A story? In 300 words or less? What a challenge. I've never been good at "flash fiction", but this week's picture prompt was so lovely, I couldn't resist. Fortunately, the moment I saw the picture, I heard a voice speaking in my head. So, I listened, took it, ran with it, and here's the result. Enjoy!
“Now you see it, now you don’t.” Michael held out a tiny box wrapped in red paper. Before I could grab it, his hands went behind his back. When they re-appeared, the box was gone. One of the frustrations of loving a stage magician. Michael was always playing tricks.
My heart skipped a beat. I knew what the box held. An engagement ring!
“Not fair!” I protested, running my hands over his body in hopes of finding his hiding place. The ring had not disappeared into thin air. Magic was illusion, not real.
“Is this what you’re looking for?” He grinned. The box re-appeared in his outstretched hands. “Be forewarned,” he said, his voice low. “It’s not what you think.”
My breath caught. Not the ring I expected for Valentine’s Day? The man had been leaving hints for weeks!
Seeing my confusion, Michael laughed again. Another gesture, a few more magic words, and the little box was gone again.
“Forget it. I’m not playing games.” Disappointed -- and frustrated -- I turned away. “You’re lucky I don’t know magic,” I called over my shoulder. “If I did, you’d be a toad about now.”
He hopped across the room toward me, making r-r-r-ivet noises. Not only a magician, but a clown too. How could I not love him?
“Sorry, honey. Yeah, I’m a toad. Can I have a kiss?”
I held out my hand. “Not yet.”
He pulled the red box from nowhere and handed it to me.
I tore the paper off, opened the box, and stared -- at nothing.
“My love is too big to fit in a little red box.” He grinned and reached out. “What’s this behind your ear?”
He handed me the diamond of my dreams.
“Still a toad?”
I kissed him. “Always."
~ ~ ~
I hope you enjoyed this short short story!
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