#1MinFiction: Where are you, Christmas?

They thought they heard Santa Claus, never left their rooms as I packed all the presents into bins for the shelter and put them in the trunk of my car.

Now my husband glares at me like I’m the Grinch that stole Christmas, but even the Grinch learned that the joy of this holiday doesn’t originate from a store.

“Come on kids, get your coats. We’re going caroling.” I will show them the true meaning.

—Nortina


Monday’s One-Minute Fiction challenges you to write a story in one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided, but it looks like Grinch-mom stole all the presents from Monday’s Christmas-themed photo prompt! Guess she wants us to know it’s not all about the gifts too. 😉

 

#LyricalFictionFriday: Hoedown

When I told Janay I wanted to try something different, I was thinking nerd-ish, maybe religious. Hell, I’d even go with corporate; there were plenty of fine-looking brothers working well-salaried office jobs.

Anything was better than the fake-ass wannabe rapper, not a cent to his name, grills on his teeth cost more than his rent, more Jordan’s in his closet that dollar bills in his wallet, burnt lips from all the cigars he smokes, lying-ass, cheating-ass, baby mama drama having-ass scumbag I was used to with JT.

But never in my wildest dreams did I imagine she’d take me to a New Year’s Eve, Farmers Only dot com, cowboy hoedown. It’s criminal to have this much denim in one room, unless it’s being burned. The sea of leather boots scuffing the floor makes it hotter than a black church on Christmas, and the height of their heels make my wedges look like pre-school training wheels for sluts.

I feel out of place, and extremely overdressed. My off-the-shoulder minidress barely covers the butterfly tattoo on the back of my upper thigh, and it’s no secret that the dress isn’t the only little black thing in the room—all blue, green, and steel grey eyes on me.

“What the hell is this?” I whisper out the side of my mouth to Janay as a cowboy in a fringe vest brushes by, says in a husky voice with beer-soaked breath, “Ma’dam.”

“Something different.” Janay winks at me. I hate her.

“Just because they’re a different color doesn’t mean they’re not still dicks.” I look over my shoulder and lock eyes with another leaning up against the wall by the door we’d just entered. Had he always been standing there? He spits into a can by his feet, sucks on his teeth, though it looks like he’s sneering at me, his bushy eyebrows furrowed. I bet his is the black pickup parked right outside the door, with the Confederate flag displayed on the front bumper.

I have to remind Janay how many we’ve seen flying over the two-lane highway on our drive out here to Middle of Nowhere, USA. Half-shaved dying pine trees on every side of us. There’s not another building for at least five miles back the way we came. If anything happened to us—I eye the holster on his hip, too small for a gun, but make not a pocket knife—who would come looking?

“You said it yourself. You’re sick of the candy-coated misery.”

Ok, so I break out sometimes when I eat chocolate, but do lactose-intolerant people give up ice cream just because it makes them a little gassy? Hell no! And I’m not that stupid either.

“Howdy, ladies.” For all the stomping of the dancers to the banjo and harmonica bluegrass music played onstage, I don’t hear him approach from behind. Not doorman; he’s disappeared. Maybe he’s had enough of the party already. I sure have.

This one tilts his hat to us. His long nose, dips over his thin lips, curled in a smile, barely visible through the five-o’clock shadow of a beard slowly growing in that covers the entire bottom half of his face. He opens his palm to the ceiling. “Care to dance?”

Why? So he can slide his hand down my back, cop a feel to see if our butts really are bigger? So he can get a taste of forbidden fruit, come back to the lodge and tell the boys about his wild night of jungle fever? So he can confirm just how animalistic we are in bed?

“No thanks,” I say, but Janay pushes me so hard I nearly knock myself out on the zippers stretching down the shoulder of his jacket.

“Don’t be so pretentious. It’s New Year’s! Have fun!”

The spurs on his boots spin as he kicks up his feet, marches me down to the front of the stage. The crowd parts for us like the Red Sea. My skin burns under their stares, but he doesn’t seem to mind. Thumbs hooked behind his belt buckle, feet squared, knees raised to elbows in an awkward sideways lunge shuffle. He doesn’t even notice that I’m not dancing with him, and just as quietly as he snuck up on me, I slip between the bodies clad in hip-hugging jeans and bolt for the door.

