Here’s the next episode in my 2012 connected flash fiction experiment.
Give It Some Time
Laura McHale Holland
Carly and Chloe sit on one side of the booth, their two straws in one chocolate soda. Chloe’s dad sits across the table from them. He pokes a garlic fry into a pool of ketchup on his plate and pops it into his mouth. Chloe eyes him with a crooked half-smile.
“You want one?” He gestures, palm open, toward the plate of fries. Chloe glances up at her mom. “It’s okay,” Carly says. Chloe stretches her arm and leans most of her torso over the table. She grabs a handful of fries, dips her fist into the ketchup and then tries to cram all the fries into her mouth at once.
They all laugh.
Carly grabs a napkin, puts it on the table in front of Chloe, pries most of the fries from Chloe’s hand and puts them on the napkin. “One at a time, kiddo.” Carly demonstrates, taking one fry, dipping it in the ketchup and taking a bite. Chloe copies her. Carly nods, “That’s right.” Carly drums her fingers on the tabletop absentmindedly as she watches Chloe chew.
Chloe’s dad, who is also Carly’s former boyfriend, reaches over, puts his hand on hers. Carly snaps her hand away. “Not that, never that,” she says.
“I understand.” He looks away, slides his hand back along the table, puts it in his lap.
Chloe finishes one garlic fry. “More?” she asks. Carly nods. Chloe lifts another fry from the napkin.
“When can I take our girl out for the day?” Chloe’s dad asks.
Carly takes a long sip of soda. “Give it some time,” she says. “Give it some time.”
All of the episodes in this series in the order in which they were posted follow: