Don’t Need Anybody?

“Arnold I’m happy. I’ve got a big beach house, a fast car and overseas holidays twice a year. I’ve been all over the world, what more could I want?”

His friend ran his hand over his bald crown and through the sparse wisps of grey locks he kept in back. “But Henry, this could disappear in an instant and then what would you have? I’m the only other person that has ever sat at your eight-seater dinner table, not that you haven’t done shit to try chase me away. Thankfully I’ve known you all my life, so I don’t take it personally.”

“I don’t need anybody.”

Arnold took his dogs for their run on the beach then drove back to his family in the suburbs, three hours away. He would only be back in a month for another visit, because he couldn’t afford the fuel for more regular meetings with his childhood friend of sixty years.

In the darkness of the night, the moon pulled the waves harder than normal and the ground beneath the ocean waters rumbled. Everything Henry owned was washed away, but by the help of strangers he survived.

With no proof of who he was, he had to rely on human kindness for a bed and a hot meal. The wheels of the administration system turned slowly and obtaining new identity documents proved to be near impossible.

When Arnold returned, only rubble remained. Nothing of value had been left by the looters.

“Arnold,” Henry shouted having walked from the shelter he was living in. “Finally, someone that knows me. I need your help.”

by Debbie Gravett © 2019.10.29

FFFC: Flash Fiction Challenge #38
Image by Fandango at

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