Flash Fiction: Yo, Joe!

This story inspired by the Wednesday’ Prompt:  Have a Ball on Flashy Fiction, May 23, 2012.

Yo, Joe!

Classic AC/DC playing through her ear buds, Jessica was having a pretty good night stocking the shelves of the old, home town toy store.  She’d only been doing this job for a few weeks, but had already learned that this was one of those rare, nearly magical nights when it appeared to have been a light day at the register, everything went into place easily, and there was very little new product that had to be displayed.  To top it off, she’d not dropped anything…until she dropped the soccer ball from the upper shelf.  Jessica watched it fall and as it hit the floor, there was a pulse of light that swept out from the impact.  Her music stopped playing and everything was quiet as she hopped down from the step stool and ran a hand across her face, rubbing her eyes. As she bent to pick up the dropped ball, Jessica heard the sound of boxes popping open, and paper and tape being ripped a few aisles over.  She went to the end of the aisle, then crept toward the aisles from where she heard the noise.  Peering down each aisle she passed, she heard the sound of tiny boots running across the floor a few rows ahead, followed by the murmuring of small voices. Passing the aisle that held action figures, she spotted a bunch of open boxes on the floor, but no action figures.  Shaking her head, Jessica continued toward the sound of the voices, eventually peering down the stuffed animal aisle to see the action figures, all G.I. Joes from a quick glance, squared off against a similar number of various stuffed animals, talking smack to each other.  She had a vision of a bad gang war scene from a movie before one of the Joes yelled out to her, “Hey, Doll, you gonna toss us that ball to play with or what?”  Jessica nearly gave herself whiplash turning as the owner of the store whispered from behind her, “You better throw them the ball.  The Joes can get rather surly if you delay the game.”  In a daze, Jessica took the ball out of its box and rolled it down to the group of toys, watching it shrink to their size as it rolled. She spent the next few hours watching G.I. Joe play a fairly even game of soccer against the stuffed animals.  At one point, she looked over at the owner, who gave her a wink and said “You’ll never find this happen in one of those big chain stores.”  She stared at him, dumbfounded.  He continued, “You should see it when the Joes and the Barbies have a Ball.”



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