The Prettiest. Flash Fiction.

aura-of-light-800x480“Sometimes it’s better to hide the unsightly with shiny things than to try to fix it,” said the mother. “Grab that box of Christmas tinsel from the attic. And a fork.”

The child’s noisy rifling through the silver drawer induced a clamorous tune, followed by staccato thudding on the attic stairs. She returned breathless, holding a fork in one hand, a dusty red box in the other.

“This?” She asked, fingering the wayward silver strands.

The mother took the bright silver lengths and held them to the light. The tinsels flashed and shimmered, squirming in her arms like a lightning strike. She gravely handed the tinsel to the child. “You do the honors. It’s your first time.”

The child wrapped the silver noodles around her fork and jammed it in an eye socket.

“Yes, that’s it,” counseled the mother, “Now hold the tinsel down with your fingers and gently slide the fork out. Now the next one. We can stuff her mouth with dryer sheets soaked in cinnamon oil, so she doesn’t stink. Grab the red sequins and we’ll sew her mouth closed, but we’ll leave slits like a sachet. See?” The mother beamed with pride as her daughter bent to the work, eyebrows furrowed in concentration.

“Yes, like that. Sew her mouth into a smile. You just have to pull hard on the thread. She can’t feel anything.”

“I think I hear her crying,” the child protested. See, where she’s coming apart?”

“Just use more tinsel. Wrap it like a necklace and no one will know her throat is cut.”

The child obeyed, her eyes widening at the transformation. A slight smile played at the corners of her tiny mouth.

“This is the prettiest Christmas doll ever, Mommy.”

“Almost as pretty as you,” murmured the zombie.


4 thoughts on “The Prettiest. Flash Fiction.

  1. I love the opening line – “Sometimes it’s better to hide the unsightly with shiny things than to try to fix it.” I see the metaphor of dysfunctional families – which makes me love the story more. Maybe you didn’t intend it that way – maybe it’s just where my brain is churning these days.

    1. The lines Cracked Flash Fiction provides are amazing! It’s not easy creating a line that has limitless possibility AND is specific enough to catalyze a story. That’s why I keep going back to this contest again and again: they motivate me. 🙂 As to your family comment– I totally get that. Maybe it was on my mind as well.

  2. Whoa that juxtaposition of shiny tinsel and joy against the hints of unsightliness that reveals the doll is a zombie. Brilliantly written. Great story Kelly!
    The again… of course it is. The Legend of Kelly Griffiths.

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