At the end of the year, I decided to use a portion of my company’s education reimbursement benefit on some Skillshare courses. The following story is the first project I submitted for my Flash Fiction class. If you’re unfamiliar with flash fiction, it’s essentially a story in 1000 words or less. Mine is 600. I hope you’ll enjoy.
The doorbell had been singing all morning. Each ring announced the arrival of gift bearers who had travelled far and wide. Once the gifts were placed in the corner of the living room, the visitors filled the halls with belts of laughter and chatter. Various things to eat were receiving their finishing touches, except for the cake awaiting to be slathered with icing in the oven.
Streamers had been taped to the ceiling and balloons were restrained from floating away on the back of chairs. Tying it all together was the giant banner hanging behind the sofa welcoming one “Jonathan Starks”. As I shook my head in disgust, a strange man approached me.
“Don’t you look pretty!”
“Thanks.” I said, smiling to hide it was a lie.
“Today’s the big day. Aren’t you excited?”
My inside voice shouted, “No siree! No way, Jose,” but my outside voice said played along.
The whole world seemed excited to celebrate this stranger’s arrival but I couldn’t care less. Miss Amber Rose Albert would not be hopping on that bandwagon. I agreed to wear a dress and that was enough. A scream begged for freedom inside of me, just to release some pressure. This was all new to me. I couldn’t explain myself, so I decided it was best to stay quiet. Besides, I would not want to be the one remembered for spoiling this ceremonial entrance. I had a reputation to uphold—an angelic one, if you will.
I mean, who did the little twerp think he was anyway? For six years this was my kingdom—in fact, he’d only be fooled by this gleeful welcoming party. Fooled to think he was the king when he was not. They loved me. Me. They all did and I had years of experience to learn what is near and dear to their hearts. I could play to their every worry and make them my puppet. I could even turn them against you. You betcha.
I began to realize that being so angry at someone I hadn’t met yet was wearing me out. I needed to sit down. As I sat on the sofa and straightened my dress, my eyes began to itch. Rubbing them only made them worse and the only solution was to shut them for a moment.
The sound forced my eyes to fly open, but something stronger was influencing them to close again. Soon after, I was even losing my ability to keep my head on top of my neck. I just wanted today to be over. The pile of coats on the arm of the sofa were calling to me with a promise.
“Lay down your weary head and when you wake, it will have all been a dream,” they seemed to say. Just as I began to surrender, my Aunt Jayne made her way over to harass me.
“Now don’t fall asleep, darlin’.”
“Well, you need to be awake to welcome little Jonathan! Aren’t you excited?!”
“Aw, why not? You’re going to be a BIG SISTER! Isn’t that exciting?”
Unable to think of a reply, I folded my arms across my chest and began to sulk. She was right. I was going to be a big sister but I didn’t care if Jonathan Starks Albert and I were going to share a last name. What bothered me the most was that we’d be sharing the same roof for the unforseeable future.