Good morning, Happy Hump Day and Happy St Patrick's 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.
After seeing Chan off to work, Evan learns the babysitter is sick, so he decides to stay with Kamal and Madhu. Is he biting off more than he can chew? See what's going on 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 #62 (14.5)
Evan’s request for a day off was quickly given, luckily. Otherwise, he wasn’t sure what he would have done. After getting off the phone with his supervisor, he slid it into his pocket and returned to the kitchen. Kamal was just finishing his pancakes. He looked up from his plate, giving Evan an inquisitive glance as he searched for something or someone.
“Denise can’t come today. She doesn’t feel well,” Evan explained.
“Oh,” Kamal said. “Is Mandy coming then?” He dragged his fork through the remnants of syrup on his plate, his brow furrowed.
“No, I’m going to stay here with you and Madhu today.” For a moment, Evan wondered if maybe he’d made the wrong decision, if maybe he should have called Chan after all. Judging by Kamal’s expression, he was none too pleased at the turn of events.
“Is something wrong?” Evan slid into the seat across from Kamal. He’d found that people responded better if you weren’t towering over them. Not to mention, he hadn’t eaten yet.
“Nooo.” The way Kamal drew out the single word told Evan that wasn’t exactly the truth. Was it because he didn’t want Evan there on his day off? Or maybe he had other plans. The boy’s next words confirmed his suspicion.
“Um… well…” Kamal hemmed and hawed before finally bursting out with, “Some of my friends are coming over to play with me today.”
Evan felt relief at those simple words. Nothing horrible, just plans seemingly gone awry for their free day. Probably something Kamal had been looking forward to.
“No problem,” Evan said, offering Kamal a smile. “They can still come over if I’m here, can’t they?”
Kamal mulled this over for a moment, scratching his temple. “I guess so,” he said. “You mean, it’s okay with you if they come over?” He sounded hesitant, as if he hated to ask. Evan wondered if the boy thought of him as mean or menacing in some way. He hoped he didn’t come across that way. There was such a fine line between being watchful and being strict, though. And he wasn’t sure of himself yet with Chan’s siblings.
“Of course it’s okay,” he assured him. “Are you full? Maybe you can find room for another pancake or two?”
He watched Kamal fight some kind of inner battle with himself, as if he didn’t want to ask for Evan’s help with anything. But his stomach won that round.
“Yes, please,” he replied.
“Here, take mine, I’ll make some more.” Evan slid his plate across to Kamal, who happily accepted them. He knew Chan always made extra batter, so it was no problem to reheat the skillet and make himself some more. Just as he finished, Madhu toddled into the room, rubbing her eyes and clutching her stuffed wolf. She glanced between Evan and Kamal.
“Chan?” she asked hopefully.
“Not today,” Kamal said. “He’s at work. Evan’s going to stay with us.”
Evan noticed that Madhu was shuffling from one foot to the next. He recognized the signs immediately. “You want me to take you to the bathroom?” he offered.
Madhu tugged at Kamal’s hand. “Kamal take,” she said.
Evan wasn’t surprised. He was usually her last choice for that particular duty. He tried not to read into that. She was just a baby, and she didn’t really know him very well.
“Kamal, do you mind?”
“No, I’ll do it.” He slid from his seat and took his sister’s hand. “Come on, Madhu. We have pancakes for breakfast.”
Madhu smiled and let her brother lead her away. Evan decided to warm her pancakes and have them ready when she returned. Now, how was he going to keep her occupied and happy all day?
to be continued
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