Creatures of Habit

MeandKatie_2Creatures of Habit

by Lina Rehal

The birds huddled together in a T formation on wires that crossed over the roadway from one utility pole to another. Resembling a scene out of a Hitchcock movie, these tiny creatures of habit gathered in the same spot on Paradise Road every morning.

Alice glanced up at them quickly as she drove along. Wondering if they would swoop down and surround her car one of these mornings, a shiver ran through her. She laughed out loud and continued her short commute to work.

While she waited for the light to turn green, Alice thought about her feathered friends perched high over the pavement near the Citgo Station at the bend in the road. She wondered how long they stayed there and if they had been there all night.

Did they sleep there? Did the birds think about her and wonder where she might be going at 8 a.m.? Are they there on weekends? Do they look for her on a Saturday? Do they care? Is she a part of their morning ritual like they are a part of hers, or do they not even notice her? Is she just another noisy vehicle interrupting the order of their day?

A man driving a black SUV inched his way out of a side street. He was on his cell phone. Don’t even think of cutting in front of me you slug, Alice thought. Not wanting to become a victim of road rage, she let him go. Why is everyone in such a hurry to get to work? She thought about the birds and the leisurely way they went about their business. Were they laughing at us?

One quick stop at Dunkin Donuts and Alice would be ready for her workday. She was happy the line wasn’t too long. Only the blonde woman who worked at the bank, the clerk from CVS and Mr. Quigley were ahead of her.

Alice didn’t really know Mr. Quigley. He was just someone she ran into five times a week. He always ordered a corn or blueberry muffin for his wife and a donut, usually jelly, for himself.

Four elderly gentlemen occupied the second booth from the door. They were there every morning. One had on a long sleeved flannel shirt, a denim vest and a fishing hat. Another was wearing a quilted plaid flannel shirt. He waved at her. The other two sported baseball caps and Patriot’s jackets. They were talking about a ball game and drinking black coffee. Each one had a half eaten donut in front of him.

The girl behind the counter knew Alice liked her coffee with cream and two sugars and usually ordered a corn muffin.

These people didn’t really know one another, yet they were all part of each other’s morning routine. Alice mulled this over, as she waited her turn.

Like the birds, we’re creatures of habit.


Author Notes

I'm new to this site. This is my first attempt at the weekly writing challenge.

16 Comments for “Creatures of Habit”

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Hi Lina!

Well, for being new to the site, you certainly seem to have the hang of things really well.
I very much enjoyed this piece. I liked the correlation between Alice and the birds she encountered on her way to work each morning.
I think we all have our routines in the morning, and it becomes such a part of our days, when we don’t encounter those certain people, or get that daily cup of coffee, something feels “off.”
Great job highlighting this.

Tim

says:

Thanks for your comments, Tim. Now that I’m retired, I miss the people I saw every day and the people I worked with. Don’t miss the work. MOre time for writing now.

I’m enjoying this site.

Lina

says:

Nice analogy between the birds and humans. A simple message, that strikes a chord in our thought process. I enjoyed reading this piece.

Welcome to the WC, Lina! It’s great to see you learning what the site has to offer, and getting a taste of the Weekly Challenge, as well! Any questions, feel free to ask!

Write On!
Becky

says:

Thank you. I’m having fun here. Still a bit confused, but learning. I just realized it’s okay to post something longer than the 500 word piece in the Posts For Reviews. Was getting that mixed up with the weekly challenge. I’m getting ready to post something else. It’s also flash fiction, but about 700 words.

Lina

says:

You can write up to 2,000 words in a single post. It’s kind of recommended to stay under 1,500, as people seem to shy away from really longs posts. If you have longer works, you can split them up into sections, chapters or parts, as separate posts, too. You can post two original posts per day, and for each post you post, we ask that you review 4 other posts by other writers. Keeps the cycle of reviewing going! You are doing a great job reviewing already. So glad to have you here!

Team Member at WC
Write On!
Becky

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