The Hiddenness of Things (flash fiction)

Here’s a piece of flash fiction about a homeless man and looking closer at the world. It’s about 424 words and has an estimated reading time of 2 minutes. Let me know what you think!

“And what do you think lies hidden beyond the world?” Peter asked.

I couldn’t answer the question, though I wanted to. To be truthful, I didn’t even know if his name really was “Peter.” He was the homeless man I often saw sleeping inside the bank lobby next to the ATM machines.

“I can tell you the answer,” he said. “If you’d like.”

“Yes, go ahead,” I said.

“In the hiddenness, the weak are kings. The powerful are the servants. In the hiddenness, there’s astral energy, and it touches everything we see.”

Most people would avoid men like this. But he intrigued me. I also worried about him, as I did most homeless people I saw. I thought about the mental illness he must suffer, the pain he must be going through. I thought about the times he often spent in jail cells or sleeping outside in the freezing cold.

“Do you need money?” I asked him.

“No, I don’t want your money.”

“Then, what do you need? I’m here to help.”

“I need you to see the hiddenness.”

“How do I do that?”

Peter laughed, inducing a coughing spasm. When he was done coughing, he said, “Just look at things a bit closer. I don’t mind living on the streets. Yes, my health is in a terrible state. I could die at any moment. But this is not the only world we live in. When I die, I pass into the next dimension.”

“And what dimension is that?”

“Oh, you’ll see.”

That was the last time I saw Peter.

But then something extraordinary happened. A year had passed, and I’d forgotten all about him. I was out walking my dog, and I bumped into a man, literally bumped into him, on the way home.

He was wearing a very expensive-looking suit, and when I bumped into him, he spilled his coffee all over himself.

“Oh, God! I’m so sorry!” I exclaimed.

The man looked angry at first, but his face settled into a smile. “It’s quite alright,” he said. “I wasn’t paying attention, either.”

His face looked so familiar, the same green eyes as Peter. “Do I know you?” I asked.

“Perhaps,” he said, smiling. “But it was probably from another dimension. So, it’s quite likely that you’ve seen the hiddenness of things.”

With that, he walked away. I’m not sure if what happened is real or imaginary. But I’ve made it a point to look closer at the hiddenness of things ever since.

The End

(Photo by Malik Earnest on Unsplash)

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