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More Than She Bargained For.

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FORTNIGHTLY FICTION

By MICHAEL BUCKINGHAM GRAY.

SHE STANDS AT the sunglass stand and her son tugs at her leg.
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‘Stop it,’ she says, ‘stop it, or else – ‘
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She picks a pair of sunglasses off the rack. Strokes their black frame, puts them on and smiles in the mirror. Takes them off. Turns over the price tag. Frowns and places them back on the spinner.
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‘Come on,’ she says, ‘let’s go’.
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She walks off and has not gone more than a couple of feet when she spins around. Her eyes widen, and she shouts out her son’s name.
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A man in a white shirt and a pair of black trousers strides over.
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‘Everything okay?’ he says.
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‘No, I’ve lost my son.’
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The two of them zig-zag around the store. Then the man stops. Speaks into a walkie-talkie. A woman with a name badge appears. Puts her arm around the mother, guides her out the back and sits her down.
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‘We have just started to go through the CCTV,’ the woman says, ‘and have contacted the police’.
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The mother sobs and the chair heaves back and forth. It feels like the walls are caving in. The woman hands her a tissue.
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Bang! The door flies open. And a man in dressed in blue marches in and thrusts a boy in front of them.
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‘Is this your son?’, he says.
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The mother turns. And her son places a pair of sunglasses in her hands.
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Michael Buckingham Gray’s writing has appeared in Flash: The International Short-Short Story MagazineMicrofiction Monday Magazine and elsewhere. His work ‘Outback’ (forthcoming) was recently nominated as a Best Microfiction and a Best Small Fiction. He teaches writing for Intuition. His Fortnightly archive is here.

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