Now on Tuesdays…at least for the foreseeable future…welcome to Flash Fiction Tuesday. In case you don’t know what flash fiction is, it is an extremely short story (sometimes created in 100 words or less) with a beginning, middle, and an ending.
But in my case, I write flash fiction with an open ending. I allow my readers to draw their own conclusion as to what happens next to the characters of each story. To help beat the heat of mid summer, let’s think about cooler weather while stepping into the solitary life of one mall Santa…
He had been dreaming about a long line of whiney kids when a faint noise tickled his ear. He felt himself drawn away from the child sitting on his knee. There it was again, getting stronger and he finally realized it was the phone on the table beside him. Pushing the last shreds of sleep from his tired brain, he grabbed it on the last ring.
“Hello?” His voice sounded gruff even to himself.
“Uh, is this Chris? Chris Norman?”, a soft voice cautiously asked.
“Yeah, who’s this?”
“Daddy? It’s Amy…your daughter.”
He wondered if it’s possible to have all the air sucked out of your lungs in a flash and still be able to breathe? He felt like time had stopped and all he could see was a little girl’s tear-streaked face in the rear view mirror as he drove away from his old life. Even now, as a mall Santa, he looked into the eyes of every little girl and wondered what kind of woman his own had become.
“I’m so glad I finally found you. I was hoping we could meet somewhere for coffee.”
Time sped up again and the gut wrenching pain felt so fresh. Later he couldn’t even remember much of the conversation, but managed to make some lame excuse to avoid facing a life best forgotten. He quickly got off the phone saying it was almost Christmas and he had to get back to work. Now, listening to another line of whiney kids waiting to sit on his knee, he wondered how he would make it through the long night ahead of him.
“Santa? Are you for real?”
He could barely see the bright green eyes staring up at him. Roughly brushing a white gloved hand across suddenly misty eyes, he wondered how he would answer her question when he glanced over the child’s head into another pair of green eyes. Eyes as green as Amy’s had been.
What happens next? Share your imagination with others by leaving a comment below!
International best selling, award winning author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, LUNADAR: Homeward Bound (a YA fantasy) is scheduled to be released in ebook edition by summer 2018 from Story Catcher Publishing, with the print edition hopefully coming out late fall 2018.