Hello Internet! Welcome to Monday Spark! As you know, I’ve had other authors participate in Flash Fiction Friday, but why let them have all the fun? Every Monday I pick my own prompts and run with it. Today’s story takes us to the innocent days of our youth and the mishaps that erupt at a child’s birthday party.
by Lex Chase
Prompt: “What’s the matter? Are you actually scared of a horse?”
Little St. John Burroughs navigated the long tables covered in flimsy pink cloth and found the appropriate one for depositing his birthday offering. The happy princess and pony balloons wafted in the October breeze from the corners of the gift table piled high with odd boxes wrapped in neat colorful paper. John wrapped his present himself in newspaper with far too many gobs of tape. On the front page news the district attorney was being brought up on drug charges.
Whatever that meant.
All John knew was that drugs were bad and to just say no. Furthermore, he had no idea what a district attorney was. He just thought the picture was pretty and the man looked like a Blaine doll in shiny silver bracelets.
John regretted how he combed so many of the pink girly toy aisles and climbed over every single shelf to find a Blaine doll with silver bracelets. When he had dumped the contents of the shelves on the floor and thoroughly made a scene his mother demanded to know what he was doing. When he explained the objective of his search he didn’t understand why his mother dragged him by his ear from the Bulls Eye store.
With his gift in place so the birthday boy would be sure to see it first, John turned and scanned the backyard that had been made over into a princess pony paradise. A princess with pretty blonde hair, a shiny blue dress, and a pointy hat read stories to a half circle of little girls in pink and blue party hats. Nearby a real live unicorn painted butterflies and flowers on children’s faces in a glittering booth.
“Here you go, Johnny!” Ahimsa’s mother said to him as she snapped a party hat on his neatly combed hair.
John scrunched his face up as the elastic string itched at his chin. He tugged at it and the string rudely jumped from his fingers and bit his chin again.
She turned away and then busied herself arranging a table with plates, plasticware, and napkins.
“Umm…” John tried to think of how to properly address the adult. “Misses S-Siven?”
Ahimsa’s mother returned her attention to the little boy as she crouched to his level. “Yes, pumpkin?”
John stuttered in embarrassment at the sight of the pretty lady. He fidgeted with the edge of the argyle cardigan that his mother made him wear.
“Where’s… Uh… Where’s Ahimsa…?” he asked slowly and flustered.
The mother beamed, “Oh dear! She’s waiting in line for the pony rides!”
“Pony rides?” John yipped excitedly.
“Do you want to ride a pony too?” she asked as she took the boy’s hand and led him to the paddock set up for three horses to trot in a wide circle.
However, as they approached something didn’t set right with John so he decided to take it upon himself to make it right.
“Um… Misses Siven… You know Ahimsa’s a boy…?” he trailed off as he watched for her reaction. Perhaps a light bulb alighting would have been ideal.
The mother snorted a laugh, “Oh, pumpkin! I think I’d know if my own daughter was a boy!”
Intimidated, John knew he wasn’t going to get anywhere. He decided the best course of action was to join the birthday boy at the front of the line who danced a little excited hop and wiggle. Ahimsa’s purple glittery princess dress fluttered and rustled in the breeze.
John scampered to the Ahimsa’s and failed to contain his excitement for his friend. “Happy birthday!” he squeaked.
Ahimsa brightened and the shiny flower painted on his cheek twinkled in the sun.
“Thank you, John!” Ahimsa politely chirped as he gave a prim curtsey. “Do you wanna ride the pony with me? You can be my prince!”
John smiled crookedly as he fidgeted with the hem of his cardigan. “O-Okay…” he muttered as his face grew hot.
When the white horse circled the paddock and the little girl rider removed, the man stooped to lift the birthday boy onto the pink and blue saddle. Ahimsa wobbled in the seat and looked somewhat concerned.
“Hold on now…” the man said gently as he settled John behind him with a crinkle of sharply starched cloth.
Ahimsa’s brow continued to knit and then squeaked as the pony took its first loping steps.
John looked out over the wondrous backyard marveling at the decorations. “It’s so pretty!” he laughed.
However, Ahimsa hiccupped once then burst into hysterical sobs, “I want my mommy!”
The pony handler perked at the boy’s distress. “What’s the matter, little missy? Are you scared of Buttercup?”
Ahimsa let his head fall back screaming with sobs, “I’m scared of Buuuuh-huuuh-huuuutter-cuuuuup!”
John was suddenly nervous that the birthday boy was throwing a tantrum at his own party. He was starting to rethink the Cowboy Blaine doll. Maybe he should have looked at another Bull’s Eye store for one with the silver bracelets…
Copyright © Lex Chase 2015. All rights reserved