Flash Fiction By: Christina Banks
Liz sunk into the cushions of the recliner with a sigh. The dishes were done, the laundry folded on the couch, all the toys put away, and, most importantly, Penny was down for her nap. Liz had an hour of sweet freedom. She picked up the novel from the end table, her favorite author’s latest, and found her place. The heroine was about to be abducted by the antagonist.
The hour flew by and before Liz was ready sleepy little feet trundled down the stairs. Penny snuggled up into Liz’s lap.
“Go potty,” Liz reminded, not taking her eyes off the page. The heroine was in danger and the hero still didn’t know where she was. Liz had to find out if he would make it in time.
“Mommy,” Penny called from the kitchen some time later.
“What is it?” Liz responded automatically.
Book still perched before her nose, Liz pulled cereal from the pantry and filled a bowl for Penny. She returned to her chair. She was only vaguely aware of the silence in the kitchen, thankful for a few more minutes with her adventure. The hero was quickly putting together the clues but things were getting desperate for the heroine. The antagonist was one bad dude.
“Mommy!” Penny’s voice cut through the fictional dream.
“Mommy’s reading honey, can it wait?”
Obviously not. A box of crayons materialized in the air between the pages and Liz’s chin. Good idea. She opened the box. Coloring would keep Penny occupied for at least 20 minutes. Liz took a quick look at the number of pages she had left. Forty-five. Things were getting too good to stop now.
Just as the hero confronted the antagonist, Penny’s little voice interrupted the story once again.
“Wait until Mommy’s book ends, Sweetie, and then we’ll play.”
Liz was relieved as she saw Penny walked away in her peripheral vision, no doubt in search of some other entertainment. The last pages held Liz captive as the hero rescued the heroine and apprehended the villain. Liz closed the book with a satisfied sigh and then gasped at the scene before her. It looked like a hurricane had hit the room. Toys, once folded clothes, and cereal were scattered across the floor and in the center sat Penny, half naked, reading a picture book.
“Oh Penny.” Liz masked her horror as she noticed the fresh mural adorning the dining room wall. “What a mess. We need to clean this up.”
“Wait till book ends, Mommy. I reading.”
Question for you: Have you ever experienced unforeseen consequences from getting lost in a book?