I recently saw an invitation to write and submit a story of 200 words or less. I decided to undertake the challenge.
Alex had always been a very literal child, so his mother should have known better than to say “Go lose yourself in a book.” But she had important guests coming and needed him out of the way.
Alex obediently left the spotless kitchen, careful not to leave fingerprints on the gleaming banister. He went to the small section of shelf with children’s books all carefully lined up by size. He looked through each book, carefully replacing each one on the shelf. Mother didn’t like messes. Finally he selected the one he wanted. He liked this book, it was old and ratty, the pages weren’t glossy and the pictures had no angles, only curves. Alex carefully turned pages at the corners as he’d been taught. He found the perfect page.
When bedtime came, Alex’s mother looked up from her lists and felt the silence. Alex was nowhere to be found. His mother remembered her words and ran to the bookcase. A single book lay on the floor. She snatched it up and rapidly scanned pages for signs of her boy. There he was among the Whos, joyfully singing with no Christmas at all. She’d never seen him so happy.