The Basketball

The Basketball

A Story by Beth Lindsay

A flash fiction piece based on a real little boy in a retail store.


          Acoustic pop music plays throughout the intercoms. Small groups of people travel from aisle to aisle in search of anything to waste their money. In one of those clusters, down a shoe aisle, a five-year-old boy holds onto his mother's skirt, watching the strangers pass by him. A dull expression remains plastered on his face.

            "Stay here, and don't you dare move," the mother warns him as she walks away with a gentleman. The boy obeys and remains in the aisle surrounded by women's shoes. He sits on a bench and reaches out for the closet heel he could find. He flips the shoe back and forth in his hand, examining it from all angles, before throwing it on the ground. He yawns.

            He stands up and approaches the main path with caution. Peering around the corner, he notices a couple of other boys playing with of a child-sized basketball hoop. The two grab another ball from the bin and plays a round of one on one.

            "Come on boys, let's go! Your father's done," a woman calla out to the boys. They drop the ball on the floor and ran in the opposite direction.

            The ball rolls in his direction. Bending over, he holds his arms out, ready to embrace the basketball that slowly approaches him. Once the ball is in his arms, he strolls over to the basket. He looks up at it.

            His imagination goes wild. He imagines he's the star player in a crucial game. It was the free throw shot, and he must make it win the game for his team. Flashing lights flicker from all the cameras. Everyone cheers his name. His mother's cheers were the most distinctive. A smile grows on his face, and he bends down, ready to make his history-making goal. He jumps. Higher and higher, he flies.

            "Parker!" his mother cries out. The ball bounces off the rim and remains in place on the floor beside it. He looks down at the ball with disappointment.

            "What have I told you? Don't go playing with that," says his mother. 

She grabs him by the arm and drags him away. "It isn't like you are going to amount to anything anyways, so don't bother with sports."

            He looks back at the hoop with tears in his eyes.

            "Sorry, Mommy."

© 2017 Beth Lindsay

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Added on December 31, 2017
Last Updated on December 31, 2017
Tags: Dreams, approval, left alone, crushed, tears, let down, disapproval, daydream, fame, children, innocence


Beth Lindsay
Beth Lindsay


I am a college student, studying to become a writer. My desired career is in graphic novels, but I also enjoy writing short fiction and poetry. Aside from my writing ambition, I paint/draw, read, and .. more..

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