Every two weeks writers have the chance to take part in Soliloquies Anthology’s Flash Fiction contest. We publish a new writing prompt as a starting point, and you write a story in 300 words or less.
Every Tuesday, the old man bought a strawberry double-scoop ice cream cone from the store on the corner of the street because he lost his teeth! Not his real teeth, of course. Those he lost thirty years ago when he tripped over a nut-munching squirrel and crashed his face on a log. The teeth I’m talking about are his dentures. He was fiddling them with his tongue, you see, rattling them around his pallet and cheeks when they plopped right out of his mouth. “Ackth!” he shouted when they bumbled and fumbled on the street. He even swung his cane, thinking to save them, but he fell on the pavement like a tipped tree stump as they tinged and dinged down the gutter. Why would they do that to him, he thought, why now when he was so hungry? He picked himself back up, wobbled over the gutter and went into that ice cream store on the corner of the street where the apples smelled like fish and the hairy-armed, eye-patched, short, chubby clerk smelled like fish. Ice cream was the only thing he could eat without his teeth. He pointed his finger with fortitude for vanilla because he absolutely hated strawberry. Would you believe it if I told you that the short, chubby clerk handed the old man strawberry ice cream? Well, he did; two whole, bulbous scoops. It was because of the eye patch! The old man didn’t even realize. He was too enraged at his dentures. He had to go back out to face that gutter that stole them from him and eat the ice cream to prove a point. He stood right in front of it, right in front of the gutter on a day that was sunny, where hot air balloons colored the sky. He put the strawberry double-scoop ice cream right in his mouth. He pressed and mashed and squished and flapped that soft, cold, wet ice cream all around the pink of his gums. He almost puked the first time because of the strawberry taste but he needed to finish that ice cream. He didn’t stop. Slushy clomp after slushy clomp, he swished that melted ice cream around his tongue, swallowed and stared at that gutter. His cheeks, puffy and wrinkly, inflated and drooped as he chewed that horrible strawberry ice cream. He didn’t even notice strands of the chubby clerk’s arm hair sticking out his lips. Every Tuesday since the day his dentures left him, he finished two wretched scoops of strawberry ice cream to the wafer. He even licked up the run off that dripped from the cone onto his undershirt and suspenders. He’d show that gutter and his dentures. He’d show those dentures for leaving him all alone. He always stares at them down that gutter as if to say, “Look at me. Look at how well I’m doing without you.”
This morning I had an espresso. I’m a fan of that sort of thing. I go to Concordia, I’m completely incompetent at using grammar properly. I just painted my wall red, lit my cigarette with a red lighter, and I wear dark red glasses to look hot and mysterious.
For more Flash Fiction prompts and winners, visit soliloquies.ca/flash-fiction.