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#fridayflash : Society

“No luck, mate?”

“Nah, they won’t let me in. Confiscated my membership card, then said I don’t belong. Gits.”

“I tell you that Society place used to be alright, you know, but it’s gone downhill. It’s got so they’ll only let a certain sort in, yeah? I remember going there all the time when I was younger. ‘Course it’s changed hands a few times since then, and the new owners always want to shake things up a bit, don’t they? Never heard the saying, ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, have they? Oh, no! They take a perfectly okay club and want to change stuff just to leave their mark on it. Never change the name though, do they? Oh, I know the last lot tried to sex it up by putting BIG in front of the name but it didn’t fool anyone, that. No one used it except if they were having a laugh about it and how up their own arses the new owners had got. I don’t think the likes of you and me’ll ever get in again. I shouldn’t wonder if more of our sort’ll be joining us here soon, and where will we go, eh? There’s precious few places left, not ones where we’re still welcome, rather than simply tolerated, at any rate.”

“You ain’t wrong there.”

“Have you tried round the back? You could sneak in. You look in fairly good shape for your age, I’m sure you could manage that fire escape. It don’t look too legal but I reckon it’d hold, if you took it gradual, like.”

“Oh, I couldn’t do that. It wouldn’t be right, sneaking around like that. I just… no. No. How could you even suggest that?!”

“Alright, alright, keep your hair on. It was just a suggestion. No need to get so uppity. You just seemed a nice bloke and like you really wanted to get in.”

“I do. I always have before now. I don’t understand why I’m suddenly no longer the right fit for Society’s clientele.”

“Oh, come on, mate, it can’t have happened overnight. I mean, you must have noticed the vacant expressions, the cold shoulder, the frosty reception. You can’t seriously tell me this has all come as a shock to you. You must have seen the cards were on the table.”

“You really don’t know me at all, do you? If you did, you would know that I would NEVER gamble.”

“I’m beginning to see why they don’t want you, mate. You’re a bit uptight.”

“Look, I don’t mean to be rude but I’m not your mate. We barely know each other. Would you mind not calling me ‘mate’?”

“Oh, blimey, sure, whatever you want, your Lordship. Didn’t mean to offend, I’m sure.”

“Sorry. I’m sorry if I was abrupt. I didn’t mean to be rude. I know you were only trying to help.”

“Forget it, no harm done. So… what are you going to do now? Where will you go?”

“I don’t know. I’m not used to being unwelcome. It’s a new one on me. It might take a while for me to sort out how I feel about this. I was never the last kid to be picked for teams.”

“Unless the team was political, or journalists, or sales and marketing, eh, eh?”

“Good God, no, those were never options for me. My parents made that crystal clear. There were some teams I could never join and where my talents would be totally wasted.”

“Yes, well, good on your folks for setting you straight early in life. I always had to find my own way. Talking of which, it’s time for me to get on my way. It’s getting late. I should be getting off home. Thanks for the chinwag. Maybe see you around again, Ian, was it?”

“Close but no, it’s Integrity.”

“Integrity, that’s right, I remember now you mention it. Not a very common name, is it?”

“No, it used to be but I seem to have gone out of fashion. Well, thanks for the chat.”

“Don’t give up, maybe it’s just a phase and you’ll be back in with the crowd in Society before you know it. Cheerio! Have a good evening.”

“You too, sir. You too.”

 

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Comments

Larry Kollar
Reply

Ha! Integrity gets thrown out of Society… that happened a while ago, I think. 😉 I wasn’t sure where you were going with this, but it came together beautifully.

kath
Reply

It certainly feels like it happened a while ago, Larry, but I think there are pockets of resistance! Thanks, as ever, for reading and commenting.

Janet Aldrich
Reply

Love it! I was trying to figure out who the one speaker was — if it was someone older or what, but the ending fit right in. We’ve got some of the same concerns…

Well written.

kath
Reply

Thanks, Janet. When I wrote it, I wasn’t sure whether or not to say who the second speaker was. While I was editing it, I decided against naming him. Then the reader can choose who he is/was.

ganymeder
Reply

Ah, the ending with the name was the best part. Loved this!

kath
Reply

Thanks! Happy you enjoyed it, especially as it was caffeine and sugar-free. 😉

marc nash
Reply

Political/social satire lives! You did a great job with this Kath

marc x

kath
Reply

Thanks, Marc. Thought it was better than having a rant somewhere. 😉

Virginia Moffatt
Reply

Loved the line about Big being removed…lovely allegory for the way we are

kath
Reply

Thank you, Virginia!

John Wiswell
Reply

I adored how proper they were right to the end, even when they’d abandoned decent thinking!

kath
Reply

Cheers, John. I felt that I had to make the difference between those who got into Society and those who didn’t any longer.

Fennie
Reply

It’s a lovely theme: the ‘I don’t belong’ trope. Lost and all alone, rejected, unloved, cast off, cast out, abandoned with the feeling that ‘it may, just may, really be my fault.’ Bad breath, BO, bad genes and so on. But does the unloved one ever have a name?

kath
Reply

I think you’ll find his name towards the end of the piece, Fennie?

Casye
Reply

I love it, didn’t see the twist coming at the end, but it all fell into place nicely. Good stuff 🙂

kath
Reply

Glad to hear that it worked for you and that you didn’t see it coming. That’s what I was hoping for, Casey. Thanks!

Jack Holt
Reply

Ha! I do a love a satire! Funny stuff, Kath; I enjoyed it a lot.

kath
Reply

Thanks, Jack! I don’t normally do them, so it was something new for me, but I enjoyed it.

~Tim
Reply

I loved the voice in this and got a real kick from the reveal of who the speaker is. Nice work.

kath
Reply

Thanks Tim. As soon as I’d decided what to write, I knew the voice I had to aim for. I enjoyed writing it & am glad it worked for you.

Helen
Reply

I think he got thrown out long before he realised it – shame though he’s a nice bloke to have around. ^_^

kath
Reply

I think you’re right that he didn’t see when he wasn’t really welcome any longer, Helen. Shame. I kind of liked him, too.

Eric J. Krause
Reply

Ha! Good one! Yes, that was the perfect ending, the perfect way to tie that story up. And I’m in the camp that integrity got thrown out of society years ago, too.

kath
Reply

I’m holding out hope that he’s still welcome in a few places, Eric, but thanks so much for your kind feedback.

Katherine Hajer (@eyrea)
Reply

Just the whole idea of having to queue to get in (not to mention make it past the doorman) make me shudder.

A very deftly-executed parable. Look like Society exists after all.

kath
Reply

Ah, unless it’s all smoke and mirrors but maybe that’s the subject of another #fridayflash?

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