Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Wednesday Briefs: Super Trooper #57 (13.3)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts. 

Chan thinks things might be looking up when Evan proposes taking the kids to the park to play. See what's going on with them in this week's chapter of Super Trooper. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Super Trooper #57 (13.3)

The park was within walking distance of the house. Chan had gone there with his family many times, and had often taken his siblings there on his own as well. Used primarily by children from nearby neighborhoods, it was filled with  everything a child could hope for in a playground—swings and seesaws, equipment to climb on, a merry-go-round, and even small playhouses for sitting inside quietly with a book. Benches for the parents, of course.  Shady trees dotted the park, inhabited by friendly squirrels whose antics were often amusing, and whose broad leaves provided relief from the sometimes harsh Texas sun. And of course picnic tables and bbq pits for those who enjoyed eating outdoors.

There had never been any trouble at the park. Chan knew his parents trusted Laksha enough to take her brother and sister there to play under her supervision. Kamal and his friends frequently played there after school and on weekends. Altogether a familiar place. One Chan hoped would provide a much-needed feeling of familiarity.

How much he loved Evan for having made the suggestion.

 The kids readily agreed to the plan, of course. Although Chan thought they could have been more appreciative of Evan, since it was his idea. Laksha did say thank you, but Kamal acted as though it was his right, but Chan let it pass rather than spoil a day which held so much promise.

While the children got ready, Evan made a trip to a nearby deli and brought back an assortment of sandwiches and chips and bottled water. Chan’s mother had always discouraged them from drinking coke, as Texans referred to any brand of soda. He was more than happy to follow her direction in this as in anything else. He knew she would have wanted it that way.

Once they reached the park, Kamal spotted some of his friends and immediately became immersed in a game of tag.

Chan started to ask Laksha if she wanted to join them, but one glance told him she was not interested. Naturally not. She was four years older than the boys, and not given to the physical pursuits they frequently enjoyed.

Even Madhu seemed happy to be there. She obviously had her favorite spots in the park, tugging at Laksha’s hand just as she opened her book. “Want to swing,” Madhu said.

“We’ll take her,” Chan quickly volunteered. He glanced at Evan, who nodded his approval, to Chan’s relief.  Reaching for Madhu, he swept her up into his arms.

“Okay,” Laksha agreed, immersing herself in her book. Something about genetics, he noticed. He was always amazed at how advanced she was for her age. Sometimes he forgot she was only eleven.

Besides a full-sized set, the park contained swings that were designed with younger children in mind, and that is where they directed their steps. Such a beautiful day. He couldn’t have asked for nicer weather. Not a cloud in the sky, a gentle breeze. Life was good.

He carefully set his sister into one of the swings, making sure she was carefully locked in place before he began to push her. She squealed with joy and kicked her feet.

 The swing beside her was occupied by a small boy, who was being pushed by his mother. She turned toward Chan and smiled.  “You have a beautiful daughter,” she said.

“Sister,” Chan replied. “And thank you. Your son is very handsome.” The mother beamed at him in return.

Chan and Evan took turns pushing Madhu until she decided she was done. Chan released her from the swing and she immediately began to run off. Not that she could get far on her fat baby legs. Apparently she just wanted to stretch them. They easily strolled behind her in her wake as she zigzagged about the park on a random course.

Chan noticed that Evan hovered like a worried mother hen, and the sight warmed his heart. Maybe everyone was adjusting to the new situation and all would be well. He certainly hoped so.

Just then, he noticed Madhu stumble on something. She fell face first into the soft grass with an indignant wail. Evan was at her side in an instant. He reached for her, but she wouldn’t let him pick her up, struggling against his efforts. She reached out for Chan instead.

“Chan!” she cried insistently until he took her into his arms and cradled her, after making sure she wasn’t injured, just shaken up.

He glanced at Evan, not sure what to say to soften her rejection. He thought he saw pain reflected in Evan’s eyes and his heart went out to him. “She’s just used to me,” he said. “It’s nothing against you. She was just scared.”

But he wasn’t sure Evan believed that any more than he did. Chan stifled a sigh, as they headed back toward the picnic table they had staked out earlier, where Laksha sat.

 to be continued

Now go see what's up with the other Briefers!

Cia Nordwell

J Alan Veerkamp

J Ray Lamb


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