Howdy again, chums! Today I am glad to present a flash fiction story by my inky cohort Jessica McHugh! The story is called “The First Star I Lose Tonight,” and I think you’re gonna dig it. Give it a read, and then click Jessica’s links at the end. She’s got a ton of wild stuff for readers young and old that you should have on your shelf.
The First Star I Lose Tonight
By Jessica McHugh
The Bellevue home is a monument to victory. Every surface boasts at least one trophy, frequently flanked by certificates of merit in gilded frames. With each burst of air conditioning, the ribbons decorating the wall flutter like tiny blue flags representing a country that refuses to tolerate failure.
As I survey the room, a poster declaring, “Second Place is the First Loser” makes me cringe, but Megan Bellevue beams when she catches me observing it.
“Nice, isn’t it?”
Knowing what I risk to lose by being disagreeable, I force a smile and nod.
“I made it myself,” she says as she dances her fingers over the frame. “Well, my daughter helped with the border.”
Inspecting the poster more closely, I spot a crooked pink border barely visible under the matting.
“It was a little messy, so I had to cover it,” she explains. “You know how it is with kids.”
I do know how it is with kids. I’ve spent enough time skidding around heaps of dirty clothes and toys in the dark to know most kids love the haphazard life. And fortunately for me, I love a challenge. (more…)