It’s just my luck that Mr. Confederate is resting his elbows on the hood of his truck when I come crashing into him. He catches me in his arms, holds me firmly against his hip. “Where you going, little lady?” he says, and swiftly pulls me up for a ride.

His muffler is too loud for anyone to hear my screams, so I don’t bother. I wonder, has Janay noticed yet that I’m missing, or has she found herself a cowboy to dance with too? I tug on the seat belt and click it across my lap, fixate on the toothpick in his ear as he backs out of the dirt driveway and pulls out onto the road, hitting every bump on the highway as we cruise deeper into the country.

#1MinFiction: A stranger walks into a bar…

It’s been written before…

Stranger to town walks into a bar in the middle of a blizzard, shaking snow off her shoulders. She locks eyes with the man playing pool by himself.

“You look like you could use a drink.” He offers her an extra cue stick, nods over to the keep wiping glasses.

His breath smells of just what she’ll have. She leans into his neck. “Let it snow.”

—Nortina


Monday’s One-Minute Fiction challenges you to write a story in one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided. Monday’s Christmas-themed prompt comes from a song we all know and love: Let it snow!

#LyricalFictionFriday: Knock, Knock

holiday wreath on a door

There’s just something about him . . .

A woman’s decorative touch on the door tempts me to turn back, but the memories of Christmases spent alone keep me planted.

I pull the sleeves of my sweater over my fists to conceal what I hold in my hand.

I’m locked and loaded, completely focused. 

When she opens the door, I hook my finger around the trigger and fire. Point blank, dead center, right between the eyes. Her body crumples to the floor.

Now he knows how much I want this. Body still sore from the surgery— I’ve changed everything for him. My hair, the way I dress, how I speak. I’ve even killed.

As she lies dying, her eyes are still open. Sheer terror frozen in their gaze. I wonder about her last thought, before the bullet pierced her skull.

That an unsuspicious knock on the door, while gingerbread cookies bake in the oven, has snatched her life from her? Or that the face behind the wool-wrapped double-barreled pistol was her mirror image?

#LyricalFictionFriday: Real

“She’s way out of my price range.” I shake my head and turn back down the aisle. Plastic and artificial will have to do for another year. The memory of Bernadette’s acrylic nails piercing the skin of my back last Christmas Eve makes me wince.

I hate plastic and artificial.

“No way, man,” Michael says. “The company finally recognized all your hard work and sacrifice with a Christmas bonus. Treat yourself. Get the show-stopper.”

On the opposite end of the aisle I spot a guy, with half his face covered behind a bulky, padded winter coat, eyeing my prize. We both make a dash for it, but I, being closer and quick on my feet—those years running track in high school finally pay off—get to her first.

The woman trims the needles of the tree twice her size in height and girth. I glance down at her nametag: Marie.

At least it’s not Mary. Mary wore dentures. I found that out the first time I tongue kissed her.

“Excuse me–”

Let me stop you right there.” She holds the shears over her shoulder as if she’s about to sling them like an ax. “I think it’s so sweet…how you let your friend encourage you to try and talk to me…”

I look past her. Homeboy is frozen in mid-stride, ready to pounce the second I’m denied.

But I won’t be denied.

“Yes,” she says, and winks. Her back to my competition, she perks up her chest, and they look real. Proportional to her body, no nipples the size of bottle caps busting through her shirt like steel; soft, squishy—at least from what I can see—not hard like melon rinds, or unusually round and firm like apples. She takes a two-inch pencil missing the eraser out of the front pocket of her apron to write down her phone number.

A check right before the holidays, and to match, maybe even a date with a hot chick whose body parts didn’t come with a price tag—this is turning out to be the best Christmas ever!

I pinch the end of a lengthy branch she’s missed cutting, rub the sap between my thumb and index finger. Sticky. No paper cuts from the fibers. Sweet satisfaction.

But what I really wanted was the tree.

#1MinFiction: Christmas Wish

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

And I spend it alone—again— watching another Hallmark original.

“There must be something to these sappy Christmas movies.”

I glance outside my window, at a flower dying yet withstanding the blizzard, close my eyes and exhale, hoping my breath will blow the dusting of snow off the flower’s bulb, and my Christmas wish will come knocking, at last.

