"Santa" stands in front of the shopping plaza ringing his bell. People pass by without even a cursory glance.
The Santa sees all kinds of things in his observations.
There's a surprised look on his face.
Write a piece that reflects this look. What does he see?
Is it good or bad? Give it a twist and you be the Santa. What strikes you? Write your thoughts into your Flashy Fiction.
Everyone had a little story to tell. Tell yours.
Peering through the mist of her breath at the lady ushering her children off into the night, Fran uttered a half-hearted "Thanks" for the change that had just been dropped into her bucket. A few seconds later, she managed a "Merry Christmas" that likely went unheard. It seemed she'd been ringing the bell all day. In reality, Fran had only been at work for a little over half an hour. She chided herself for her lack of enthusiasm and Christmas spirit. It wasn't the people's fault she'd let her friend Becca talk her into having "so much fun" ringing the bell and calling out Christmas cheer..."to the tintinnabulation that so musically wells from the bells, bells, bells, bells."ReplyDelete
Her poetry nerd-dom brought a smile to her face, to which the latest passerby responded in kind, then stopped, causing a small group of folks to jam up and reroute themselves, fished in his pockets for change and came up empty.
"Oops," the man said, then reached for his wallet. A quick look revealed a handful or so of bills, which brought a small almost-grimace, which became a charming, half-smiled "I don't suppose you take plastic? No. Of course, you don't."
"That's okay, sir," Fran said, smiling at him. "At least you stopped and thought about it."
"It was your smile. I'm surprised people aren't lining up to donate here," he said, smiling at the ground. "I can't believe I just said that. I'm sorry."
Fran just stared, smiling, not sure how to respond.
The man went back to the bills in his wallet, looked through them again, and produced a one hundred dollar bill. "I just got a nice Christmas bonus. I guess I can certainly donate a bit of my good fortune to the less fortunate."
As he bent down to put the bill into the can, Fran caught a flurry of movement before the man pitched forward, crashing into the bucket and stand, as somebody grabbed his wallet and pushed him over.
Without thinking, Fran stepped forward and bashed the wallet-snatcher with the nice shiny bell, sending him to the pavement as Poe's words once again ran through her head: "By the sinking or the swelling in the anger of the bells, Of the bells, Of the bells, bells, bells, bells." She yelled for help and between she and the man, they were able to hold the would-be thief until, a few minutes later, the police took him into custody.
After all the commotion, the man introduced himself as Rand. The "ringer" supervisor found a replacement for the rest of her shift and, over a hot cup of coffee, she learned that Rand wasn't short for Randolph, as she'd suspected. His parents were just rabid fans of some fantasy series she'd never heard of. They chatted for over an hour and, while she hoped the rest of her shifts would be much less exciting, Fran decided there were definite perks to making the Christmassy "tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, in the icy air of night."
Le’me Ring Your Bell, DarlingReplyDelete
I am doing the Santa Claus thing this afternoon. A volunteer Santa with a bell in one hand and a shiny bucket to collect coins in the other. From time to time, I switch the bell to my other hand – it’s surprising how ringing a bell constantly takes its toll on your arm.
So there I am, stood just to the left of the main entrance to the supermarket, just under an overhang that keeps a steady drip of drizzle feeding a puddle near my feet. Every time the door slides open, sirocco warmth engulfs me. When it closes, the wind whips plastic bags across the pavement, and I try to look cheery and authentically Santa because who’s going to donate coins in my bucket to a red-suited, over-stuffed, red nosed grumpy bell ringer. But the truth is that I detest the cold, and as for that cutting wind, I hate it even more than cold, and my ears feel like they’re on fire, and I’m thinking that I might give this volunteering lark a miss next year … stay home, watch telly, stay warm, eat mincemeat pies.
And then this woman walks up to me, stops and slowly smiles, gives me one of those looks that I haven’t seen since I was 20-something. I return her smile, which acts like some sort of trigger for her. She tugs open her coat, buttons flying like saucers in the air, and she holds her coat exposingly open to me and the shoppers. We all stop. We all stare. There she is, standing all exposed to the elements and wearing a Mrs. Claus outfit. “Le’me ring your bell, darling,” she smiles, and I suddenly feel a bit warmer.
My creation is here. It uses certain long-standing original characters from my blog team's world and I don't think it would make much sense outside that context.ReplyDelete