Flash Fiction Friday: Identity Crisis

Flash Fiction Friday #7




Microfiction Summer Week #7


Identity Crisis

Inspired by Melissa Pagonis, who suggested “sushi, evening, purple.”

The waitress ran a purple hologram-detection light over my ID and shook her head. “That’s not you,” she said.

It was definitely me. Elizabeth Rissi. Five-foot-five, brown eyes, willing organ donor. Sure, it wasn’t a great photo—it was from the DMV, after all—and I’d been moving when the camera flashed so my hair was all crazy, but it was still me. Moreover, I’d used that card for two years. Even at this exact sushi restaurant.

Yes, sushi. It wasn’t like I was trying to order sake or beer or whatever. That was more my bestie’s thing. But, for some reason, the waitress decided to card both of us, and now she wouldn’t accept that I was who I said I was.

Behind the waitress, wending his way between the tables, my boss and savior approached to save me from the situation. “Lizzie!” he cried.

Perfect. Here was unprompted corroboration of my identity. She’d have to believe I was me now. “T.J.,” I acknowledged when he pulled up tableside. “Would you like to join us?”

“No, no,” he said. “I just saw you and wanted to say hi.”

The waitress cleared her throat, more a growl than a phlegm thing. “Sir,” she said. “Do you know this woman?”

His eyebrows quirked, and his mouth wobbled comedically. Like, if he didn’t know me, he probably wouldn’t have come to our table. “Yes?”

But that incredulous question was enough for the waitress to doubt his sincerity. She glowered at me. “I can’t believe you planted a fake acquaintance in my restaurant.”

What even?

She folded up her order pad and shoved it into her apron. “Miss, if you don’t want to cooperate, I’m going to have to ask you to leave.”

I was surrounded by people who knew me at a sushi restaurant I came to regularly. I’d shown the waitress my ID and had others that matched it in my purse. I was twenty-seven, for crying out loud. I wasn’t even ordering liquor.

I couldn’t help it. I started laughing.

I laughed and laughed till my voice sounded like a gasping mule’s. My abs went sore. My breasts jiggled more than I like them to. But I couldn’t stop. It was just so ridiculous.

“Oh!” exclaimed the waitress. Through the tears in my eyes, I saw her shaking her head like a confused kitten. First she looked at my ID, then at my helplessly tickled self, then at my ID. Back and forth. Her eyes widened. “Oh, uh, okay. You are, ah, Elizabeth Rizzo.”

I laughed harder. I knew the photo was terrible, but that’s what it took? Movement and really unflattering laughter? Plus, she’d clearly looked oh so carefully at my card that she couldn’t even read my name right. It was great.

I was never coming back to this restaurant.

“I’m so sorry, ma’am,” she said. Upgraded to ma’am from miss. “Can I get you a drink on the house?”

Sure. Why not? I gasped and tried to calm my over-tight stomach muscles. “I’ll just take a Diet Coke,” I said. “Liquor isn’t my thing.”



Click the links below to read the previous weeks’ stories.

“Werewolf-Friendly Hair Straighteners Are Hard To Find” (Week #1)

“Operation: Orange Chicken Casserole” (Week #2)

“Peal and Ring” (Week #3)

“Spaceships Aren’t Compostable” (Week #4)

“Seattle Freeze-Frame” (Week #5)

“The Wise Man and the Wisent” (Week #6)

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Janine A. Southard is a Writer & Editor for narrative projects. She's a proven talent when it comes to mimicking voices and crafting content for videogames, articles, & fiction.