—Nortina


Written for last Monday’s One-Minute Fiction prompt, kicking off the most wonderful time of the year: Christmas! #1MinFiction challenges you to write a story in one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided.

Too Many Santas

“Alright children, don’t forget that Santa will be visiting our class tomorrow. Make sure to bring your Christmas wish lists!” Mrs. Benson announced.

***

At home, Lulu wrote My Little Pony, Princess Tiana doll, and Easy-Bake Oven on green construction paper. She folded it into two halves and sealed it inside a red envelope. She wrote For Santa’s Eyes Only on the front of the envelope and decorated it with drawings of candy canes, gift boxes, bows, and stars.

“You know Santa Claus isn’t real,” her older brother said, looking at the envelope over her shoulder.

“Yes he is!”

“Then why are there so many of them? At stores, on street corners. And how can one man deliver presents to kids all over the world in one night?” He crossed his arms over his chest, cocked his head to the side, believing he’d had her beat.

Lulu covered her ears and shook her head. “Just because you’re naughty doesn’t mean you have to make stuff up!”

***

At school the next morning, Lulu was the first in line to sit on Santa’s lap.

“Ho! Ho! Ho! And what would you like for Christmas, little girl?”

Lulu took the envelope out of her back pocket and stuffed it inside of Santa’s jacket. “Don’t open it until you get back to your shop,” she said, patting his chest.

“Ho . . . ho . . . . ho?” Santa looked about nervously. “Usually I get these in the mail, but I guess mail does get mis-delivered sometimes,” he finally said.

“I know how you do it. Deliver all the presents. I admit, it never made sense to me before, but my brother made it all clear last night when he said that there’s a Santa Claus on every block!” Lulu winked.

Again, Santa was taken aback. “We have a very clever girl here.” He laughed and waved his arm, signaling for Mrs. Benson to move the line along.

“Lulu, Santa’s only here for a short while. He’s a very busy man. Is there something you’d like to ask him?” Mrs. Benson asked, bending over in her too tight pencil skirt, hands on knees.

“I know you’re real, Santa,” Lulu said, and the jolly man sigh audibly. “And I know your secret.” His breath caught. Lulu leaned forward, cupped her hand over his ear, and whispered, “You cloned yourself.” Then she hopped off his lap, as he relaxed again, and proudly marched to her desk.

© 2015 Nortina Simmons


This piece of flash fiction makes Day 21 of 31 Days of Holiday Hooligans.

Feminists in the Snow

“Do you wanna build a snowman?” Georgina sang, knocking softly on her sister’s bedroom door.

“I curse the Christmas Mama bought you that stupid movie!” Regina’s muffled voice answered.

“It’s only the best movie ever!”

“I can think of ten movies that are way better.”

“Name ’em!”

The door suddenly swung open, and Georgina fell forward, meeting her chin with Regina’s big toe. Regina kicked up her foot and hobbled backward to her bed. “I swear you have the hardest head of the human race!” she said, caressing her toe.

“C’mon.” Georgina jumped in place. “I already measured six inches. That’s enough, right?” She pulled a plastic ruler from her polka dot rubber boot. The snow had since melted and all that remained on the bottom half of the ruler were droplets of water.

“You know, for that movie to be all about girl power, why is it that they still build a snowman?” Regina scratch her chin. She raised one eyebrow and smirked towards the ceiling as the idea reigned down on her head like a dusting of snow. “Why not a snow woman?”

“But how would we make it look like a girl?”

Regina threw on her boots and coat. “Mama still asleep?” she asked over her shoulder as she searched her drawer for her gloves buried under socks missing their other halves.

“Yea, why?”

“Where’s that ugly wig she’s always wearing?” She stuffed her hands into the wool gloves, turned and pushed the drawer closed with her hip.

“It’s on the knob in the shower. She washed it last night.”

“Good we’ll put the wig on it.”

“On the snowman?”

Regina bent down and put both hands on her sisters shoulders. “Snow woman.”

“Ahh!” Georgina said, mouth agape. “And we’ll name her Olfina!” Georgina gave Regina a wide, obnoxious wink.

“Sure, whatever. Go get the wig. I’ll meet you outside.” Georgina dashed for the bathroom. When she disappeared around the corner, Regina mumbled under her breath, “Still a stupid movie.”

—Nortina

Day 17 of 31 Days of Holiday Hooligans