KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 3: Spring 2015
Micro-Fiction: 283 words

The Watcher

by Adam Trodd

Theo had been going through a bad patch which grew worse over the weeks in my opinion. Some intense stuff about his dad came up in group and he was declining gradually but quietly, like a snail pulling its horns in when it hits something large that it can’t get around. It was difficult for me to see him peeling the skin off a problem that big. After another jarring exchange with our facilitator, he got up and made for the refreshment station. Two seconds later, the door was swinging and a full cup of tea sat abandoned on the fold-away table.

I rushed out and downstairs to the toilets. All the cubicles were open except the middle one. After getting down on my hunkers to peek, I recognised his shoes under the door and saw blood splashing red and shocking on the white tiles.

There wasn’t much room for me to run between the wall of urinals and the cubicle, four steps maximum, so I had to make them count. I placed my foot against the wall as a spring for extra speed and launched myself at the door. It gave in easy enough. Theo sat on the toilet seat, which was still down, with two crimson wads of soggy toilet tissue up his nostrils. The door latch had torn free of its screws and landed in his lap. With his hands and knees raised in defence he looked down at it, then up at me.

“I saw blood,” I said.

“Jesus Christ, Phil, it’s just a nose bleed!” he spluttered. “What are you, the suicide police? You’re always watching everybody, why can’t you just mind your own damn business!?”

Adam Trodd
Issue 3, Spring 2015

lives in Dublin where he works as a university administrator and writes fiction in the tiny spaces between work and family. His fiction has appeared in The Powers Short Story Collection Volume 1, The Irish Times, The Incubator Journal, 100 Words 100 Books, and Crannóg Magazine. He was shortlisted for the 2015 Cúirt New Writing Prize.

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