Very short stories for those in a hurry and those that like very short stories!
When You Have Lemons
Alexander went for a walk on Monday. It was a day off from school, and he just wanted to explore the neighborhood a bit. They had just moved here for his dad’s job, and he was having trouble adjusting after spending the whole eight years of his life in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Alex was walking by a house a few doors down, when a voice came from the porch.
“Hey, I saw you walk by the other day. You are new here, right? My name is Mason.”
Alexander didn’t even know a kid lived that close. He started up the sidewalk to the porch, immediately seeing why Mason didn’t come out front. He was in a wheelchair. Alexander had never met a kid in a wheelchair before.
Being kids, they didn’t bother with formalities and got right to the point, with Alex asking Mason how old he was. Mason replied eight years old. This information formed a bond between the two.
“What’s with the chair?” Alex asked right off.
“I used to walk, just like you, but then I was in this car accident. I don’t like to talk about it much because it still scares me,” Mason told Alex.
Alex just shrugged and said, “that’s okay. What grade are you in at school?”
Mason replied with, “I don’t go to school. My mom home schools me. She’s afraid of me getting hurt or something. What school do you go to?”
“I go to Lander Elementary,” Alex told Mason. “It’s just two blocks…”
But Mason interrupted him. “I know where it is. I wish mom would hurry and let me go there. Do they still have that climbing wall in the gym? I used to love that thing. I could do it when I was seven. Then this happened.” Mason gestured with his head at the chair. “If I ever get back there, I think I’ll try it. My mom believes in lemonade or something like that, and she has me keeping my upper body strong. They don’t weigh much, but I even pump iron,” Mason giggles. “Wanna see how strong I am?” Mason says as he pushes up his sleeve and assumes a childish but recognizable arm wrestling position on the tray attached to his chair.
"Giving Mason the side eye and with hesitant confidence, Alex said “You're on.” Crouching down so he was at the right level, Alex assumed the same position.
“Okay, on the count of three,” Mason said. At three, there was a noticeable hesitation in the clasped hands, and then Alex’s hand slowly moved backward.
“Okay, I give! You win!” Alex half shouted. “You are strong. I wonder if my mom would let me pump some of that iron. What did you say? You are up to 2#? I know what I’m asking for my birthday this week. Hey, Mason, want to come over on my birthday? I’ve invited two kids from school that I like and we will play games and stuff.”
“I don’t know. My mom still doesn’t let me do much. She says all in good time, whatever that means.” Mason tells Alex.
“Bring her with!” Alex says. “Our moms can eat cake and drink that icky coffee while we have a good time.”
“You sure that would be okay with your mom?” Mason’s mom had been standing at the door the whole time, observing this wrestling match.
“Oh, I’m sure,” Alexander told her. “If you give me a pencil and paper, I’ll even write her cell number and you can check yourself.”
I hope you like the stories! I'd love to hear from you.
Now Is Not The Time
Noah had promised to Zoom me at 2pm. It’s after 2pm now, but this is the word of an 8 year old. This Zoom technology is new to both of us, so maybe he ran into problems. I’m just so eager to see if I had impressed Noah,with the hot dog holders I made him in ceramics class. Each little holder was a tiny dachshund, better known to Noah as a ‘weiner dog’ and hot dogs are just about his favorite meal. I suppose feeling anxious about his reaction is silly for a Great Gramma but….but nothing. Noah had said he’d Zoom at 2pm and it was now 2:30pm.
Now, it is 3pm and no Zoom in sight! Maybe I should call and make sure everything is okay. No. Noah has a telephone too, so if something is wrong, it is his responsibility to let me know.
