Flash Fiction – In Transit

“Hey kids,” Mom called from behind the computer. “Come see this.”

Tommy and Lisa came running from opposite directions.

“Grandma sent us an email. She’s shipped something for you guys and sent us the tracking number so you can see where it is on the map.” Mom pulled out an old map of the country and circled about where Grandma’s house was on the California coast.

“So where is it now?” Tommy asked craning his neck to see the screen better.

“Now I can’t see,” Lisa complained and tried to nudge Tommy out of the way.

“Stop it or go to your rooms. You can take turns marking the map. Look, see what it says there?” she pointed at a line of bolded text. “It says it should be here in about six days. It left a warehouse in Los Angeles at 10 o’clock this morning.” She drew a line from Grandma’s house to LA. “We’ll check it tonight before bed again and Tommy can draw its progress, then again in the morning and it’ll be your turn Lisa. It’ll be Tommy’s turn again tomorrow night. No complaining, got it?”

Tommy and Lisa nodded before running off to keep themselves busy until bedtime.

Tommy drew a line from Los Angeles to Phoenix.

Lisa drew a line to Tuscon.

Tommy drew a line to San Antonio.

Lisa drew a line to Houston.

Tommy drew a line to Chicago.

Lisa drew a line to Pittsburgh.

Tommy drew a line to Harrisburg.

Lisa drew a line to Trenton.

Tommy drew a line to Hartford.

Lisa drew a line to Nashua.

Tommy drew a line to Chelmsford.

“Mom, it was supposed to be here by now,” Lisa complained as she was being tucked in.

“Well, sometimes it takes longer than they expect. Some of the places it’s been have had bad weather that might have slowed it down.”

“But they took it too far. Why’d it go all the way to New Hampshire?”

“Somebody must have made a mistake. You two will just have to be patient until Monday.”

“You mean we have to wait even more?” Lisa asked, incredulous.

“I bet you guys can do it.”

“What’s Grandma sending us anyway?” Tommy was beginning to doubt whether it would be worth the wait.

“She didn’t say. We all have to wait and see. Now, lights out in fifteen minutes or I’ll send your father up.”

After an agonizing Sunday of watching television and playing outside in the sun, Monday finally arrived to find Tommy and Lisa sitting and staring out the window like the two children at the beginning of The Cat in the Hat. Every time they heard a car, their heads lifted from their palms in hopes it was the delivery truck.

The package arrived when they were eating lunch. Half finished bowls of mac and cheese were abandoned on the table as tape was yanked off and packing peanuts flew everywhere.

“Teddy!” Lisa exclaimed.

“My DS!” Tommy shouted.

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