Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #71 by Five Dot Oh
Don’t Forget The Lantern
My family and I live on a small parcel of land. We’ve lived here for a decade or so. The land has some flat prairie area along with some woods.
When we were first getting settled things would go missing. However, we just contributed this to the move. We had a lot of boxes and it was quite possible we just forgot which box it was in.
After about a year we started blaming each other when something went missing. This would cause terrible arguments.
One night after being accused of taking something of my brother’s. I grabbed a lantern and ran out of the house.
I found a bare space in the field and sat. Hugging my knees to my chest My tears streaming down my cheeks.
In the faint light of the lantern through blurry eyes there seemed to be a short woman standing in front of me. Before I could think what to do she quietly said “don’t be scared”.
She walked up to me and took a motherly hand and wiped away my tears. Sitting in front of me now she inquired as to why I was so upset.
I told her about the missing model and that no one believed I didn’t take it. She made a tsking noise and said “I see“.
How about we make an arrangement between my family and yours. Stuttering I said “like what”?
Well you see we have no light to see at night. If you bring the lantern out every night at dusk we will make sure all your families item stay where they are put.
I had so many questions, but I could hear my Mother calling. We agreed and shook hands. I hung the lantern where she asked and hurried back to the house.
The next day my Mother opened the door and everything that had gone missing was stacked in a pile. Next to the pole was the lantern.
After hearing my tale my Mother was speechless. I’m not sure she believed me until things went missing when the lantern wasn’t put out.
Now every evening after dinner she says don’t forget the lantern.
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