Crackers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


There's always one!

Submitted: December 25, 2017

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Submitted: December 25, 2017

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Crackers.

The family have all got together for Christmas. There’s Mom and Dad, Gran and Gramps, Terry who is almost eight, and finally Caroline at just five years old. And Hobo! We mustn’t forget him, the faithful family hound.

Every one is feeling kind of sick, although none would admit it, after not only that Christmas Dinner but Christmas tea as well. The cake looked beautiful, spectacularly decorated with those figures and all that white icing, thick yellow marzipan, and enough dried fruit to last you the best part of a year.

There is still another part of the ritual to go though, one that neither Terry nor Caroline are going to let the adults forget. Hobo kind of wishes they would though, but he’ll just take his full belly off for a rest in his basket.

Come on, you lot,” Terry says, holding up the box.

Twelve luxury family crackers! More rubbish but the kids love them, with their silly jokes that everyone will pretend to find funny, and the paper hats that are always too big or too small. And let’s not forget the tacky little presents – some seeming almost dangerous. These ones look nice though, not too bright and garish. Terry peels off the plastic, dips his hand into the box and pulls one of the crackers out.

Dad! You get hold of the other end, would you.” And they tug it, there is a bang, and Terry’s end is left holding all the goodies.

Caroline is next. She has no intention of letting her older brother have all of the fun. She tugs and pulls at her cracker with Gramps, and he ends up with everything. Seeing her lip start to wobble, he makes sure the little plastic toy drops to the floor and assures her it fell from her end.

And so it carries on until there is just one cracker left. Terry and Caroline will share it, each grabbing a tight hold of one end each. They pull at it and nothing happens. Dad joins Caroline and Mom joins Terry. The four of them pull at the cracker but it does not even tear. Even with Gramps and Gran it will not pull apart.

Hobo is intrigued by all the grunts and groans. Thinking it is all over he pads back into the room, catches sight of that cracker and heads under the table for safety.

One last effort and finally the cracker gives in, tears neatly down the middle. There is not a bang, like there had been from the others, barely even a popping sound. There is no joke, no paper hat and no toy, but what there is is hundreds of pieces of confetti type paper, all different colors that sprays up into the air then rains down.

Everyone thinks this is great. Terry and Caroline run around catching as much of it as they can, throwing it back up; even Hobo joins in. The adults all look on and watch, remembering, no doubt, a time when such simple things seemed like fun.

And then it’s time to clear up. Mom had certainly not expected so much mess. Wearily, for she has spent hours cooking and cleaning, she brings out the vacuum cleaner, and wonders whether balloons might be an acceptable alternative next year.


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