01 November, 2019

Fiction Friday - Changing the Routine

image courtesy of D.B. McNicol

June tried not to keep a strict routine while she was on the road. Everything back home had been on a schedule, and Don, one of the Resistance members she had met with, told her that needed to change. 

Before she’d left home, her parents encouraged her to vary things she could. She still had to be certain places at certain times, and since her bus driver recognized her by name, it would be weird if she varied that schedule. But in between school and visiting Gina - the trips the bus driver knew - she changed things as much as she could. Study group met at a neighbor’s house, but after study group, she took a walk. A circuitous route home, different every time. 

She changed her bedtime and wake up time. She did her homework in the middle of the night, or at 3am when she woke up. She started trying to follow the moon as much as possible. It gave her a feeling of routine, even though daily she was wildly out of routine. The new moon was the hardest part because you can't see a new moon, but her moon clock kept her straight.  It turned out to be good practice for being on the road. 

Now she was in Colorado, and she was very glad she had started at home. No one knew her here; no one knew what was normal for her. She could meet up with her contact at strange times. She made a friend at the corner store, but always went there at a different time of the day or night, just so it wasn’t an “everyday” thing. June knew she wouldn’t be here long – just long enough. 

At moon-rise she ate what she called her breakfast. That could be any time of the day or night. She always had a yogurt drink for protein, and some kind of fruit or vegetable – cooked or raw – whatever was available where she was. Also a mug of hot coffee. Or tea. Someone had suggested she get used to tea as a substitute, another variable. So now, if moon-rise happened in the morning hours, she’d drink coffee. If in the afternoon, tea. One more way to give irregularity a semblance of regularity. 

On each major stage of the moon – full, new, and quarter – she would move. Whether that meant changing city, changing lodging, or if she was staying in the same house, she’d try to change to a different room or bed. Gotta keep changing, be unpredictable. The best would be to just “go missing” if she could manage it. How would she manage it? 

June borrowed whatever she could, and tried not to look the same two days in a row. Of course, facial recognition cameras would not be fooled, but at least if her makeup was different, and her hair either messy or neat, or wearing someone else’s coat one day, then the same shadow or shape wasn’t seen passing through the woods or town. 
Every Friday, a new flash fiction story, inspired by reader comments, when possible. Feel free to leave a prompt for future use in the comments below. Today is the first day of NaNoWriMo, so I'm being lazy and sharing a short scene that may or may not end up in my November Novel.


  1. I'm rather curious as to why June needs to be so changeable. Something you'll dig into this month, I'm sure.

    I'll give you a prompt: ice cream.

    1. She's being watched. Or acting on the assumption that she is. I'll use "ice-cream" before Krakatoa, for sure.

  2. June seems really stressed. She needs to get laid.

    1. Good idea! Maybe I'll work that in. I haven't assigned her a boyfriend or love interest yet.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.