Flash Fiction: Surprise

I don’t normally make New Years resolutions, but this year I did: I want to become more fluent in Spanish.

I took Spanish in college, leaving with enough skill to get the gist of it in writing and pick up a word or two in conversation. After years of knowing just enough to be annoyed by my own ignorance, I decided to do something about it. I’ve been using the Duolingo app to practice daily. So far, I can tell you that “I eat apples” and “I am a boy,” among a handful of other phrases.

While my goal is related to communicating with a significant portion of our local population, there’s more to it than that. I’ve always loved the power and beauty of language, and by limiting myself to a single language, I felt I was missing out on a whole dynamic of human existence.

Basically, I’m learning it to enrich my life experience. Which brings me to this week’s flash fiction prompt over at Carrot Ranch: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the idea of enrichment.

I hope you enjoy my take on it.



The boy sits in a tight ball in the produce section. Arms clutch his folded legs and his eyes press into his knees. His back shakes with his breath.

Cautiously, I crouch and touch his shoulder. “Sweetie? Are you lost?”

His head snaps up, his brown, tear-soaked eyes fixating on me. “Necesito a mi mamá.” His eyes return to his knees.

“Cuál es tu nombre?”

His head snaps up again, perhaps in surprise that I speak Spanish. “Gabriel.”

“Yo soy Brianna. Vamos a buscar a tu madre.” Smiling, I reach out.

He wipes his eyes and takes my hand.

18 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Surprise

  1. Pingback: When Are We Officially Grown Up? | Allison Maruska

  2. Hola!
    yo estudio espanol. Wandana. Es me nombre. Mucho Gusto.
    Tu escribes en espanol?
    Ok thats about it. Hope what I wrote was correct! The story es muy interesante!
    I am new at blogging. Just started writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Enrichment « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

  4. Language is beautiful, and learning to communicate in another is a way to appreciate the depth of another culture. I don’t speak it well, but I could read Spanish fluently enough to enjoy Pablo Narada. Your flash shows the humanity in learning to cross the language barrier to embracing another. Sometimes, I think not speaking Spanish is a wall of its own to dehumanize a beautiful neighbor we all have. Thanks for joining us this week, Allison!

    Liked by 1 person

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