Midnight Reader – Flash Fiction

The door slowly opened, a crack of light, a two inch strip of yellow, illuminating the carpet up to the bed. Carefully, so as not to wake the lump under the covers on the bed, he snuck in on tip toe. He nearly let out a shriek as his bare foot connected with a small Lego.  The sharp cornered piece of hard plastic biting into the soft flesh of his arch.  He hopped and hobbled, trying not to bang into the desk, then the chair.  He caught the back of the chair as he started to lose his balance and the swiveling piece of furniture nearly upset his balance.  Quick moves on his part had him catching himself and stopping as a soft snore and breath from the body.  He didn’t move a muscle as the lump shifted and sprawled out, an arm sliding out of the covers and dropping the book off the side of the bed with a soft thud.  He waited for a moment, or five as the blanket covered lump shifted and grumbled about homework then went back to sleep.  With a quick dash, he scooped up the book, and circumvented the Legos and bits of erector set metal pieces to make it safely to the door again.  He glanced back once to see if there was movement.  Nothing. he was safe!

He propped himself under the covers, a large maglite flashlight in his palm.  He clicked on the light and flipped the pages.  He was looking for a mark…. There! Just a tiny dot and dash where he’d left off.  Knees hunched, pillow at his back, he shone the light down at the pages, and with a fingernail caught soundly between his teeth, he began to find out if the heroine was going to make it out of the forest on her own.

He nearly let out a shriek as the bed shifted and the covers were jerked back from his buried form.

The woman groaned.

“Jack, why don’t you just ask the kid if you can borrow his book while he’s at school,” the woman asked, shaking her head.

“Because, this is way more fun,” Jack replied. “Now quiet, woman, she just had to make a pact with someone,” he shushed his wife.

She just rolled her eyes and clicked off the light before diving under the covers with a flashlight and a copy of her 8 year old’s slightly sticky copy of a very popular diary of a wimpy sort of kid. She just had to find out what happened after a week wait while the book traveled with her son during summer camp.

I just thought, how fun when a clandestine moment happens when a parent reads a book their kids are reading. My dad would read to us growing up… Robert Peck’s Soup books. And my Mom read us the Happy Hollister books. Oh we had so many books they read us. But what if they read some of ours late at night…….. I just remember how much fun I had reading Laura Ingalls Wilder under the covers with a flashlight. Reading till 9pm.  Scandalous at age 8 or 9.  I still love to read under the covers. I now use a Kindle……

Kate

Where Was My Camera When I Needed It

So there I was in town last week, or was it on Tuesday….  Anyways, I had left my camera home, which is normal, as I’m forever forgetting to take it along with me, even though half the time I wish I had.  I was people watching, which is always fun, especially if you are not seriously people watching.  Kind of that vague sort of, you notice them, but don’t focus solely on them.

Well, a couple of situations came across that I wish I would have had my camera to capture the moment.

First off was a teacher, or teacher’s aide with a gaggle of girls.  The girls were all around five to six, with their backpacks, and bows in hair, and such.  I’d say about ten to fifteen little girls.  The thing that stuck out was all the pink.  If it wasn’t pink shoes, it was bows in hair, or pink shirts, shorts, necklaces, and about three or four pink backpacks of the same style and design.  Every girl had some sort of pink on.  Even the girls that were wearing blue or black or purple, had some pink on them.  It was so cute.  And they were laughing and giggling like all little girls do.  Asking each other how old they were, and just generally having a happy-go-lucky attitude.

The second situation was two older men sitting on the concrete planter box out in front of the post office. One was in his 60’s, the other in his 80’s.  They were having a friendly conversation and it was just so idyllic. It reminded me of the song “Old Friends” by Simon and Garfunkle.  “Old friends, old friends, sat on a park bench like bookends….”.  I wished I could have taken a picture.  I will use the image somewhere to write either some flash fiction or to put in a book. Not sure what.  Same with the little girls.

The last example was about three weeks ago, when I saw a husband and wife walking hand in hand, home from the grocery store, the husband holding the wicker basket full, and both of them chatting with each other.  The wife giggling and laughing at something her husband had said.  It was one of those moments you see in a commercial where it’s this adorable couple. 

I think couples at any age are adorable in certain settings.  And older couple in their 80’s taking a quiet stroll through the park is so cute.  I saw it once on a Debeers add.  Or a young couple that is happily spending time with each other.  It fascinates me.

So, there I was, wishing for my camera.  You would think I would remember it from time to time….

Signing off

~Kate