flash fiction, Uncategorized, Writing

Little Medea

No one bemoaned her fate so epically as that four year old girl in the Trader Joe’s…

If there were an Olympic sport, she’d be my odd-on favorite.  Her keening skills pierced ears with grand efficiency, unpredictable enough to keep hapless shoppers shocked and en garde.  Her parents’ teeth on edge.  Her writhing technique was a thing of beauty, like a box of snakes–terrible and dangerous but shiny and riveting and in constant motion.  One minute coiled to spring, all potential, the next limp and six times heavier than a child in ordinary temperament.  The ground dropped out from under her when she jumped up for the desired chocolate; the ground came swiftly up to meet her as she slumped ferociously.  She almost perfectly conveyed her point that the absent sweet would  cause imminent death if not obtained. And then we would all—bystanders and beleaguered parents alike—be sorry.  I had never seen a child plead to the entire store population before. It was Innovative.  Heroic.

But she was subtly losing the battle. As worn-to-the-nub as her parents looked, their backbones were of frozen steel.


Maybe the toddler should have tried to be gracious at the last second. That may have been the move to pull it out of technical failure. As it was, I had to give her a score of only 9.5 as she sunk into a sulking dismount.  If she does next what I would have done at her age, she can yet redeem this. I’m waiting for her to steal a chocolate from the eye level display when no one’s looking.  Will she go for the gold?

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