I admit right now that this is not “flash” fiction. At 1727 words, it’s definitely a short story. Clarissa Ryan asked for one that included a lot of cute and happiness-inducing things, and when I’d finished drafting it, there was nothing I wanted to cut out. So, a short story it is, and I hope you enjoy it.
Tomorrow Can Be A Better Day
Jana stroked the kitten’s soft, calico fur as the elevator rose slowly. She left it cling to her shirt, held tight to her chest, as its tiny claws extended and retracted happily. The elevator stopped at the 7th floor, and Jana carefully reached down for her bags with her free hand.
“Time for you to go to your new home, honey,” Jana said to the kitten as she searched the recipient’s apartment. Spotting the right number on the door, she stopped, and set her bags down to one side. She pulled out square pink box large enough to hold the kitten, gently unhooked its little paws from her shirt, and placed it inside. “Now, shh,” she whispered. “You’re a surprise.” She grabbed a shiny bow from the bag, set it atop the box (careful not to cover up any of the air holes) and knocked on the door.
Just as Jana was about to knock again, the door finally opened a crack. An older woman, her graying hair up in a loose bun, clutched her bathrobe tightly with wrinkled pink hands. Her sandy blue eyes were red and her eyelids were puffy.
“Mrs. Margorie Hanta? Happiness Delivery Service,” Jana said in her bubbliest voice.
“I don’t want whatever it is,” Mrs. Hanta said softly. “Thanks anyway.” She started to close the door.
“Oh, but wait,” Jana said. “You’re the only one who can take this.” She held the box up.
The other woman sighed, but let the door stay open.
The kitten in the box mewed softly.
“No,” Mrs. Hanta said to the box, shaking her head. “I am not ready.” Continue reading