K is for Killjoy


“Just gimme the bag, brat!”


“You better get that bag to your brother…”


“Hey, look who it is. All grown up and ready to pounce.”

April squelched her annoyance; the man used the same line every time she’d come into the store since she gained breasts, and Shirley County’s high school mascot gave him license. Go, Bobcatts! “Hello, Mr. Vale.”

“Beautiful day.”

“Uh-huh.” She plunked down a Twix.

“One-eighty-nine, darlin’.”

She dug around in her pockets and only came up with $1.35. “Hold on.” She knew Nick must have some kind of Boy Scout hidey-hole somewhere in his bag. Now that I’m fishin’ for cash, kinda feels like stolen goods. Mr. Vale was leering, though, so she threw him the first bill that her fingertips contacted in the secret pocket. Everybody had one.

“Uh…maybe I could break that,” Mr. Vale stared at the bill, “if you were buying more than a candy bar.”

Benjamin Franklin watched her with hooded, complacent eyes.

“Oh—” April snatched back the c-note and crammed it into her pocket. “I’ll just…nevermind I’m not hungry.”

She cradled the backpack to her chest and hurried out the back door.

“What the fuck what the fuck what the fuck,” she panted, waddling toward a neighboring Magnolia tree like she was holding a live grenade. She collapsed under the ancient comfort of sprawling limbs, her legs splayed and the alien artifact dumped between her knees. One last glance around: no one was anywhere. It was still just boring Shirley.

“La la la…” She peeked inside the hated, disgusting, gloriously promising backpack. Now she could see the padded lining had been cut inside an inner, zippered compartment. A secret secret pocket. “Oh my god.”

Her fingertips feathered through more Benjamin Franklins than her bewildered brain could count.


This flash fiction is a part of the Blogging From A to Z (April 2015) Challenge. A new installment arrives every day in April, following the alphabet; check the calendar below to see which letters post on which days. Read more about this blogfest HERE.


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