My story, Secondhand Smoke, was published today in the Veteran’s Day Issue of As You Were: The Military Review Vol. 17. It is set in the tail-end of the Vietnam War in Jacksonville, NC (home of Camp Lejeune) and draws heavily on my experience as a military brat though the story is fictional.
“No! Not like that. Gently, gently. The children will be sleeping and you mustn’t wake them.”
“Why?” Frannie asked her forehead all wrinkled with concentration.
“All I know is what they told me when I was training. Both you and the children will be cursed from that day forward if the child sees you.”
“Because of teeth?”
“Because they saw the magic. The children are led to believe that we exchange the teeth for money. Very few of them ever ask what we want the teeth for. They mustn’t know that we turn the teeth into money.
No! Stop. I don’t know why. It just is. Think of it as a rule.”
“I’m never going to be able to do this. It’s too hard.”
“It is not. It just takes finesse. Let me show you again.’
Florence used her wand ever so gently to brush the tooth out from underneath the pillow. She circled the tooth clockwise three times with her wand, and then lightly tapped the tooth. In a moment, the tooth was transformed into a pile of gleaming quarters.
“That’s more than the last one. What’s up with that?” Frannie asked.
“Don’t know. The wand decides how much money. It’s always different.” Flossie then used the wand to sweep the gleaming quarters under the pillow one by one. ‘Sometimes it’s paper money. That’s a little trickier to get under the pillow. Most of the time I just use my hand. Slow and careful like. “Continue reading
Lorena suddenly slammed on the brakes. She couldn’t see exactly what it was, but there was something large in the middle of the road. The placement seemed very precise. It wasn’t an animal or a box. She wasn’t sure what it was, but it sure looked like…. yes…. she stopped and put on her flashers and got out of the car. Yes. It was what she thought it was. Large, and white. Three tiers. Fondant ribbons in peach and gray on the top. Peach flowers cascade down the side. A wedding cake. A very elaborate one. More salmon than peach…a slight touch of pink to the fondant.
Lorena was bumfuzzled. Who? What? But more importantly Why?Continue reading
I entered a little short story in a contest. You can read it at: https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/author/connie-kinsey/