(The following was written as a challenge in 2015.* (see below) I like it so I’m posting again. This is Rudolph standing on a stack of of boxes of Rudolph stuffed toys in a super store. He is talking to a customer in the checkout lane.)
“Psst! Psst! Listen, right here by your left shoulder.”
“Me? You talking to me?” The man said as he stood in line at the checkout counter.
“Of course. You don’t see anybody else listening to a reindeer, do you? Wow, do I have a story to tell ‘bout things going on in here. In the first place, I came in with 119 other Rudolphs. That’s right. Ten dozen. What the people don’t know – even the guy who ordered me – is that I am the only authentic Rudolph in this bunch of stuffed clones. Yep, me. The real reindeer baby, born of Santa’s Rudolph and his forever love, Ms. Vixen. Can’t you see by the shiny red nose? Cupid set the whole thing up. He thought the shiny satin bow Vixen wore went so well with dad’s, I mean Rudolph’s, nose they were bound to find true love. Anyway that’s how I came to be.
“Santa entered me into a modeling career at Reign-dear, Unlimited – I like that name, don’t you? By mistake I was picked up and dropped into the crate for shipping. Everybody here thinks I’m stuffed; I’m not, in fact I’m kinda hungry. Do you happen to have a wad of hay that I could chew on a while? … That’s okay. I can’t talk with my mouth full anyway.
“Harry, the guy over there putting up the Christmas bells, stacked us all here in the aisle – put me right here in front so someone could get me first, but a slouchy, unkempt looking guy walked by and sneezed. Would you believe? He had chewing tobacco in his mouth. Sprayed all over my back left rump. Can you see it? Well, as of now, 47 people have looked me over then they bought one of the imitations stacked around me. I’m still here. But it’s a perfect place to see the Christmas shoppers and gives me lots to ruminate about.
“A little while ago, two women were waiting in line. They were speculating, extrapolating, and expounding on the hypothesis of why everyone else was so dim-witted as to wait for today to do their shopping. One of the women – Helen by name – had been here three and a half hours. Her big problem was what to get for her boss. He seems to be a big whing-ding. Don’t know how she thought she could find something here for that sort But she had to give him something at the Christmas party he was throwing for his employees. She finally made a decision on a tie with a picture of Rudolph, my dad, on it. While she was in line a man unloaded a tie from the basket in front of them. He held it up and looked it over.
“The second woman, I think her name was Delectica (or something like that) said quiet-like so the man couldn’t hear, ‘Look at that ugly tie!’
“Helen’s face fell as deflated as a happy helium balloon on its first month’s birthday. Three and a half hours for an ugly tie choice!
“You should have seen her sneak that tie out of the basket and stuff it into the “changed-my-mind, I-don’t-want-it” basket. Yeah, they have one of those up here by the checkout counter.
“Delectica, (whatever her name is) caught Helen dumping it. She said, ‘Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you had one.’ Helen said, ‘I don’t know how it got in my basket. It’s so ugly; I would never have chosen that. Someone else must have dumped it in my basket. Well, toodle-do, nice talking to you. I must run down to Rothchild’s and buy something for my boss’.
“And the tie? It really was ugly. Looked exactly like me and dad. I wish I had taken my looks from my mom. Vixen is quite a lovely lady. Meanwhile here I stand, with tobacco spray on my rump. Not to worry, though, some woman will buy me when all the rest are gone – when she remembers that she hasn’t yet bought anything for her husband’s cousin’s kid.
’Two good things about that. One, I won’t have to spend much time in a wrapped boot box. The other is, kids are very easy to talk to and they talk back like real live people. They don’t stand gaping like you are doing. You look like you’re hearing something weird. Buck up, man, it’s your turn to check out. If you have to buy any ties, I would recommend one with a snowflake, shining star, or Christmas tree. Well, as Helen said, ‘toodle-do, nice talking to you.’
*First written in 2015 and reblogged in 2017. CHRISTMAS FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE issued by Dan Alatorre at http://danalatorre.com/2015/12/04/writing-challenge-see-the-scene-write-the-caption/comment-page-1/#comment-4174 The challenge is to write a story including two random elements. My first scene (5) is to involve”two shoppers lined up at a cash register while a man holds up and examines a necktie.” And the second is to use the keyword “Rudolph” (2).