The pen wasn’t worth anything, but Maddie pocketed it anyway.
Jerry saw her do it and didn’t do anything. Maybe if it was one of the Cross ones, but this was a Bic.
As store manager, Jerry figured he had the right to look the other way, and this kid looked like she could use a little ‘looking the other way’.
He followed her, slyly he thought, thru the office supply section and watched her pocket a notebook.
She turned and looked at him, eyes of sadness, not fear, and it looked like she was about to cry.
“Hey, it’s all right. You aren’t in trouble, I’m the boss and I won’t tell myself what you are doing.” Hoping for a laugh.
She looked from right to left. “Hey don’t run. Let’s go get some ice cream and talk about this.” Kids like ice cream, Jerry does, and his store has good ice cream.
Maddie agreed, and with a cone in one hand and her bic pen in the other she poured out her heart to him. The school has no money to give out pencils and paper and she has an English assignment due, her mother has no money, she is only nine and has no job, neither does her mother.
Jerry listened to her, asked the name of her teacher, and took her back to the office supply section, stopping to get a cart first.
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Your line for this week is: The pen wasn’t worth anything, but Maddie pocketed it anyway. That was the prompt for First Line Fridays at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. Dylan Hughes is in charge, head on over and check out the stories, maybe add one of your own.
This was interesting to write, because when I saw the line I had to use, I immediately thought of something I saw on the news the other night and the story formed instantly. That’s my kind of flash fiction. I usually write 100 words, but this one went elsewhere, and I didn’t need Ethel & Cheryl’s help this time.
I got this message from my sister Mariya after she read this story. I thought I would share it… Good story! It is so true, even in my time of public school teaching 20 years ago. I cried reading it. I cannot tell you how many supplies I purchased, including books to keep, for kids whose parents just couldn’t because they were so broke, or because the parents had other problems and the children were neglected. Many teachers do this, even on their low-paying salaries compared to the amount of responsibility and workload involved in the job.
IN A JIFFY… a story in 333 words
Jeff’s sneakers slapped the vinyl floor as he raced for the Jewel’s exit, clerks in hot pursuit.
“I tell you, I was almost killed!” “Ethel, don’t be so damn dramatic. You weren’t ‘almost killed’, what happened?”
They were gaining on him as he pushed through the door and collided with the woman.
“Listen to me, Cheryl. I don’t know why you have to be so negative all the time.” Cheryl sipped her tea, waiting. “I was going into the Jewel, you know how I don’t like the Jewel, but I just needed some cornbread mix. Now don’t you go rolling your eyes like that. You know I like to bake!” Cheryl stopped rolling her eyes and tried to stifle herself. Ethel didn’t bake. In fact, Ethel didn’t cook, she ate out or got take-in. The only thing Ethel ever made was Jiffy Cornbread or Jiffy Popcorn… Ethel liked everything jiffy, the woman had no patience.
Ninety pounds of blond had laid him flat on his back. The beer he’d been trying to steal went flying as angry hands yanked him to his feet. The woman had fire in her eyes, and took over.
“So, there I was, on the ground with beer bottles everywhere. People lifting me up and thanking me for stopping the thief. A crowd had gathered, you know how I don’t like to be the center of attention.” Cheryl held her eyes still.
The manager had called the police. The woman Jeff bumped into was familiar. She was the one always complaining about something. It had been suggested she shop elsewhere. Now he would have to be nice to her, as she started in on him.
“Well, I tell you, the ingratitude of some people. They didn’t even offer me a reward.” The phone rang. Cheryl answered and thanked the caller for letting them know.
Jeff had slipped away during the ensuing ruckus.
“It’s your lucky day, Ethel. They want to give you the Jiffy you left on the counter.”
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The prompt this time is the third definition (as always) of the word LUCKY (adjective). To read more “Lucky” stories of 33 to 333 words, click on the trike.
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Everything you will need to cook like Ethel…