When in Rome

My last piece from Flash Friday Vol. 3-6. In addition to the prompt, this had to include reference to a janitor.


“Cole, I see ‘um!”

“See who?”

“All of ‘um. Probably every single one of ‘um.”

Elliot always referred to his father by name, thanks, not to the distance between the two, but because Elliot, a mere six years old, felt as if he were just watching the life he wanted to live.

“There’s lot of people. Tourists, like us.”

“I know Cole. I’m talking about the ones down there.” He pointed to where the Romans played their games.

Cole patted Elliot’s head. He always patted his head when he said he saw something that just wasn’t there. The doctors said it wasn’t schizophrenia, so that was good. But they didn’t know what “name” to give.

A man with a broom, a dustpan, and a garbage can sauntered out. Elliot thought he heard him whistling.

Elliot’s hand tightened around his father’s. His short breathes quickened, eyes widened when the janitor began collecting and trashing the gladiators’ severed heads and shorn limbs.

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