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Shiny Object Syndrome
Just let it go.
He hadn’t planned to be a waste management system, but Tanner really had no choice but to gather the shiny nails, bolts, and glass in the gutters on his walks, that is, when the traffic was light enough to go into the street.
For weeks, others had warned him about walking in the dark without any reflective gear but he never ventured into the street unless it was absolutely necessary, so what was the harm?
While he was still trying to shake the cobwebs from the night’s sleep, he scanned the edge of the street for objects glimmering under the street lights. He couldn’t help himself. He had it in mind to go buy a broom and dustpan so he wouldn’t have to bend over to pick up all the debris. Bending over and standing up multiple times at his age would certainly do his back in. He couldn’t believe that the town still had so many dangerous objects in the streets.
Since he was walking with the traffic, he turned halfway around to make sure no one else was in the lane he was about to step into. He walked off the curb, bent over to pick up a three-inch nail, and a horn jolted him back onto the curb. The driver swerved into the other lane, giving Tanner a sustained honk as he passed past.
Why hadn’t he seen the car when he turned to look? What had obstructed his view or was his eyesight going? Or maybe he just wasn’t awake yet. How had he missed the car when bending over?
He continued on his walk without picking up anything else, still stunned at his lack of awareness.
A few seconds later a patrol car sped by Tanner with its lights flashing and the siren blaring. The only other car in the street was the one that honked at Tanner, and the driver that sped past him was not slowing down for the patrol car. A chase at 5:30am was on.
Tanner breathed a sigh of relief as he realized he probably wasn’t at fault after all.
Or maybe it was the impetus he needed to get one of those reflective vests after all, just so he could be seen better.