National

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Carmen couldn’t believe her eyes as she stepped out of her car.  She was at the park for her evening run.  Usually, the place was abandoned except for a few other runners and a couple moms with strollers, but today, it was exploding with visitors.  She watched as dozens of senior citizens, mostly women, wearing bright blue curly wigs and garishly pink blush congregated in the center of the park.  A huge movie screen had been erected.  Some surprisingly limber ladies were doing cartwheels across the grass, others were passing out bags of popcorn, candy and red plastic cups of soda.  Many were screeching a song she didn’t recognize, something about blue rainbows.  She wondered seriously for a moment if she was hallucinating.

“What is going on?” Carmen asked  a passerby, stepping onto the grass.

Five septuagenarians surrounded her, one breathless from cartwheels.

“It’s National Susie Tinselton Day!”

“National who day?”

“Susie Tinselton!  Legendary child cinema star of the 1930’s.”

“Oh, I love old movies!  What was she in?”

“Only one I’m afraid,” piped up another in the group.  “Bright Blue Baby.”

“I’m sorry, I’ve never seen that one.”

“Not surprising…”

“…poor Susie…”

“…she auditioned for every role she could…”

“…but lost out every time to another child actress with same initials…”

“…one that shall not be named…”

“…she was robbed!”  The woman spat those words with a surprising amount of venom considering all of this occurred over 80 years ago.

“…Bright Blue Baby is her masterpiece…”

“…she sang Bright Blue Rainbows and cartwheeled off into the sunset…”

“…you should stay, we’re watching it later…”

“…movie starts at dusk!”

Carmen smiled politely, preparing to decline the invitation.  Then she thought – what did she have to do that night, really?  She hadn’t made a solitary friend since she moved to this new city.  This was the first invitation she’d received all month.  Maybe these women weren’t in the same demographic as the rest of her friends back home, but a friend was a friend.

“Sure, why not!”

She accepted a bag of popcorn and a soda and settled on a blanket with her new buds.  The cartwheeler extended her hand.

“I’m Lucy.”

“Edith.”

“Sandy.”

“Mollie.”

“Margo.”

“Pleased to meet y’all.  I’m Carmen.”

Another confused woman stumbled down the path, looking around like she had just landed on a new planet.

“What is going on?”

“It’s National Susie Tinselton day!”  Carmen exclaimed, to the delight of her new besties.  “Popcorn?”

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to post a new flash fiction story every Monday in November – each incorporating either the word National, Novel, Writing, or Month.  Original right?  🙂  Thanks for reading.

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