Friday Fiction – Guilt Trip

Thanks to Madison Woods (http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/desolation/) and Doug McIlroy (http://ironwoodwind.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/poliahu-at-dawn/) for today’s prompt. I hope you enjoy the story it invoked for me. As ever, let me know what you think.

And if you happen to be in Toronto this evening, come see me at the Moosemeat Chapbook launch party:

Guilt Trip

There was a mountain, nestled between the bigger ones, that was flat on top: even slightly dipped, as if God had taken the peak with a great ice cream scoop to make Himself a sundae.

My parents were busy arguing about whether we were going to make it to the airport in time, but I just kept staring at the mountain and wondering. If God would do that to the landscape, what would He do to the little girl who peed in His beautiful sea yesterday?

I stared until the mountain disappeared from sight, silently promising never to be bad again.

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44 Comments

Filed under Friday Fiction, Writing

44 responses to “Friday Fiction – Guilt Trip

  1. Very cute story about the innocence of children and their infinite ability to worry about things we adults have become too grown up to consider.

  2. Nice piece, that sundae line was excellent.

  3. Sweet innocence and yet his question is an honest one. Is God a punishable or revengeful God? Mine is here: http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/fridayfictioneers-my-pilot/

    • Grappling with some of these big questions through the eyes of child characters is one of my favourite fallbacks in writing. When we can’t answer them as adults, how do kids handle them?

  4. Brandon Scott

    The innocence of this young one is wonderful. May she never grow old (in spirit, I’m not wishing she dies or anything).

    http://authorbrandonscott.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/be-warned/

  5. Priceless – just how a kid’s mind works. Loved the image of the icecream scoop.

    I’m in Toronto – I’ve never heard of this event before. I’m glad you brought it to my attention even though i can’t make it on such short notice. Maybe one day we’ll run into one another. Here my story for the week: http://postcardfiction.com/2012/06/01/payback/

    • The icecream scoop was where it all started for me!
      Sorry I didn’t give you more warning of the writing event – I’ll try to put the ad up sooner next year!

      • Very darling story! I loved the ice cream bit. I must also admit to being delighted by the child’s “knowing” “how to pray, in a certain way…believing the mountian would never be bad again. Hice job!
        Sussan De Allura

  6. Charming story! Loved the ice cream, but the innocence of the child was so real. Great job.

  7. Awww, what a sweet story! I love how you captured the child’s ultimate innocence. Very well done! Here’s mine: http://theforgottenwife.com/2012/05/30/friday-fictioneers-1-june-2012-the-conquerer/

  8. But it wasn’t God, it was the Monscindogens! Poor little girl, to be so afraid of God… how could anyone do that to a child?

  9. Ah, what a sweet story. Loved the ice cream scoop line, and the wonderment and worry of the child about peeing in the ocean. Great job.

    Mine is here: http://banterwithbeth.blogspot.com

    (Apologies for the lack of line/paragraph breaks. I’m still learning this new Google Chrome thing since Blogger croaked.)

  10. This story was simply marvelous. I loved how she watched until the mountain disappeared. The way you stepped effortlessly into the mind of a five year old tells me you have retained the magical perspective of childhood.

    Don’t listen to Carlos.

    On a side note, I am amazed at the number of authors who have characterized that cinder cone as being a mountain whose top was sliced off. I keep having to look closely at it to see that, but you’re right, that’s what it does look like if you don’t know what it’s supposed to look like. interesting.

    Aloha

    Doug

    http://ironwoodwind.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/poliahu-at-dawn/

    • I could admit that volcano geography isn’t my strongest suit, Doug, but my excuse is that I wanted to retain the little girl’s language and lack of knowledge! And yes, I like to think there’s a bit of her still in me.

  11. Oh, the things we think as children, when all bad things are punished most heinously. Being the center of the universe is hard work. Great perspective, as always.

    Mine is here: http://erinleary.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/flash-friday-fiction-3/

    • You’re absolutely right about the centre of the universe, Erin. Perspective takes some learning, but even as adults I think we occasionally fall into the trap of feeling like our own dramas as the worst and most dramatic. Or maybe that’s just me!

  12. The child’s perspective is really strong here, with the voice and perceptions really selling it. The last bit made me laugh, too, so that was a nice light tough. Well written!

    Brian (thanks for your comment on mine – I appreciate it!)

    • Thank you, Brian, I’m always pleased at how popular this little character is. She’s one of my favourites. And we’ve all made that promise to our own gods somewhere along the line, haven’t we? Save me from this problem or punishment and I’ll never be bad again – How many of us keep that promise though?

  13. There’s such a good moral in this humorous story.

    Funny line: “as if God had taken the peak with a great ice cream scoop to make Himself a sundae.”

    You got me smiling there for some time.

    Thanks for reminding us to be mindful of God’s creation.

    Here’s my story: http://logo-ligi.com/2012/06/01/the-standpoint/

  14. i don’t see the comparison between god punishing a girl for whizzing in the ocean and scooping a mountain. is the mountain being punished?

  15. Russell

    All this time I’ve been wondering why the sea was so salty. Thanks for clearing that up for me. Personally, I don’t think God is too worried about all little pee. A very cute story.

    http://russellgayer.blogspot.com/

    • LOL, Russell. Now you know! I think you’re right though, a little bit of human pee v the effluent of however many other creatures – something tells me the Pacific will cope.

  16. You must have small children around you, that are easily accessible. That story was so incredibly random in it’s thought process. Kids are amazing that way. I had to read it twice to see the humor in it. Great share. Mine’s: http://remakingme-atiyatownes.blogspot.com/2012/06/friday-flash-fiction-start-day.html

    • Thanks Atiya. No small children here … yet! But I remember being one, and I don’t think thought processes are always as linear as writing makes them out to be.

  17. Cute perspective. Note to self…do not invite Elmo over to swim in pool.

    Here’s mine: http://thebradleychronicles.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/flash-fiction-friday-an-addiction/

  18. Poor girl—that’s a lot of weight to have on her shoulders. LOVE that God made a “Sundae” out of the mountain. Heeheehee. (Sunday, but I presume you meant to do that ) or saw it afterwards.)

    • I know, poor Melanie. Mind you, you’ve seen what else her view of religion does to her – a bit of silent fretting is nothing!
      And, no. Sundae. What have I told you guys about Canadian spelling?!

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