Tell A Tale in 500 Words

THE MAN WHO LOST HIS SOUL By Samantha K Collinson

It is a wet November evening. A man stands at the edge of the roof of a high-rise building in central London. He looks out over the edge and thinks about his life as it flashes like a showreel before his eyes. He wonders how it has come to this? How this is his final moment of life? Then, he remembers.



***



It is a wet November morning and a man is riding his bicycle, in full business attire, toward central London, for work. He is eating a cereal bar while trying to answer emails on his, constantly, beeping phone. He is tired, having stayed at work until 3 a.m. to make sure several of his deadlines are completed and handed in on time. He is already on his final warning and is behind on paying his rent at the bedsit.



Speeding past in a silver convertible, is his boss. A loud, obnoxious, rich business man; driving through the bus lane to avoid the morning traffic. He is laughing and squealing on his phone, as the man on the bicycle looks on.



Suddenly, two small children playing in the puddles next to the bus stop ahead, run out onto the bus lane. The mother of the boys screams for them but it is too late. The silver convertible smashes into the boys, who go under the car, but instead of stopping, the car speeds off into a nearly corner street. Everyone at the bus stop rushes to the children but their already gone.



The man on the bicycle looks on in horror, having witnessed the whole thing. As he is about to go over to the mother crying on the ground, his phone rings. It’s his boss.



***



“NOT GUILTY!” The verdict rings out across the courtroom as the mother collapses to the ground in disbelief. She stares out, not toward the driver of the silver convertible; the business man, now hugging and applauding his lawyer. But at the man, who was riding his bicycle that day. The man who lied on the stand, saying his boss was already at work and was talking to him on the phone the whole time.



***



Years later and on another wet November evening, a man is walking up to a half-way house. He walks to reception and asks for a name. He is pushing a shiny, white bicycle with him while holding a black briefcase. He sees her. The mother of the two dead boys. She recognises him. She starts to cry as he hands her the briefcase and bicycle. He tells her how sorry he is and that the business man is dead. He opens the briefcase full of money and the deed to his mansion and car. She holds his hand, noticing the blood stains. He smiles and walks out, toward the high-rise building, opposite the half-way house and as he starts to climb the stairs to the roof, he feels his soul return.


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