Flash fiction: The Bag by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to The Spot Writers. This month, the task is to use the topic “someone finds a bag.” This week’s contribution comes from Cathy MacKenzie.

Cathy’s novel, WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama, is available from her locally or on Amazon. MISTER WOLFE, the darkly dark (18+) sequel, is now available. MY BROTHER, THE WOLF, the last of the series, is scheduled for release in 2022.


THE BAG by Cathy MacKenzie

“What’s that?” I ask James, my seven-year-old brother, who just straightened up after picking something off the ground.

“I dunno. A bag of something.” He thrusts it out as if it’s a prize. “It’s pretty, eh?”

“Yeah, okay. I guess. It’s a pretty blue. And brown.” Blue’s my fav colour. I laugh. “Maybe you should open it. Might be jewels you can give Mom.” Our mother’s birthday is coming up in less than a week. We usually make her something special. “Homemade’s best,” Mom always spouts.

Every year, I wrack my brains trying to figure out what to make her. Most times, my self-perceived “treasures” are epic fails, but I’ve never been that desperate that I’ve resorted to picking up discarded bags holding who knows what.

He peers at the small bag, turning it every which way. It’s the size of sandwich bags Mom uses for our school lunches. But those bags are clear.

“Doesn’t look like much,” he says. “Don’t think there’s jewels inside.”

I laugh. “Nah, not jewels.”

He examines it again. “Nothing’s moving. Nothing alive. Kinda lumpy.”

I keep a straight face. “On second thought, don’t open it. It’s bulbs, and they don’t grow very good if they’re disturbed.”

“Really? Do you think that’s what this is? Bulbs?” He looks at me, waiting for an answer.

I smile. “I can almost guarantee it. Can’t you see the dirt covering them? You know how Mom loves gardening. That’d be a good birthday present.”

I can’t resist adding, “I wish I’d found something spectacular like that. You’re so lucky, James.”

He smiles. His eyes light up like icicles shining in the sun in winter. “Really?”

“Yeah. You’re lucky, for sure.”

“You really think they’re bulbs?”

“Yeah, pretty sure. I bet someone lost it. Probably after being at Nelson’s Nurseries.” I point ahead, to the trail winding in between the trees. “You know, now that I think about it, I saw an older lady walking ahead of us a bit ago. She had a whack of them. She must’ve dropped one of them.”

James glances at the bag and then at me. “Ya think? I really want to give Mom a nice present.”

“Yeah, that’s what happened. Let’s go home. I’ll sneak into her stash of wrapping paper and find something pretty you can use to wrap it up.”

His grin takes over his face. “Yeah, let’s do that.”

I cover my mouth to stifle my giggles. They’re more than giggles. Huge guffaws if I let them loose. Stupid James. Does he really think the bag is full of bulbs? It’s all I can do to remain silent.

Carlson County recently introduced a dog bylaw. Everyone must pick up after their dogs. The corner store sells those little blue bags. I thought them cute when I first saw them. Asked Mom to buy some for our lunches. “No, dear,” she said. “They’re for dog poop.”

I can’t wait for Mom’s birthday. I’ll laugh my head off when she opens James’ gift. James is her favourite. He never does anything wrong—in her eyes, that is. I bet she’ll change her tune at a bag of dog poop, though. Ha ha


The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Phil Yeats: https://alankemisterauthor.wordpress.com

Chiara De Giorgi: https://chiaradegiorgi.blogspot.ca/

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