April Bloom: “Dignity Space”

Thank you to all the world’s doers and believers across the planet for inspiring this month’s Bloom flash fiction story titled Dignity Space.
I dedicate this to those who tackle what seem like impossible challenges with steadfast and gracious determination.

"Dignity Space"

One spring evening over a light supper with friends and wine, Gee Suss listened to them praise BB&B, a secret Banker, Builders, and Believers’ coalition. They said BB&B had been operating off the radar of government officials in the densely populated city. In Gee’s experience, that spanned decades, formations of unlikely allies often failed, no matter how worthy the endeavors. Her friends implored her to attend the next meeting. Gee still had reservations but accepted out of curiosity.

When the meeting began, BB&B representatives shared maps and charts documenting progress toward the shared vision. Everyone had pledged to work as one body on addressing a home-related issue. The Bankers had secured funds. The builders had begun construction. The Believers had recruited volunteers. When the meeting ended, attendees congratulated each other and reviewed steps for next week’s implementation. Impressed, Gee Suss signed up to serve.

The day before launch, BB&B teams traversed the city to review the completed clandestine project. They declared it was good. That night, they moved the decommissioned public transit vehicles they had been retrofitting over the last six months. Under the cover of dark, BB&B’s engineering teams inserted their one thousand public buses and subway cars into the city’s mass transit system. BB&B’s exterior finishes team had painted Dignity Space in large neon lettering on each one.

At daybreak BB&B teams and volunteers distributed invitations for Dignity Space rides to ‘passed over people’- those who live, convene, and convalesce on streets. BB&B transit hosts escorted eligible riders aboard, pointing out the reclining seats, shower stalls, mini fridges, and microwaves available 24/7. BB&B security teams directed ineligible Dignity Space riders to regular public buses and subway cars with sturdy plastic seats and standard grip poles.

Within weeks, government officials and public tempers simmered. Requests soared from other jurisdictions seeking BB&B’s help. Within months, Gee Suss accepted a lifetime position as BB&B’s ambassador charged with establishing Dignity Spaces worldwide.