Flash Fiction Theme – Happy Birthday
An oak tree shakes in anticipation as the parents of the little girl that live in the house in front of it place streamers in its branches. Reds, blues, greens, purples, oranges, yellows, and pinks sway with the gentle spring breeze. The oak tree listens as the parents talk about the games they have planned for the kids. They also talk about the magician and princesses they have hired for later on in the party.
The tree stands tall, even though it is only stands 10 feet tall, while the parents hung the unicorn pinata. The tree lifts its branch, feeling how heavy the pinata is, smiling. Plenty of candy for the children coming over. The tree tries to see around the house when it hears the first car drive up for the party.
But no children ran into the backyard. It was the pizza. The tree pouts and waits… and waits…and waits. Finally, after three hours, it hears cars parking outside the house. Shaking its leaves, the oak tree leans over to the side. It watches as little boys and girls run towards the front door. Behind the children, the parents carry presents with smiles on their faces. The doorbell rings and the door open.
The parents say their hellos while the children run around inside. The oak tree hears them wishing its little Debby a happy birthday. It shakes with pride. She turns 5-years-old today.
The tree bends down and peaks into the windows, watching children paint and glue things to masks and crowns. It watches the parents set gifts down on a table, then head into the kitchen to get something to drink and eat. Children finish their crafts and leaves them to dry while their parents place their food in front of them. It listens to their chatter and wonders when they will come outside.
The doorbell rings, and Debby runs to the door. The magician steps inside, talking to Debby. Debby giggles and they walk together into the kitchen. The magician introduces himself and he leads the children outside for the show. The parents mingle inside for longer. The children sit facing the tree while the magician stands with his back to it. The oak tree watches the magician pull colored scarves from a seemingly empty hand. It claps with the children.
The magician does his show, making things disappear and reappear. He makes pretty flowers pop up out of his hat, followed by a rabbit. He let the children pet the rabbit before placing it in a cage he had brought. Once the show is over, the children run around and play the games set up by Debby’s parents.
The magician joins the parents inside, getting paid and a plate of food. In a couple more hours, the doorbell rings again. This time two beautiful princesses walk in through the front door, and head outside to set up a face painting table.
Parents and the magician step outside while Debby’s mom takes picture after picture. The oak tree stands tall whenever Debby stands in front of it for pictures with her friends. Debby’s smile brightens when she gets her face painted by one of the princesses.
Not wanting Debby’s mom to forget, the oak tree shakes, the streamers and unicorn pinata dancing. Debby glances at the tree and smiles, waving. The tree waves back and nods for her to continue in the fun. Debby’s dad calls for attention and leads the children to the oak tree. It gets all giddy when the children take turns hitting the pinata.
After several swings, the tree leans down and hits the unicorn with Debby. Candy rains down in the grass and the children squeal in delight. Debby claps her hands as she watches her friends collect the candy.
She leans against the tree. The tree wrapping its girl in its branches. Soon, there is singing, and Debby runs inside. Her friends and parents follow, trailed by the magician and the princesses. The cake is set out, the song dang, the candles blown out, and everyone is given a piece. Forks dig into the cake while Debby laughs, putting her untouched cake on the table.
The oak tree bends down and watches as the children and parents eat, grinning and waiting in anticipation. Soon, the parents, their children, the magician, and the princesses drop their plates and stare at nothing. Debby claps her hands and dances around while the others turn to face her and her parents.
“It’s your birthday, sweety. You lead them out,” Debby’s mom tells her.
“Thanks, mommy,” Debby says. She looks at the others. “Follow me, please.”
Debby skips out to the big oak tree with everyone following her. She stands off to the side while the oak tree shakes in glee. It reaches for the first child and devours him whole, followed by his parents. One by one, the children, parents, magician, and two princesses disappear into the oak tree.
Debby claps her little hands as her parents join her. The streamers rain to the ground while the tree stretches its branches, growing a taller until it stops at 20 feet. The oak tree stands proudly while the family praises it with compliments. They take down the streamers and clean up the backyard. The cars, one by one, drives away with no one inside.