11 April, 2022

Flash Fiction: Ice Cream - #AtoZChallenge

I registered late for the A-to-Z blogging challenge this year, but I'm going to do it. In past years, I have done flash fiction inspired by readers' comments, and I'm happy to do that again, but this month the fiction will be peppered in amongst other random topics of my choosing. So suggest a story idea in a comment if you have one, otherwise I hope you will find my mental meanderings amusing! 


Ignatius angled his cereal bowl and peered in. Now that his mom was busy with the cooking show, she always left a message in the bottom of the bowl. Well, not "in" the bowl. The bowl was glass, and she would write a message under it that could only be read after he'd eaten all his breakfast and emptied the bowl.

"Shh!" was the first word that he could see. He'd have to finish the milk in the bowl to get a better view.

"Shh! Ice-cream at 8:00 if you keep it secret!" Ignatius looked side to side. His little sister Imogen hadn't come in for breakfast yet. Dad was probably upstairs getting her. Ignatius immediately wiped the dry erase marker off the bottom of the bowl and put it in the sink. They had a treat coming tonight!

But that meant he couldn't tell his sister. That was the hard part. Could he do it? 

As he left to go get dressed, Dad and Imogen were coming in. "Finish your breakfast, Champ?" Dad asked. 

"I did!"

"You look happy about it. What's the good news!"

"No, Dad! Not yet!" Ignatius wasn't about to give in when there was ice-cream on the line. Little Imogen, turned to him then. "Not what?" she asked. 

"You'll find out!" he sang in answer. It was a mistake, he could tell. Her mouth turned down at the corners and now she'd whine and wheedle him all day. Ignatius hurried to his room to avoid her questions. As he dressed, an idea came to him: Avoid her! If he could get out of the house - go to the park, go to a friend's house - and stay out all day, he could definitely not tell the secret!

It was for her own good. If he kept the secret, both Ignatius and Imogen would get ice-cream. If she made him tell, they'd both lose. Ignatius was just 11. His parents often made him take his sister along when he went to do something fun. How to get around it?

Ready to go, sneakers tied tight, Ignatius blew out a breath and opened his bedroom door. "Going to Isaiah's!" he called to his dad as he passed the living room. He was at the front door when Dad called him back.

"Does Isaiah know that?"

"It's okay, Dad. They're home."

"I'd better call." Ignatius bit his lip as his dad made the call. Imogen was watching a show for now, but in a delay, she might turn and start asking again. The call was interminable! Finally his dad hung up. "Okay, you can go. We'll see you later."

In the doorway, with the door open and outdoors inviting, Ignatius heard Imogen. "Where's Iggy going? Can I go? Why? What's he doing?" He closed the door quickly and ran the two blocks to Isaiah's house. It was impossible to tell if Dad would send her to join him. Best to get out of sight quickly.

In the afternoon, he got home while Imogen was napping. Whew! A little more time to avoid inquiries! When she woke up, he made sure he was in his room reading his comics. Ice-cream was a big secret and he had to keep it!

At 8:00, Mom walked in after her long day on the set. Imogen ran up to her with a hug. "Hey, sweet girl! How was your day?"

Imogen babbled about her favorite show, and helping her dad in the garden. She wasn't expecting anything from Mom, and that told Mom all she needed to know. Mom went back out into the garage, where the big chest-freezer was, and came in with a box of ice-cream treats. "Ignatius?" she called from the kitchen. He came in, and she handed him the first one. "Good job keeping my secret today," she told him, giving him a high-five. "Will you send in your sister?"

Ignatius grinned as he left the kitchen. Success! And ice-cream! From then on, success for him always meant ice-cream.


  1. Kinda unfair to make him keep that secret all day. That's hard with a little sister.

    1. I figure it's a game with Mom while she's away long days.

  2. It's always good to give your kids little tests to see what they can do. And this is a gentle way to teach small lessons.

    1. Yeah, I figure little sister gets a message too, but less of a challenge.


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