Monday, September 1, 2008

Charm: A Flash Fiction Story

For unknown reasons I cannot access the forums on where I usually post these weekly stories in the Flash Fiction Challenge forum, so I'm posting it here. Hope you enjoy it:


Ben Bradley
August 31, 02008

"You have Charm, Grace and Vitality!"

Or so said Google Dungeonmaster, after rolling up a massive realistically rendered polyhedral die. I felt the need for coffee, so I got up from the computer and made a pot. By the time I had a hot cup in my hand I had forgotten all about the silly new game other bloggers had been talking about. I wanted new shoes, and the mall was just the place to get them.

"Hi, you're in luck, we have the New Balance line of running shoes, and they're the most comfortable shoes of any type, ever, and we're getting rid of these for new stock, so they're 80 percent off." So I tried them on and indeed they're by far the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn.

"Would you like to wear them out of the store? I can put your old shoes in the box." I agreed, and we went to the register. I still can't believe I paid $19 for these shoes. I also didn't know running shoes were so expensive.

While walking through the mall I saw a kiosk selling ice cream cones, with a very attractive woman running it. When I saw her i almost changed my mind about buying a cone there, as I knew I would be so flustered just telling her my order. But as I approached she glanced down at my shoes and asked "Hey, what brand are those shoes?"

"Uh, New Balance," I said, only remembering the name because I had just bought them.

"Well, hey those are cool." She smiled at me.

I of course felt flustered and barely got out my order of vanilla with fudge topping. While making it she continued to small-talk.

"You know, everybody else wears Nike Air Max, Nike Air this, Nike Air that, you know, it's like everyone wears the same darn uniform. But you have something different, you know? It's like you're thinking for yourself instead of getting the same old style. I think that's really cool." She winked at me as she spoke those last words, then gave me the cone.

With the ice cream cone in one hand, I put down the shopping back with my shoebox to free up the other hand to get out my wallet, but then she spoke again.

"Hey, it's on me, it's my treat. Just for you."

I was dumbfounded, but managed to smile back and say "Well, thanks. Thank you very much." I don't even know how the words came out of my mouth. I'm rarely so, um ... I guess the word is eloquent.

So I walked on by toward the exit where I parked. I was thinking I'd go back home and play that online game, and that's when it hit me. I rememberd the exact words sent back to me by the humongous server farm that is Google:

"You have Charm, Grace and Vitality!"

Well, now. Maybe I did. I had no idea where this came from, but I remembered the saying 'don't look a gift horse in the mouth.' I knew what I had to do [stop using so many cliche's, for one thing]. When opportunity knocks, you should answer it before it knocks you out.

I turned around and walked back to ask her for a date.