Flash Fiction

Bell Ringer’s Blues

Marnie stood in front of the local Dino Deals wishing that whoever had been in charge, had positioned the front of the store with a southern exposure. But here she was, ringing her bell, shivering in the shadow of the mammoth building.

She watched as the customers tried to quickly trade the warmth inside their cars for the warmth inside the super-store as they ran the gauntlet of wind that assaulted them on the parking lot and especially the gusts that came barreling past the corner of the building where the entrance was located and where Marnie was stationed with her bell and kettle.

It was hard to imagine a worse place to solicit contributions on a cold December day. In anticipation of freezing temperatures, the maintenance crew had spread salt on the pavement leading to the entrance, but it didn’t matter. It was still icy.

The shoppers hurried across the parking lot, heads ducked, shoulders hunched, hands deep in their pockets. Then they would suddenly transition to careful, mincing steps, their arms extended like tight-rope walkers, trying not to fall victim to the slippery surface surrounding the door to the mega-mart.

Almost none were willing to stop in their pursuit of warmth and stable footing to fish around in their pockets or purses for coins to add to Marnie’s bucket. Still, she rang her bell and wished all a Merry Christmas, while under her breath, she hummed to the tune of Silver Bells.

“City sidewalks. Icy sidewalks.
It’s a treacherous scene.
Don’t you know broken hips could spoil Christmas?

People slipping. People sliding.
Should have ordered on-line.
And you don’t even notice I’m here.

Ring the bell. Ring the bell.
My feet really cold. Fingers numb.

Ring the bell. Ring the bell.
No one’s donating dough. This is dumb.”


One thought on “Bell Ringer’s Blues

  1. Ha Ha! Now we could write about from the viewpoint of the shoppers. Such an awkward interaction. (worthy cause, noble service, just awkward at times)


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