Sugar on a Stick

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
From Stranger Things Happen, my book of 76 overlapping flash fiction stories inspired by original street photography. Available on Amazon in all global markets.

Submitted: February 19, 2016

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Submitted: February 19, 2016



Dragon, fish, monkey, dog, bird, or flower basket. You spin the dial and it lands on one. The Chinese sugar artist makes it for you. He attaches it to a wooden stick with a few more dollops, and he gives it to you. It costs $3.00. It’s the best three bucks you’ve spent in ages because your little boy will look up at you like you just gave him a million bucks when you hand it to him, and you had almost forgotten what that look was like.

You haven’t been able to give him much lately because you lost your job two solid years ago and little by little life as he knows it is disappearing. He hasn’t realized it yet, but he will, soon, when he can no longer go to that camp or that candy store or that movie theater, or when he might even have to pack up and move.

You are no longer all-powerful. You can’t make everything right anymore. You couldn’t offer for your mother to come live with you, even though she needed you. Your sister, Tess, doesn’t even know you lost the job; she still thinks you’re rich, and you’re too damn embarrassed to tell her. The truth is you can’t even afford to meet a friend for coffee because that three dollar latte buys a school lunch. Because that three dollar latte buys a bag of potatoes. Because that three dollar latte buys a train ticket to get you to yet another job interview.

But, for today, you can buy sugar on a stick at a free street festival, and make a little boy smile. Your little boy And that’s worth something.

© Copyright 2019 Pattie Baker. All rights reserved.

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