Tag Archives: kids

The Secret Conversations of Kids

Alice sat in the café in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and sipped her coffee, watching her daughter Priscilla romp around, burning off excess energy. The other moms were discussing toilet training, but luckily Alice was through that by now.

“Mom, I want my cell phone,” Priscilla said. Alice pulled the plastic flip phone from her purse and handed it to her four-year-old daughter. It was a dollar-store variety that didn’t even take batteries and had a sticker for a screen.

Priscilla grabbed the phone and flipped it open with one hand. For a while, she went around the café, holding the phone up and pretending to take pictures of the display of baked goods, the walls, the cups for sale, even other patrons.  A few stopped to flash smiles and pose while Priscilla squinted at the sticker screen, moving the phone until it was in just the right position. Alice tried to keep an eye on her as she moved around.

Priscilla wandered back, flipping the phone open and shut. Then she looked down at it, flipped it open and put it to her ear.

“Hello?” She listened a moment. “Oh, really? I’m at the coffee shop now. Where are you?”

One of the other moms asked Alice a question and she turned to answer. Priscilla continued to talk and listen for a long time. She started to pace back and forth, her frizzy hair bouncing. At one point, she held the phone between her cheek and her shoulder to use both hands to gesticulate.

“I-O-WA,” she said, making lines in the air with her finger as if she were spelling the word. “I-O-WA.” She stopped and listened for a bit. “No!” she exclaimed. “Oh. My. Goodness.”

“They start early, don’t they?” one of the moms said, and the others tittered and agreed. They were all watching Priscilla’s antics now. A two-year-old of one of the other moms toddled up to Priscilla, reaching for the phone. Priscilla made a shushing gesture and turned away, cupping her hand around the phone.

“It’s amazing the things they pick up from us,” Alice said. “It makes me worried what else they notice.”

“Okay, bye!” Priscilla snapped the phone shut.

“Have a good talk?” Alice asked. Priscilla only nodded happily and bounced away to take more pictures.

*     *     *

“That’s quite a talk you had,” Subin said to her son Hojun when he stopped talking. They were walked from his preschool back to their apartment in Pohang, Korea.

She put the toy cell phone back in her purse. “I don’t know where you come up with this stuff sometimes. Honestly, I don’t even know where Iowa is.”

 

This was inspired by sitting in my local coffee shop today, seeing a little girl carry on a similar conversation on her toy cellphone.


The Man with the Basilisk Eyes

The Man with the Basilisk Eyes

I tow my stone dog carefully up the ramp in front of Precinct 45, the rear wheel of the red wagon squeaking with the weight. A woman holds the door, trying to smother her amusement.

Squeak, squeak, squeak. All the way to the desk sergeant.

“Hey Sarge, I want to report a crime.”

He peers over at me. “You don’t say? How old are you?”

“Ten. What, ten year olds don’t have any rights?”

“Touché. What’s the crime?”

“A man in the park turned my dog Scruffy to stone. I was playing fetch with him and Scruffy ran over by this man with real yellow eyes, like a basilisk, like in Harry Potter. Scruffy gave a yelp and ran back, but he started running slower and slower like he was caught in molasses. By the time he got back, he was like this.” I tap the stone dog in the wagon.

“So . . . you want me to arrest this ba-zo-lisk eyed man?”

“Of course! He killed my dog. Ain’t petrification a crime?”

“Here’s the thing.” The sergeant leans over. “My buddy over at Precinct 28 told me a kid came in last week with a stone dog and the same story.”

“Well, if you can’t get justice one place, you go somewhere else,” I say, but it’s clear I’m getting no sympathy there. I wheel ol’ Scruffy out to where Brad is waiting.

“Any luck?” he asks. I shake my head.

“Let’s try 51. I hear the sergeant over there is a fantasy nerd.”

“Okay,” Brad says, “but let’s hurry. Mom’s going to be pissed if she notices her lawn ornament missing.”


The Dog, the Clubhouse, and the Cookies – Friday Fictioneers

This week, 100 words seemed like a lot for one story, so I wrote 4, each about 25 words. Well, kind of… 🙂

copyright Randy Mazie

copyright Randy Mazie

The Dog, the Clubhouse, and the Cookies

Ralph:

Herb and I got a clubhouse: no girls allowed. Except my beautiful Nellie. She’s tough too—she killed the dog that almost bit me.

Nellie:

I killed the dog to stop Ralph crying. What a baby. I only went to his “clubhouse” to meet Herb. He’s cute.

Herb:

Ralph is a traitor, bringing that girl to our special place! They’re not getting any of the cookies Mr. Horowitz made for us.

Mr. Horowitz:

Those damned kids killed Rex, my only friend in the world! The poison in the cookies isn’t enough to kill them, just teach them a lesson.


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