Don't Touch Me

Don’t Touch Me. Flash Fiction

I have always loved people watching; for as long as I can remember they fascinate me somewhat. Going about their personal business, some walking in the same direction, but not to the same destination; strangers together. Their lives seemed busy, for whatever reason.

As I walk amongst the crowd, weaving in and out; being careful not to touch or be touched by anyone, I like to keep clean. Keeping my head down as much as I can too; I struggle with eye contact with people; it makes me feel strange – guilty perhaps. They could be having a bad day, and making eye contact would mean that I have ignored them. Simpler just to avoid; I don’t think I am noticed much anyway – I like that too. I am fairly shy and prefer to go be unnoticed; it made my day peaceful; leaving me with only a small number of jobs I am given daily, these days I like.

My job is a difficult one, it really is never easy, but one that is needed to be done. There are quite a few of us in this field, dotted around the world. We rarely interact with each other; we can work alone, when we do come together it is usually the worst kind of days, days we like to avoid. I like my own company, I think the others feel the same none of like the team working days.

My first call of the day is fairly early; it is in a house – I say the first call, I have visited here several times this week, I don’t like to arrive too quickly if I can help it, although I think it was preferred that I completed the jobs a day or so ago. But I like them to have the important things out of the way; it doesn’t make any sense to me to interrupt these.

I can’t put this off any longer.

As I stand to look at the large black wooden front door – it looks quite old – I always like to knock, but I never wait for the door to be answered. You see people don’t like me being in their homes, I try desperately to not be made aware of – most of the time these people know that I am coming.

As I enter the house, I remove a small bottle from my pocket, placing a drop of the gloopy liquid from inside onto my hands and rubbed them together; I like to remain clean all the time, hence why I am not overly keen on being touched, amongst other reasons. I can hear voices from the rooms upstairs, everywhere else seemed cold and empty.

I begin to slowly climb the stairs, a voice shouted over me to whoever was downstairs, within seconds they were running past me, I made sure that nobody touched me or that I got in their way. Reaching the top I took a breath. “This part never gets easier.” I sighed to myself. Slowing my pace as I edged closer to the door at the end of the hallway. It was a long one, passing several dark doors as I walked.

It seemed so small, but there were many people in there, not a lot of space to move. Politely but quietly I said “Excuse me”, as I tried to get by. I can’t be sure they really heard, I never know if I ever get heard.

A path naturally cleared for me; I continue to be careful not to be touched too much, and where my hands placed, for a moment I was able to reach for my tiny bottle again; can’t be too clean. In front of me a bed with an elderly gentleman lying under his covers, he appeared to be sleeping; he obviously wasn’t well. Above the voices which were filling the room, I could hear his laboured breathing and the soft beating of his heart. I continued closer to him; I do hope I can help him.

I crouched down close to his ear.

“I’m here for you.”

Whilst I placed my hand upon his chest, I could instantly feel the final rise and fall as he took his final breath; my hand rested next to those who love him. Carefully sliding my hand away, I stepped back to ensure nobody could sense my being there, I certainly didn’t want contact with them in any way – it wouldn’t be the first time.

The paperwork I need to fill, identities I need to check most of the others who work the same as me use modern technology but I still prefer book and pencil. This one was pretty standard. As hard as they are I like these jobs. I can begin my journey to my next destination.

The cries of sadness trail behind me, I am used to that noise now – well almost.

I didn’t have another in the area, so I made my way to my car. I managed to drive a little way, traffic was building up, the three lanes were filling up. It was then I noticed other members of my team dotted around the queuing traffic, we made eye contact and I knew this wasn’t the end of my day.

The man in the car next to me looked across, he smiled. They usually do.

Seconds later a large tanker ploughed into the car next to me and into others. My quiet day had now ended.

One thought on “Don’t Touch Me. Flash Fiction

  1. Me

    This is a brilliant story. Like I said before, it really could be any number of things before the revelation near the end: someone with OCD, a CSI, a coroner, any of it! So well written!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *