My entry for Write on Wendy’s weekly flash challenge is different from the things I normally write. I had fun writing this one. It is simple and light-hearted. The challenge this week was to write a story (500 words or less) that includes something otherworldly in the story while avoiding clichés. Coming in at 496 words I wrote a fun tale about a boy and his ball. I hope someone enjoys and possibly even cracks a smile. Enjoy.
The Super Space Ball
The Mother knew ever since Apollo 11 landed on the moon two years ago, her son was obsessed with space. His room was cluttered with Styrofoam solar systems, cardboard space helmets, and ray gun blasters. She therefore wasn’t surprised when he rushed into the den one night, waving a comic book frantically in the air.
The ad, he pointed to was full of things every boy wanted; X-rays glasses with spiral lenses, bathtub submarines that fired real rockets, and the obligatory Sea Monkey colony. He directed her attention to the bottom of the page, nestled next to the Atomic smoke bomb ad. A blue and white swirled sphere floating among the stars of space.
SUPER SPACE BALL
Bounces so high it reaches space!
Only $9.99 + S&H
Endorsed by NASA
The price caused her to look at her wide-eyed son with shock. Almost everything else was $1 or less. Even the realistic sounding machine gun was only $3.
“I will do extra chores! I swear Mom,” the young boy pleaded.
“That is a lot of money for a bouncy ball.”
“But Mom. It’s endorsed by NASA!”
She peered into his begging eyes and wanted to say yes. The deep, resounding “No” that came from the couch shattered the boy’s hopes. Seeing the tears welling in his eyes, the Mother’s heart sank. A single finger to her lips, she nodded to her son. With a huge smile, he raced to his room.
After a summer of extra chores, the hard work payed off. The Postman delivered a box with a NASA sticker emblazoned across the front. The boy ripped through the packing paper quickly. Finally, he reached inside and withdrew his prize. Holding the bouncy ball aloft, the clouds broke and a single beam of sunlight shone down on the boy and his ball.
With pride he decided to test his new space ball. A slight crack of his wrist and he tossed it toward the sidewalk. It struck the pavement then rocketed skyward, easily clearing the trees with a single bounce. A faint blue tail followed the ball as it descended to earth.
Having planned this day for months, the boy raced to the landing spot in the green yard. Lovingly, he grabbed the ball and raced inside. Grabbing a marker from his mother’s sewing table, he wrote the only thing he could think of.
He returned to the sidewalk launch pad. With every bit of force a 9 year old can muster, he hurled it towards the sidewalk again. Immediately it launched skyward. Higher it went until the boy lost sight of it. Smiling, he slowly walked to his room.
Three nights he watched the sky. Late on the third night he saw a small, blue shooting star fall into his yard. He quietly crept outside and retrieved his bouncy ball. His marker writing was gone. In its place was a shiny silver word, perfectly written across the ball.