Looks Like a Princess to Me

This was a draft from an old prompt. Don’t remember why I didn’t get around to posting this, but here it is. Enjoy.

Panicked, the man ran from rack to rack.
“Can I help you, Sir?” The clerk asked.
“I only looked away for a minute.”
“You’ve lost something?”
The man frantically wiped aside clothes on the nearby racks, looking underneath one. “Jackson!”
The clerk’s hands fluttered against her chest. “Oh my; shall I call security?”
“Jackson, I swear to God, when I get my hands on you.”
“I’m sure he’s close by, but threatening him won’t make him come out of hiding,” the clerk said, in a strained, high voice.
“Him?”
A look of confusion crossed the clerk’s face. “You said, Jackson. Aren’t we looking for a boy?”
The man rolled his eyes. “It’s a gender neutral name,” he said, moving to the next rack. “Haven’t you heard the latest, gender terms are offensive.”
“Offensive?” The clerk moved with him, scanning the area for a wandering child. “To whom?”
“Not to me,” he said, stopping abruptly, “It’s a family name.” A smile spread across his face. The clerk followed his gaze.
The child stood on the dressing stage in front of a large mirror. Tiny hands clutched her frilly pink dress, and dark brown curls bounced with each twirl.images
“She looks like a princess to me; all girl,” he said.

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A Record of Fond Memories

Daily Post Prompt: Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt – Record.

What an interesting word.  It’s a word we’ve heard a lot of lately and refers to a number of different things- a list of accomplishments, an account of specific occurrences, sports, safety, dental, medical, court, or criminal records.

However, when I saw this word, I thought of only one thing – a record. That thin, black, plastic disc which carried within its fine lines, the songs of my youth.

I can still remember going to the five and dime store, buying the latest hit single, racing home, and nearly wearing the thing out on mom’s prized stereo.

We were all in love with Elvis! CD‘s are convenient and more durable. But, there’s nothing like slipping a brand new vinyl record from its paper cover, placing it on the turntable, and dancing the afternoon with my sisters. Fond memories of a simpler time.

What about you? Remember vinyl records? Who was your favorite singer?

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

 

Commerce

A guest-post of some unpublished Flash Fiction, by K. Alan. Sample more of his projects here, or develop a strategy for facing rejection.

Everyone could see that Craig had a legitimate reason to complain. He had a reason, and all of his neighbors certainly had one, too. Craig’s family, especially, had fallen upon notoriously hard times.

When the letter came, it was no different for them than for anyone else. Move now, or be rezoned. The city would progress regardless. A generous offer in today’s market, but declining it would do no good. This neighborhood would be redeveloped. The center of commerce was shifting.

littlehouseCraig wasn’t sure what that meant—that the center of commerce was shifting—so he asked around among the others. His wife, frying bread, said that it meant the shopping district was moving here from downtown, but his neighbors all interpreted it according to their own metaphors. Johnson, a hardware merchant, said that consumers were placing orders more and more online, so that wealthy people no longer minded where they lived. Mercier, on the other hand, spoke from the perspective of a dentist, and claimed that people were willing to drive further, to keep their appointments away from the rush of the city. It was when he spoke to his most respected neighbor, though, that Craig knew they would need to take action.

Brunel, a retired lawyer, told Craig that he and his neighbors were no longer spending enough to be considered the center of commerce.

This outrage set Craig on a crusade around the district, draping his three complaining children with placards, and crossing their patchy lawn to knock on door after door. At first, he was met with an apathy that he could not understand. What was a home to these people? Could nobody else see that spending money was only one factor in a well-rounded life? Didn’t their own stories matter more? With only Craig chasing justice from his city, while his kids trailed behind him chasing monsters on their cellphones, he knew that he would need to modify his approach. He would need to force real change.

Change came on the day he told a story to Mrs. Peters, the retired widow living in the only two-story on his block. He watched his daughter waging a war using her thumbs, and recounted the time, at age four, that she had insisted Craig build his chicken coop to give their beloved birds further to roam. So moved was Mrs. Peters, by this loving tale from her own neighborhood, that she joined Craig’s cause that very day. The others around them had more difficulty ignoring their respected matron—now struggling with the weight of her own placard—but Craig could see that they would need to be similarly moved in order to back him. He would need to tell them more touching stories.

It was only a formality that he had to make those stories up.

He told Johnson a story of his son, who had supposedly insisted upon personally collecting a hammer Craig needed from the store, only to be followed discreetly in the family car. He told Mercier about a made-up holiday evening, when the fireworks had burned with so much more spectacle around and between the tall buildings of the city. And he told Brunel about the fictitious time that his wife had so badly wanted a family vacation that Craig had quietly drawn on a second mortgage to finance it.

It didn’t matter that these were all deceptions; Brunel was so stirred, that he agreed to represent the neighbors in a class-action suit. In Craig’s mind, he had won.

Of course, the victory required some formalities: a hearing, which would never transpire, and a ruling, which a judge would never take the trouble to give. The city, with all of their tax-fed wealth, were too quick to respond with doubled offers, and Craig’s neighbors too quick to forget how moved they had been by his anecdotes about a family so much like his own. They began to vanish in dozens, to spend their profits elsewhere.

Only Craig insisted on keeping his home, and one house was not enough to trouble the city. And so, today—with his children moved out and his wife quietly resenting his most ambitious crusade—Craig wanders his patchy lawn tending to his daughter’s chickens, in the shadows of the cafés and condominiums that surround him. He is, as that letter had threatened he would be, right in the center of commerce.

And his neighbors have a legitimate reason to complain.

Recommended Flash Fiction Stories of The Week

recommended-flash-fiction-stories-for-the-week

Don’t you just love it when a good story comes across your desk, pops up on your Kindle, or handed to you? I know I do; that is why I enjoy sharing them with you.

The thermometer is dropping lower, and the thick pajamas are coming out; along with hot toddies. But, it’s the perfect time to pull a chair by the fire and enjoy a story.

Up this week:

The Mohair Coat by Amanda O’Callaghan – Flash Fiction 500 – Second Quarter 2016 Winner

Priorities by Madeleine Ritzker – Mash Stories Short List

The Perfect Employee by Claudia Brooke – Mash Stories Short List

Notes to Self: One Week Out  by Laura Ruth Loomis – WOW Winter 2016 Runner-up

I’d love to hear your comments. Talk to me. Tell me your story and look for me on Facebook at SheilaMGood,  PinterestBloglovinTwitter@sheilamgood, Contently, and Instagram. You can follow my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Fall Leaves

Check out my latest flash fiction story; Fall Leaves on The Drabble.

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By Sheila M. Good

The weight of Kayla’s backpack was nothing compared to the disappointment of finding Ben with Selma. God, she felt stupid. She kicked the leaves covering the path, unaware of the muffled footsteps behind her.

He came from nowhere pulling her into the deserted park. She didn’t have the chance to scream. He threw her backpack to the ground scattering leaves like colorful confetti.
“Strip,” he said.

The ground, like the steel blade of his knife, felt cold against her skin.

Kayla squeezed her eyes, dug her nails into the bed of leaves, and prayed for an early spring.

    
Bio: Sheila M. Good is a writer from South Carolina. Her work has appeared in Blasting News, Angie’s Diary, Every Writer’s Resource, Every Day Fiction, Downer Magazine, WOW – The Muffin. She’s been featured on the No Extra Words Podcast, and

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