Mark Sandford
Flash Fiction Winner
L ast week, one of the guys from the office had a heart attack. He was only 49, for Pete's sake, and he died. Just like that.

Everyone from Processing went. I mean, I only knew him from the office, but we'd worked together for almost 15 years, so how could I not go? The rest of the building sent flowers. One basket from Accounting, another from Public Affairs. All of us in Processing take up a collection and send flowers when one of their people go, so it's only right. It's expected, really.

The funeral parlor had a big board set up with all these drawings on it. Apparently, the guy liked to draw. He'd go out on the weekends with a pencil and some paper to the park, or the beach, or wherever, and draw folks walking by. The minister said sometimes neighbors would bring him the photograph of a man or a woman they knew, and he'd sketch it on good paper. Everyone there, his neighbors, his family, talked about how much he loved to draw. They were really good pictures, too. The kind of thing you could hang up.

None of the guys from Processing knew he was so talented. Every week we'd all come in and ask how the weekend went, and he'd say "pretty good" just like everyone else; then we'd all get to work. No one asks "what did you do" just "how was it." Who's got time to hear more?

First published: May 2000