Finally, at 4pm, a Zoom invitation appears on my screen. Noah is the only one that knows I can even Zoom, or trying to learn, except for his dad. I accept the invite and join Noah on screen. It is probably a little mean, but Great Grammas have feelings too, and I’m a little cool to him. I needn’t worry because the moment I was on the screen, Noah started excitedly telling me about a play date he had just attended at a friend’s house. There were 4 boys there, but one had to leave because his gramma was coming to his house that afternoon. Asking what 4 boys found to talk about, Noah answered, “Just life! Stuff we did in school, homework the teachers are giving us. Really! Do you think 3rd graders are ready for homework?” Before I could even answer, Noah added, “and Grammas. Two of my friends there had birthdays on the same day and brought their birthday presents from their gramma with. One had a bunch of space stuff, and the other had sports stuff.”
“Stop!” I said. I wanted to get a word in on this Zoom call. “Both presents sound great. Did you have anything to show the kids?” I know this was a thinly veiled ask to see if Noah was going to mention the hot dog holders.
“I was just getting to that,” Noah said. “I had my weiner dog holder with me! Dad only let me bring it after making me wrap it in practically an entire roll of bubble wrap. I showed my friends my hot dog holder, and I told them that my mormor made them for each of us, two for dad because he always eats two hot dogs for lunch! They asked what a mormor was, and I told them how you are very Swedish and that is what I call you ‘cause it means Gramma in Swedish. When I talked about already having a Gramma, actually two, they kind of got confused. That’s when I told them you aren’t my Gramma, but my Great Gramma! Liam asked if I thought my Gramma was better than other Grammas, but I explained no, I didn’t. I told him how my dad said something about four generations and things then got really complicated. Maybe we will learn this stuff in 4th grade. Anyway, they wanted to know if they ever came to my house for lunch, could they have their hot dog in the hot dog holders you made for me?”
I guess there is no higher praise, then to have 8 year olds want to have their lunch from the hot dog holders I made. It looks like I better get busy, making some more in upcoming ceramic classes. And, I will also teach Noah punctuality lessons, another time. This wasn’t the time to take away the joy of the moment, his or my own.
I hope you like the flash fiction! Would love to hear from you.
No Crying Over Spills
"Oh no!" Brent's mom gasps. It wasn't a scream, except in her own head. Brent was walking towards Uncle Ted with a full glass of ice tea. Uncle Ted has a tremor that has only been diagnosed as a familial tremor. It seems to run on just one side of the Johnson family. As Brent approached with his drink, Uncle Ted reached out. Handing it to him, Uncle Ted took it and it began to slosh from side to side, ice going everywhere. Brent's mom ran over and began mopping up the spilled drink as well as possible, apologizing over and over. "I didn't know! I didn't know!" Brent kept saying. Patting his soggy lap and flicking off the ice cubes, Uncle Ted said "Of course you didn't. It's just one of those silly accidents that happen in life. What is a little spilled tea compared to sharing a wonderful picnic with you?"
Annie sat on her bed stuffing store bought cookies into her mouth, crumbs and sprinkles falling unnoticed onto the bed. "No way!" She said to her friend, Jordan, sitting opposite.
"Way," Jordan said emphatically.
"How did she pull that off," Annie, wide eyed, asked. "What did her mom say?"
Jordan answered, "You won't believe it. Her mom did it for her!"
At that moment, Annie's mom popped into her bedroom with a basket of clean laundry. Annie seized the moment. "Mom, will you help me dye my hair purple? Winter's mom helped her do it."
Annie's mom looked at her for a few moments, then said, "Sure thing. As soon as you clean that cookie mess up on your bed." Then, she turned and left the room.
With eyes wider than ever, Jordan said, "You have the coolest mom!"
"Right," Annie says, "she's bilingual, too. She speaks English and Sarcasm."
Not So Spooky Halloween
Answering the doorbell, my rollator (a stablizer on wheels), with a big bowl of candy and toys on its seat, stood between me and the wide eyed goblins on the porch. "Please, take two," I said. After getting over the initial surprise of seeing a rollator, the kids helped themselves, finishing with a loud 'Happy Halloween' and a brand new memory.