Bubble (Flash Fiction Friday)

Two quick things:

A) I’ve had a strong desire to write fiction again recently. I’ve mostly been putting it off, and I don’t see doing another novel in the near future, but it’s getting to the point where I can’t not do it anymore.

B) I’ve been endlessly fascinated with moments–things I’ll notice or see on TV or read in a book. The character, the situation, the moment, the motivations…they all make my mind twirl and suddenly I’m just making up stuff, things that might be true, reasons why something might be happening. Hopefully some of you can relate and I’m not bat crazy.

My solution for A & B is that I’m going to start posting some flash fiction here on Fridays. They’ll be fun to write and read I hope. They will be short and totally unconnected, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.

Of course you can’t tell a whole story in 60 seconds or so, but what can you do in 60 seconds? Bite your fingernails, refresh Twitter? Hopefully these will be more entertaining than those.

Here’s my first attempt. It’s called “Bubble.”

———————————————————–

Today I sat in Chick-fil-a watching my kids be monkeys on the playground. I engulfed a moment of silence, annoyed and exhausted with their incessant “Mommy can I?”s and apparent unrelenting desire to wreak havoc on my sanity.

Then, this kid. He starts bawling. A little boy, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, cute as can be. My blood pressure spikes. “Can I just get one minute? Is that really too much to ask?”

He’s saying “Bubble, bubble…” over and over again and I hate it and I may even hate him, God forgive my bitter soul.

He’s sitting with a woman who looks like she’s seen better days, like she’s past the end of whatever crappy rope she was given, and I grow an ounce of sympathy. I know her because I am her.

Then, another lady walks in, dressed in a pants suit, and to my surprise approaches their table. She sits down after a brief greeting and half-smile at the boy, who is if you are wondering, still at it.

I take another glance at my hooligans out on the playground, then get up to get a refill. In a rare moment of bravery, I stop by their table. “Hey buddy,” I say in my best mom-voice and try to get his attention. He looks at me, but doesn’t calm down. “Do you miss your bubbles at home? It’s okay.”

“Brother,” the exhausted lady says, nicely.

“Excuse me?”

“Brother–he’s saying brother.”

I look around and try to connect the dots.

He stops for a moment, and the tired lady flashes a sad smile at me. “He misses his brother.”

Then I look down at pants suit lady and finally notice her name tag. It says Department of Social Services.

Some invisible force keeps me from melting into a pile of tears but I don’t know how.

My exit is as glorious as my entrance–I mumble a halfway audible “I’m sorry” and then plod on over to get my refill, feeling another tormented “Bubble!” crawl over my shoulder on the way.

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  • http://lauramcclellan.com Laura McClellan

    Dang. Great job.

  • Sharon Von Fange

    Love the twist – you got me again! This one definitely deserves another Chapter! It could go a lot of places. I’m willing to take the ride and buy the book.

    • http://www.brandonclements.com Brandon Clements

      Thanks Sharon! Yeah it was a fun one to write.