Prose Writing Prompt of the Week: Someone figures out how to beat the carnival games and wins a big stuffed monkey. He/she gives it to a stranger – what happens?
by Carol R. Ward
“You can’t keep that,” Irene protested. She stopped in her tracks as they headed away from the game.
“Why not? I won it,” Chad replied, arms holding the giant stuffed monkey drooping a bit, big grin fading. “I won it for you.”
“I did not!” he said indignantly. The grin reappeared. “I just figured out a way around it, that’s all.”
It was difficult for two people to stand nose to nose to argue when one of those people was holding a giant stuffed animal, but somehow they managed.
“These games are all rigged anyway,” Chad said.
“That doesn’t make it right.” Irene crossed her arms under her breasts, still refusing to take the monkey.
“C’mon, baby, don’t be like that.” Chad waved the monkey’s arms at her. “Look how lovable I am.”
“Look at that little monkey face, how can you say no to that face?”
“Easy.” Irene went nose to nose with the monkey. “No.”
“But he’s so cute! Isn’t he cute?” Chad asked one of the bystanders lingering to watch their antics.
“Adorable,” the woman said with a laugh. She seemed a little over dressed for a carnival, more like a business woman who escaped from the office for a few hours.
“Isn’t he the cutest monkey you’ve ever seen?”
“There, see?” Chad turned back to Irene. “He’s adorable.”
“Not to me he isn’t,” Irene said firmly.
“What is your problem?” The monkey sank a little lower in his arms. “I went to a lot of trouble to win this for you, the least you could do is accept it graciously.”
“Look, I never asked you to win me anything in the first place. And just because you figured out a way to get around the game doesn’t mean you should.”
“And I don’t even like monkeys.”
“How can you not like monkeys?”
Irene looked down and scuffed the toe of one shoe in the dirt. “One of my mom’s boyfriends had a monkey. They’re noisy and smelly and they throw their feces around. And the guy was a real creep. Monkeys just bring up a lot of bad memories for me, okay?”
“I didn’t know.” Chad shifted the monkey so he had a free hand to lay on her arm. “I’m sorry. Why don’t I find someone else to give it to?”
“That’d be great,” Irene said with a tentative smile.
Chad glance around and saw that the woman he’d spoken to during their spat hadn’t moved too far away. “Hey,” he called to get her attention.
She turned to see what he wanted.
“Listen, you’d really be doing us a favour if you took this guy off our hands.”
Chad shrugged. “You like monkeys. And I’d like to see him go to a good home.”
Hesitating a moment, she finally smiled. “Thank you, I accept.” She took the stuffed monkey from him. “I have a nephew who’ll go absolutely bananas over him.”
Chad and Irene both laughed with her. Arm in arm, they watched the woman wind her way through the crowd towards the exit.
“That was nice work,” Irene said. “I didn’t even see you slip it inside.”
“It’s amazing how tiny, yet powerful explosives can be these days,” Chad said.
“What would you have done if she refused to take it?”
“I did my research, I knew about the monkey loving nephew.”
He shrugged. “And if she hadn’t, we would have found some other way to get the bomb into the hotel.”
“C’mon,” Irene said, pulling at his arm. “I want to get a good seat for the fireworks tonight.”
Check back next Sunday for more free flash fiction! And check the writing prompt on Monday’s blog too, in case you might be interested in writing something to submit for this weekly post as well…