Each Friday throughout the month of May we’ll tell a story related to one of the five senses; this Friday is sound week. Be sure to visit the Friday Flash Community to learn more about this challenge and to discover more great flash fiction by outstanding authors!
A great big Thank You to both Steve Green of The Twisted Quill and Estrella Azul of Life’s a Stage for presenting This Side Over Yonder with the Liebster Award, and thanks to Estrella for the Sunshine Award!
I am quite late in accepting the award from Steve, for which I sincerely apologize. Both the Liebster and Sunshine awards require a bit of thought, hence my belatedness – ha! In any case, I will post formal acceptance soon. Thank you both very much! And now, my “sound” #fridayflash, Fireworks by the Lord, rated G according to my standards.
Fireworks by the Lord, by Deanna Schrayer
All the way down the road Timmy had whined about not getting to play Halo with his friends, and on a weekend no less, just so his parents could buy a new vehicle. So unfair! He dragged himself into the dealership office behind his mother. “Timmy, I don’t want to be here any more than you do so just straighten up right now.” His mom leaned into Timmy’s face and bit the words through bared teeth.
“What did I do?” Timmy yelled, drawing all eyes towards them.
“Shhh!” his dad this time, shushed them both. The salesman, Ken, cleared his throat and led the family to his office, (which was no more than cheap fiberboard slapped up haphazardly between the break room and restrooms). “If you’ll just have a seat,” Ken said, waving his hand with a flourish, as if presenting a leather couch for their comfort, rather than the once-orange plastic chairs they were, “we’ll just sign a couple of forms and you’ll be on your way in your new Tahoe!” He smiled brilliantly.
Lee and Mary McDevon sat as instructed and Mary reached under Timmy’s arms and lifted his stout body, pulling him towards her lap. The boy scoffed, squirming out of his mother’s grasp to slide down onto the floor where he lay grumbling. He was seven-years-old, he certainly didn’t need his mother to hold him!
Lee put his hand to his forehead as if feeling for a fever and released a heavy sigh.
Ken, being the veteran salesman, lifted the lid from the candy jar sitting on his desk and sang, “Ah-ha-ha-ha, what do we have here?” He pulled out something that may have once been a peanut-butter nugget, the concoction now melted into the plastic containing it. He offered it to Timmy who stuck his lip out and scowled at the man. “Well then,” Ken said, setting the candy on the edge of his desk in front of Timmy. He sat and took several sheets of paper from his printer, placing them one by one on his desk; the printer continued to spit out more and more pages. “We’ll just start with these,” he said and handed both Mr. and Mrs. McDevon a brand new pen with the company’s logo and byline imprinted on them: Drive away today! the pens screamed.
“Ummmm,” Lee uttered, “what’s all this? I thought we only needed to sign a couple pages since we’re not using your finance department.”
“Oh, well,” Ken laughed, “you know how it is Mr. McDeveon, they won’t take your first born, or even your car, as long as they have your signature all over the place.
Lee sat back and grunted.
Timmy whined, “Can we go now?” He was still on the floor, now lying flat on his back and mopping the dirty tile with his head.
“Not yet honey,” Mary said, “We have to sign some papers.” She scooted closer to the desk, inadvertently scraping the chair leg across Timmy’s shin.
“Owwwwwww!” Timmy yelled.
“Sorry honey, I’m sorry,” Mary flung her arm towards her son as if to comfort him. But she didn’t touch him.
Lee sighed again.
Ken cleared his throat again. “Now,” he said, “If you’ll just flip through these and sign and date on the line at the bottom of each page we’ll get you out of here as quickly as possible.” He flashed the brilliant teeth, smiled, smiled.
“Ouch!” Mary yelled. Timmy had scratched her leg. She flung her arm towards her son again but this time made contact, smacking his bare leg so hard the noise echoed through the room.
Timmy began crying at a low pitch, almost you couldn’t hear it. But the intensity of his complaint gradually grew louder and louder until the cry was like a screech owl that’d lost his mate.
Lee tossed his pen on the desk and scratched his chair across the floor, the squeal of which threatened to drown Timmy’s performance. “All right,” he said, “Let’s go, we obviously can’t do anything if that boy has to be with us.” He stood up and Mary grabbed his arm, urging him to sit back down. “Come on honey, we need to do this now, we won’t have another chance for a while.”
Lee planted his fists on his hips and nodded towards his son. “Can you make him stop?” he asked his wife, raising his eyebrows in challenge.
Timmy’s wailing only grew more incessant. Ken threw his own pen down now and sat back in his chair, defeated.
Mary stood and grabbed hold of Timmy’s wrists, attempting to pull him up but only succeeding in tripping over his feet and almost falling on top of him, making him scream even louder.
A clamorous BOOM rang through the room, piercing all their eardrums. They looked at one another in astonishment and time seemed to stand still. But after only a second they all ran towards the door, rushing to find the source of the cacophony which seemed to have come from outside the dealership.
“Oh my God!” Ken cried, and ran for the phone.
“Wow!” said Lee.
“Oh man, cool!” Timmy squealed, running for the door.
“Oh no you don’t,” said his mother, reaching for her son as if she were made of elastic and pulling him back to safety.
Mary held tight to Timmy’s wrist as they stood staring out at the flames dancing above the telephone pole. Apparently a transformer had blown.
“Fire truck’s on the way,” said Ken as he joined the family at the door.
After a moment of complete silence the salesman took advantage of the situation. “Should we sign the papers now?” he ventured.
“Sure,” Mary laughed, “Now that the Lord sent fireworks to hush everybody up maybe we can get through this thing.”
Timmy placed his hand over his mouth as they walked quietly back to Ken’s office. *
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