The man who mirror-clapped 21 times

A story

Ben Human
The Pro Files


Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

A woman clapped 21 times on platform stories. Every time. A mystery! And contained within it, a clue perhaps.

Was it a reference to the traditional age of majority, the former Western coming of age? Some significance attached to prime constituent numbers? Numerology? A frequent concurrence with the Solstices? Blackjack? The sum of dots on a six-sided die?

He was never going to solve it.

He knew it without any further information. In any of her comments and all of her stories, of which there were just a handful. Never once did he search for her, go back to when she started, to learn more. It was a fascination with the number and human choice; any fascination with her, if it ever happened (anything is possible), would be a different problem with its own set of rules to navigate.

Her stories were authentic. Good too. Another clue. She herself, seemed authentic too. And good, a good person. Almost too good to be true, cynics would say. Liked animals or children, she judged people on individual merit, without preconception or fear.

21, always. How curious. He formed a friendship with her. She was good, and authentic. Direct but kind, sincere. Light but serious about serious matters. Literature, art, respect. Humorous without thinking anything of…