Magical Flash Fiction – the fox prize by Monique Quintana

Magical Flash Fiction - the fox prize by Monique Quintana

The fox leapt past cars in the fog to get to the auction in time.

The auction was held in an antique furniture store on the other side of the railroad tracks, a big dusty warehouse with windows and lattice and a blue tulip garden painted on the outside.

The fox got there just as a brown woman made the highest bid for a grey dolly buggy with a pale pink hood like a scarab shell. The fox liked to see their shiny shoes tap along the concrete floor. She liked to see when people won things. Especially people with stoic faces because it always seemed to her that happy faced people got the good stuff in everything. The woman was with her little girl and her little girl was wearing a red pea coat with silver buttons.

The auctioneer’s pale-faced wife gave the woman a ticket so that she could return and claim what she had won. Fox found a hatbox in the warehouse and made a home in it. She saw shadows dance by on the bookshelves and she made friends with dolls and toy soldiers, pale- faced things that they were.

One day the brown woman came back with her little girl and a chubby baby on her hip. The baby wore a black ribbon around her head. The little girl wore jean shorts, baring her knees in the light.

The auctioneer’s wife did not want to hand over their prize. All the dolls in the warehouse buckled their limbs as they listened, as they leaned on their shelves and made their mouths shape into Os. The auctioneer’s wife tugged at the brown woman’s tickets, she tugged so hard that the black ribbon fell over the baby girl’s eyes. They would get their prize after all. The fox began to cry, so loudly, that it made the baby cry, so the fox and the baby began to cry together, eating up the sunshine cold in their mouths.