What follows is a piece inspired by the prompt over at Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. The key elements were the photo below, the opening sentence/phrase and no more than 200 words.
The Fine Art of Negotiation – 145 words
Nothing is ever as easy as it looks, I thought, watching my son Sam’s face turn red and then a shiny plum almost the color of an eggplant.
“You…can’t…throw…away…my…barn!” he cried between heaving sobs.
I started by commiserating: “Sweetheart, I understand how hard it is to say goodbye to an old toy.”
I appealed to his mature almost-six-year-old self: “Honey, you’re too grown up to play with that barn.”
I attempted reason: “Little one, just think of the room you’ll have for other toys you play with more.”
Eventually, I resorted to bargaining: “Baby, if we throw away the barn, I’ll buy you a new toy.”
Sam hugged the barn. He sniffled. He looked up at me with betrayal in his eyes.
“Okay, fine. Keep the barn,” I said, sneaking a broken firetruck into the trash bag.