Mary Kay Bonfante is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Mary Kay Bonfante
The seven children, all cousins, ate Thanksgiving dinner in Aunt Joan’s kitchen. Jeannie started the conversation. “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Bobby answered, “A financial planner.”
“I don’t know, but doesn’t it sound good? How about you, Jeannie?”
“I want to be a mommy and a security officer.”
They went around the table. Jeannie’s sister Kathy wanted to be a babysitter and a saleslady in a boutique. Bobby’s brother Joseph wanted to manage the family business. Their little sister Denise said, “I want to be a mommy, a banker and a dog sitter for at least 20 dogs.”
“Denise, that’s impossible!” said her older cousin, Mary.
“No it isn’t!” protested tiny Denise. “How about you?”
“A writer,” she said.
“How about you, Johnny?” Mary asked her brother.
“I want to play in a rock band, and I’ll probably die in my sleep,” he said, to everyone’s astonishment.
Then he yelled, “Gotcha!” and started laughing hysterically until Aunt Joan came running in.
Johnny was coughing, so Aunt Joan pummeled his back until a big wad of turkey came flying out, and landed in Joseph’s plate.
Everyone cried, “Ew,” “Yuck!” or “Gross!” especially Joseph. After the initial scare, Johnny sported a wide grin, hidden from Aunt Joan, who gave him water.
She bustled around the kitchen, replacing Joseph’s defiled Thanksgiving plate. She chided the children for talking with their mouths full, adding, “This is why you children have to eat in the kitchen.”