One Minute
by Kimberly Raiser
forum: One Minute
speculative fiction for the internet generation.

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One Minute


         What would happen if I delayed every deliberate action by exactly one minute? How much of a difference would it make?

         I start out the day with the alarm ringing in my ear. I slap that puppy until it quiets, and I wait. One minute. Now I can get up. Of course I almost fell back to sleep in that one minute, but I resisted.

         Off to walk the dogs. First I have to grab my morning glass of tea. Should I use this opportunity to wait a minute? Think I'll pass on this one. I open my jar of instant tea, dump a pile into my mug, and run it under the faucet. I slurp the foam from the top of the glass, nice and tart. I suck it down in a flash. The dogs are staring up at me. Ok, time to get the leashes.

         Ah, but wait, right by the front door, we shall wait. One minute. The dogs are at first excited, then they sit there pawing at my legs. The last thirty seconds they just sit and stare at me. Time to go!

         I unlock the door and proceed down the driveway. I can hear a car screeching down the road. I look ahead and a deer lies in the road, injured, still. My dogs are going crazy. I turn to walk in the opposite direction.

         I finish my walk and proceed down the driveway to the front door. I wait. One minute. I enter. The light on the answering machine is flashing. I've missed a call. It is 8:36am. I listen to the message. It's a call for an interview I have been waiting for for weeks now. Eagerly I return the call. I am transferred to voice-mail. I sigh.

         The weather has turned somewhat dark outside, looks like rain. I go into the kitchen to make my breakfast. I get out the eggs, milk, and bread. I scramble my eggs, make my toast and pour my milk. Looks wonderful. Now I wait. One minute.

         The eggs are a little colder than I wish, but that's ok. I'm really enjoying this breakfast after smelling it for all of this time. Wonderful. Anticipation is a satisfying thing.

         I wash my dishes and head for the bathroom to jump in the shower. As I grab my towel and stand there. I wait once again. One minute.

         Thunder claps, the power goes out, I'm in the dark. Shower delayed.

         That's ok. I'll go grab my book and read a while. I've been meaning to finish up that last chapter anyway.

         An hour passes, the power is still out. I think I'll try that phone-call again. I wait. One minute. The receptionist answers the phone. "You just missed her," she replies. I leave a message.

         Power is back on, time to jump in the shower. The water is cold. I take a quick one.

         I put on some comfortable clothes, sneakers, and dry my hair. I'm thirsty, think I'll grab a glass of water. But I wait. One minute. I just sit there, staring off into the room, staring at the walls, wondering if I should paint, or change my curtains. That picture is crooked, I straighten it. I start dusting and moving things around on my dresser. A stack of pictures lies there waiting to be shuffled through. I carefully place them in a box, in my drawer.

         A half an hour passes. I'm still thirsty.

         I head to the kitchen, pour myself a glass of water, and drink it down. Think I'll run down the street to the newspaper stand and grab a magazine. I grab my keys and run out the front door. I cross the street abruptly, not looking.

         A truck hits me.

         I splatter on the ground...

         I should have waited...

         One minute.




copyright 2006 Kimberly Raiser.

Kimberly Raiser:

Recently my work has appeared in the June issue of the Taj Mahal Review, a fiction piece titled, "The Mirror". I have had many pieces of poetry published in print journals and online zines. My true love is fiction. I am currently working on several short stories and a novel.

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