Write to the Limit Flash Fiction Friday Flash Fiction Friday – Lost

Flash Fiction Friday – Lost

This was my third try at one of the prompts. Monday’s attempt was the first prompt, “Do you ever think we should just stop doing this?” It ended up being a bit over 1500 words of argument followed by smut of Stargate Atlantis FanFic. That wasn’t the plan. Oops. Yesterday, I got 300 words into something and hated it. I tried again this morning and this time, I rolled a 6. It ended up being really short, only 415 words. It’s more tell than show though so I need to work on that. I can’t seem to find a happy medium.

“You were meant to be watching him!”

“He’s six years old, not two. I just went to the bathroom,” Amanda protested. Her own children, a 4-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy were still where she had left the three kids, playing with lego toys on the builder table in the living room and half-watching the cartoons on the TV.

“Then where is he?” Jennifer snapped.

“We’ll find him,” Amanda said, trying to stay calm. She’d be as upset as Jennifer if one of her children was missing. One of them needed to be rational.

A cursory search of the house revealed that the back door had been left slightly ajar. It didn’t close correctly unless you yanked it tight. None of the kids ever got it closed. Amanda had her kids step into their sandals on before following Jennifer out into the yard to search there. The backyard was fenced and pretty kid-friendly but it was large. They called for Ethan without getting a response.

Before they could begin a more careful search of the house and yard to see if Ethan was hiding, Amanda’s son tugged at her sleeve. “I heard the ice cream truck.”

“We can’t go find it now,” she responded. “We have to find Ethan.”

“Ethan heard the ice cream truck too,” Logan tried to explain.

“How can you think of ice cream?” Jennifer complained. Her voice was sharp with worry and Logan cringed. Amanda knew she didn’t mean to upset Logan but that didn’t make it okay.

“It’s getting pretty far away,” Amanda said, trying to soothe her son with her calm. “I’m not sure where it went but we’ll catch it next time, okay?”

“It was out front,” Keira put in.

“Yeah,” Logan agreed. “We heard it over the cartoons.”

The adults exchanged looks. Then Jennifer bolted out of the backyard and chased the fading sound of the ice cream truck’s tune.

Amanda followed more slowly, hampered by Keira’s short legs. Two blocks down, they met Jennifer and Ethan coming from the other direction. Jennifer was scolding Ethan for leaving without asking.

When she paused for a breath, Ethan said, “I just wanted some ice cream.” Clearly his mother’s yelling didn’t phase him a bit.

“You just wait until your father gets home,” Jennifer threatened. Ethan ignored the warning, happily licking his ice cream cone even as some of it melted down his hand.

It left Amanda with only one question. Where had Ethan gotten money for ice cream?

The Flash Fiction Friday blog has a new promt every week.

5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Friday – Lost”

  1. Joyce Juzwik says:

    Oh my. Being a mom and grandmother, this one left me feeling severe chills right from the start. That first line brought out a silent gasp. I wasn’t sure where this was going and how, or if, the child would be found. Putting yourself in the child’s way of thinking helped to solve the mystery of his whereabouts, but it didn’t just end there. The last line brought even more chills. Where did he get the money, or worse yet, did a stranger offer it to him?

    Whoa. A short piece indeed, but there’s so much story here. Well done!

    1. RayofFingSunshine says:

      Thank you!

      Every parent has to pee sometimes, right? Usually leaving an elementary age child alone in the next room while one adult uses the toilet and the other is occupied in a different room (in my head, Jennifer was making lunch or cleaning up from lunch or something like that) is perfectly safe. But kids have thoughts, like wanting ice cream, and they can be impulsive. And then…missing child. Even a few minutes feels like forever. Once you find them, you never quite know what they got into.

  2. Eden Mabee says:

    Nice piece. A short short that tells a story, answers the opening questions and yet leaves the reader pondering more. Nice.

    1. RayofFingSunshine says:

      Thank you! I usually hover right near the 1000 word mark for these so I was very worried about this one being so short.

  3. Mike Young says:

    A nice short story. Yes, been a parent, and turned my head for a moment and they were gone! Luckily, not far. And this leaves a bit unresolved – did he just take change from his mother’s purse? Did the ice cream man give him a free one? Why?
    As for the re-starts, I did that last time. Kee those fragments though, as your subconscious might come up with a new twist to them.

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