Theodore Jerome Cohen is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Theodore Jerome Cohen
“What are you and Winnie thinking about Denise?”
“We were just thinking how beautiful the forest is this morning, with all the trees, and grass, and wonderful fields of sunflowers around us.”
“And the birds, too, sweetheart. And let’s not forget the animals,” he said, as a brave brown squirrel ventured down the trunk of a nearby oak, hoping for a handout.
She giggled at the sight of the squirrel as he first took tentative steps down the trunk, stopped, and then, raced down to the foot of the tree. There, he paused, turned to sniff the air, and cautiously, in a crouch, like a tiger closing in on his prey, inched ever closer to where they sat, his eye on the prize: a luscious pecan reclining in the palm of her father’s right hand.
In a flash the pecan and the squirrel disappeared back up the tree, the only sign they’d ever been there being the pecan dust filtering to the forest floor from the branch above them as the little fellow made short work of his treat.
Several seconds passed before Denise spoke. “Can I ask you something, Daddy?”
“Of course, darling. You know you can ask me anything.”
“Can we start recycling today?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Because I want to help save the planet.”
“And why do you want to do that?”
“Because this is where I keep my stuff.”