This isn’t what the title will lead you to think. Nope, this is a story for the Indies Unlimited flash fiction challenge. I bet you thought I was going to do something hokey and sweet for Mother’s Day didn’t you. Nope we won’t have any of that stuff around here (sorry mom). Instead we have stories.
You know the deal right? I don’t have to explain again how the whole Indies Unlimited thing works do I? Well, guess what, this week I am just going to jump into the story. Or would you rather I blather on endlessly? I mean I can do that. I am well versed in the skills it takes to talk babble and incoherence ceaselessly. I have skills, skills I tell you! I am not mad.
Nothing to see here…. Move along…
The little flower had fallen off one of the cookies. Andrea stood and stared at the flawed little thing. In all other respects, it was the same as the other cookies. It just seemed so much more plain than the others.
It is different. It has given something up – perhaps its dreams or its youth. That cookie is the mother of the others.
She stood mesmerized by the thought. She felt a tug at her blouse.
“Mommy, I hafta go to the bathroom!”
Andrea sighed. “Just a second, sweetie. Miss? I’ll take that one.”
Just then Bruce came strutting around with the cart. “Hey sugar britches, we gotta go. The game will be on in a few minutes.”
As the woman behind the counter lifted the flawed cookie out, it broke. Andrea winced, then some little thing inside her broke, too. Bruce was definitely going to miss the game…
“Ya know what,” Andrea said. “It’s fine. Forget the cookie.”
The woman had reached into the showcase and her hand hovered over another cookie. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, absolutely. I don’t need it,” she said. “I don’t need this. I don’t need any of it.”
“Babe, the game—“
“Your game can go to hell. And you know what, you can go to hell too.”
Bruce stepped back, his hands lifted away from the shopping cart. “Hey, what is it? What’s wrong?”
“My fucking cookie broke!” In this one moment, finality washed over Andrea. “I know what you’ve been doing when you’re ‘working’ late.”
He scanned from the area behind the counter out into the store. The shoppers around them had frozen in place, their eyes locked on him and Andrea. “What are you talking about?”
“Sally Snowshoes,” she said. “Isn’t that the name you and Bob gave her a while back. She called looking for you the other day. Giggled when I told her you were working late, again.”
“It isn’t what y—“
“Don’t give me any more of your bull,” she said. She turned back to the woman behind the counter. “Give me the broken one. It’s still good. Missy, let’s go. You can potty when we get home.” She took the cookie and dropped a five on the counter. She didn’t look back as she walked out of the store.