Flash Fiction: Today’s Children

“Today’s children should be taught the value of hard work and right thinking. Don’t you agree, Mrs. Jonell?”

Beatrice Suzanne Jonell nodded her head at the suited man on her davenport. His shoulders blocked some of her afternoon program but she watched anyway. She grunted her agreement and tapped the end of her Lady Slims cigarette into the brown ashtray at her elbow.

“Society just isn’t what it used to be and if you’ll pardon me for saying so, I think it’s all going to Hell.” The green suited man paused.

Beatrice nodded. The program was really heating up and she itched to adjust the volume. A clatter of fallen dishes from the kitchen dragged her attention away and she yelled something towards the noise. The man cleared his throat.

“It’s quite reasonable, actually. With increased government funding many of my clients wonder why they didn’t get started sooner.”

Another clatter and another reprimand from Beatrice. Her eyes wandered over the man. He really was getting in the way of her routine. What if he stayed until three o’clock or all the way through episode one of Real Danger season five?

“With a 15 year commitment, I can guarantee at the end of our term you will get back one certifiably hard working, right-thinking and obedient son.”

Beatrice nodded and grunted and flicked her cigarette.

“Thank you Mrs. Jonell, you won’t be disappointed.”

The suited man re-packed his briefcase and collected the boy. He squirmed more than the others. The man put a note on the boys’ file. They’d address that in the program.

Closing the van doors he took in all twelve of the children filling his vehicle. To think, there had been a time when the parents actually raised them. He chuckled as he drove away.

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5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Today’s Children

    1. Thanks for reading! I can’t decide which is worse; the apathetic parent who sits by while her child is rounded up or the worker who goes door to door collecting children. I may end up creating a longer story around this just to see where it goes ^_^

      1. inkbiotic

        That would be really interesting. When reading it set me thinking: is the mum apathetic because that’s what’s expected? or because she has locked away her heartbreak so she doesn’t have to feel it? And the child-collector – just doing his job? Or enjoying his job? You’ve conjured up many questions – like good fiction always does.

      2. Brilliant ^_^ you’ve seen some extra layers here and got my creative wheels spinning. Thanks!
        My first thought when writing this was a sort of “Brazil” inspired dystopian world. Everyone is so absorbed by their devices of entertainment that the process of raising children has become a private enterprise. Companies vie for the opportunity to raise and mold children for a fee until they are returned as adults to their family.
        I love your insight, thanks!

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