Response – JSW Prompt 8-9-2021

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 500 words and post to your page. The Challenge starts on Monday and runs through Sunday each week. Please remember to link your story back to this post so everyone can read your entry.

Chris sat in the small cafe, idly watching the shoppers moving back and forth with leisure or purposeful strides. He’d lost interest in home décor about four houses ago, but he knew better than to argue when the better half wanted to add to the antiques already in their home. He preferred not to come either, but knew better than to argue that as well.

“You never know what they will come up with,” said the man at the next table.

Chris laughed. “That you don’t.”

“My wife now, she come here for bits and bobs,” the man went on, “dolls for the bed and that sort of thing.”

“I would think dolls on the bed would be creepy.”

“Very,” he agreed with a grin. “But I don’t argue.”

“Me, either,” Chris said, “though I might if it came down to putting creepy dolls on the beds.”

“Good luck with that,” the man replied. “I tried to argue. Now we have more dolls than ever.”

Chris winched in sympathetic pain. “I’d have to get rid of them somehow.”

“Good luck. I tried everything, but no luck. She caught me at every turn.”

Chris made a sympatric noise in his throat.

“So what does your wife get?”

“She’s looking at furniture.”

The man shook his head. “Hope you have a truck.”

“No, but they have somebody here who will deliver loads like that.”

“I didn’t know that. Guess we haven’t had enough dolls yet.”

A woman headed their way, pushing a trolly holding two dolls. The man groaned quietly and stood.

Chris stood also, giving the woman a smile. “Where did you find those dolls?” he asked brightly. “My wife has been looking for some exactually like that.”

“There is a booth all the way almost to the end,” she said with a smile, pointing left.

“I’ll have to tell her,” Chris said.

“Here, why don’t you take these,” the woman said, holding them out. “We have so many and well, if she is looking for these, I want her to have them.”

Hesitantly, Chris took them. “Thank you so much.”

“Let her think you found them,” the woman advised. “I bet that will sweep her off her feet.”

“I’ll do that, thank you,” Chris said, setting the dolls on the table.

The woman smiled. “You are most welcome.”

The couple moved away, leaving the empty cart behind. The man gave him a thumbs up, behind his wife’s back.

Chris waved.

As soon as they were gone, he looked at the dolls for a moment, put them back in the abandoned cart and walked away.

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