Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
A Spontaneous GiftA shower of coins clinked on the floor and I began counting. Had I saved enough to buy my mom something really good this year? Four, five, six, seven dollars and thirty-three cents.
I skimmed the drug store ad boasting Christmas gift bargains, glancing over the options I had circled in red. One by one, I crossed each off my list and felt my hope shrinking. Fancy Chanel No. 5 smell-alike perfume: $15. Silver "I (heart) Mom" pendant: $12.95. Posh pedicure set: $19.99. Tears sprang to my eyes as I noticed the only thing I could buy: women's anti-athlete's foot socks -- $4.99/pair. I might as well buy her a stick of deodorant!
With a sigh of resignation, I wandered downstairs to admit my insufficient funds for anything worthwhile. I could always do “I owe you” coupons again… so lame.
My mom’s voice rang out with a strained tone from the kitchen. She could only be talking to Aunt Carol at this hour.
“How do you like that, five days before Christmas? Does he really think he can get anyone else to cope with his last minute demands for cheaper? I don’t know how many overtime hours I’ve worked for that man for nothing and this is the thanks I get for it!” She paused and took a bite of ice cream straight from the container.
“No, no, we have Cobra.” Pause. “Not yet, I don’t want to say anything until after
The pan of fudge brownies she had made last night lay open on the table. I tiptoed across the kitchen and slid into the chair next to my mom, eyes fixed on the temptations in front of me.
“Listen, Carol, I gotta go. Hannah’s here. Yup, yup. No, don’t worry. We’ll see you on Thursday.” My mom clicked the receiver and set it on the table. She pinched her cheeks and smiled at me. “Want to try a piece of fudge?”
My eyes widened and mouth salivated. I had only been allowed to lick the bowl yesterday because she had to have enough for everyone at the office Christmas party today. There must have been a crowd of early dieters, since the pan only had two holes. “Do I!”
My taste buds tingled as I bit into the dense, rich chocolate spiked with sugar. I closed my eyes and imagined I were a rich girl with cash to spare for an equal gift for my mother, and even my best friend Grace.
“You can bring the rest to school tomorrow, if you like,” my mom offered.
I could only imagine the mmms I would hear at lunch. What a change from being the only girl with the same boring sack lunch every day. I snuck a second piece while my mom covered the pan up with tin foil.
“Someday, I want to be able to make fudge like you, Mom. I would start my own bakery,” I commented, licking the last smudges of chocolate off my fingers.
My mom dropped her spoon into the empty pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Her eyes froze on me.
“Ice cream headache?” I asked with a giggle.
Tears welled in her eyes. “Hannah,” she said, choked by a sob. She leaned over and wrapped her arms around me. I hugged her back. She ran her fingers through my hair. I felt a trickle down her chin fall onto mine.
“That’s the best gift you could ever give me,” she said.
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