Flash: Sisyphus Duties

From Unsplash: Boulder Photo by Peter Gonzalez (unsplash link no longer available) / Woman Photo by terricks noah
Cropped and merged by Erin Penn

All she had to do was push the stone to the top of the hill just once before sunset. Once. Some days she nearly made it by inches, some days she only got half-way.

Today she didn’t even try. Just standing took all her strength. She leaned against her nemesis, the boulder, slapping it a couple of times like a good dog by her side.


Back before this mission, an eternity ago, she had similar missions. Get through this pile of paperwork. Pay the rent again. Take care of the student loan. Put food on the table. Smile at the spouse. A spouse she never saw, rent for a home she never was in, a loan for an education she never used, food for children she couldn’t raise. All to push paperwork off her desk until it returned the next day. Phone call, computer files, interviews. Push, push, push.

As things went, pushing a boulder up the hill was a breeze. If she started now, she may make it about half-way. She shrugged, having found her millionth wind, and started pushing. She wasn’t sure if she was in hell or purgatory or still alive on earth. The boulder started moving for the day.

(Words 204; first published 6/16/19)