“This isn’t gonna happen.” I thought. I watched as the metal claw rose, mockingly swinging about and flaunting how depressingly empty it was. I’d wasted half the night, my feet killing from the roller skates, trying to win more than a conniption from the Candy Crane Grab. “She just had to say ‘Ring Pop.'” I despaired.
Across the rink, Jackie sat her friends watching the skaters glide by. Alex flew by the girls like lightning, waving at them in his “signed” Redwings jersey and shiny new roller blades–too cool for school. How could I compete in my two-by-two plastic skates, moth-eaten hoodie, and no talent?
“I can’t.” The thought rang with finality as crane rose again–empty. But wait! A small plastic wrapper hung in its clutches!
“Don’t fall!” I chanted watching with anxiety. I snatched up the Ring Pop, clumsily skated across the carpet, and brashly proposed to Jackie.
She blushed, but accepted the high-fructose fruits of my labor, opened it, and licked. Bashfully, Jackie kissed me on the cheek.
Mediocrity never felt so good.
Written for and inspired by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
Here is the original photo prompt that inspired the ring pop idea. (Photo by Jade M. Wong)