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Eleven Eleven

My Mother was the first to plant the numbers thing. She kept telling me how she would wake up at 02:02 or arrive at the train station at 16:16 or how her shopping at Sainsbury’s would total 11 pounds and 11 pence.

So I started recording the occurrences. It was a joke. But it didn’t stay a joke. And it didn’t stop. I saw matching numbers everywhere. Patterns emerged and numbers multiplied.

Dropped books landed on matching pages as often as buttered toast and I turned the Bible into a crossword puzzle.

It was full of hidden meanings and codes and anagrams. J-E-S-U-S can be found running diagonally on page 16, 61 and 116 and it is spelt backwards on page 240, 120 and 60. I found S-A-T-A-N on page 222, 22 and 2. And the first letters of the first word on the pages 1, 11, 111 and 1111 spelt the word L-U-K-E.

When I read that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe only 11,111 people are admitted through the gates of Heaven I knew the numbers had led me where they wanted me to go.

I attended meetings, handed out leaflets, smiled toothy smiles, wore formal suits and knocked on doors with matching numbers only.

I checked my phone and saw the time was 12:12 p.m. And in the rainbow crescent cul-de-sac I thought I would visit one more house before lunch.

At door 66, a two-haired man invites me in. I tell him all about my journey and of the patterns. I show him my Book of Time and Bible full of markings and observations.

And he shows me his medals from the war. And he tells me of his shell shock and the constant ringing in his head and his growing madness.

He tells me how much he hates people ringing his bell and what he’s been doing to all the others and what he’s going to do to me.

He starts strangling me and I can’t breathe and before my own time comes I see the clock on the mantelpiece and you’ll never guess what the time was. 12:30.

Flash Fiction by Luke Carter
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Published in Summer 2017


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