Thank you to Author Jane Ann McLachlan whose Blog Hop I did four years ago. These stories are new editions. Thank you also to Morgen Bailey (with an E) for publishing an earlier version of this on her WordPress website: Flash Fiction Fridaysby Dr Margaret Aranda
Sheriff John was a Sheriff.
He wore a shiny badge and shiny boots, and wore a brown cowboy hat with a Sherriff’s golden buckle that covered up all his hair. I never saw his hair.
Every week on television in Los Angeles, California, he would sing, “Put another candle on my birthday cake,” as a yummy carousel cake spun around and the camera went in for a close-up. There were lions and tigers and bears on the carousel. Roar! They spun around and around, as if dancing in their own world, oblivious to the rest of us. They were only focused on going up and down, down and up, chasing one another around and around! They were magestic each in its own way. Royal!
I was six. I closed my eyes really, really tight and I thought that if I closed them hard enough and “thought” extra hard, I could turn into one of these gorgeous animals.
And so I did it.
I closed my eyes and I blinked just like that Genie in TV that has a cute little home in a bottle with red draperies and black bedsheets, golden tassles all about.
I closed my brown eyes and I thought so hard that I expected to open my eyes and literally be in the body of a great lion.
My eyes crinkled.
At first, I could feel nothing. After a time, I could definitely feel my tail growing, and I thought. “It must be almost time to open my eyes.”
I scrunched my eyes more now, as I wanted to make sure that nothing would be missing. I wanted to be sure as ever that my teeth would be long and sharp, and that my claws would glisten in the moonlight.
“There has to be nothing better than glistening in the moonlight,” I thought, momentarily forgetting that I was still a girl.
My mouth cracked a gentle smile as again, my tail was starting to come out. I waited for it to grow fully, still crunching my eyes tightly.
Now I thought I was ready to open my eyes now, without getting it wrong. Certainly I was on the right track. Ever so painfully slowly, I opened my eyes. At first, they ached from squinting so hard in my fervent prayer. I saw the light of day as they opened, and there he was again! I glared closer, disbelief covering my entire body.
Sheriff John was reading from a piece of paper.
“Wait!”, I thought,
“I’m not supposed to know what a piece of paper is!”
My eyes began to blur as the first tears started forming.
“I must not be a lion!”
Sheriff John wouldn’t stop to care about my plight:
“Linda, Joanne, Sarah, Tom, Edward, and Brian!
Wishing you all a Happy Birthday!” said Sheriff John,
happy as could be.
I was disappointed, hurt, and well, I was sad. I was shocked.
“How come it didn’t work?” “I can’t believe it didn’t work!”
I was already six years old, the smartest one in my class, and I got Gold Stars on my tests! What did I do wrong?
I sunk in the living room sofa.
I cried big tears of reality and disappointment.
And I learned, as we all do, that I couldn’t just change into a lion whenever I wanted to.
I kept it to myself until just now.
I’m only telling you because I know you won’t tell anyone else.
Don’t tell anyone else.
It’s so embarrassing.~ ~ ~ ~ ~THE END~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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