Family Fiction posted October 8, 2019

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An unexpected gift

Daddy's Christmas

by Rikki66

December 1956 daddy was spending his third Christmas in Japan. Me, mama and Beckey were spending our second. Daddy was a mess sergeant at the Officers Mess, Camp Hakata.

Mama was buying daddy clothing for Christmas, original thinking, shirts, socks, and ties. Beckey picked him out a cigarette lighter at the P.X. (post exchange) mama paid, it was a ZIPPO, which dad didn't have.

Note: in the mid-nineteen-fifties, it was hard to find anyone that did not smoke. Smoking was accepted everywhere, except the post-theater, though it was acceptable in Japanese theater. By the way, cigarettes cost a dime for Americans less for Japanese. When one went to the movies all the stars smoked, except the cowboys were too busy singing. End of note back to the story.

Having spent my allowance upon trivialities I opted to make daddy an ashtray. Using my Cub Scout Handbook on whittling and my scout knife I began my project. First a piece of wood, driftwood found on the shore of the bay. I whittled and carved until by Christmas I had a wooden semblance of an ashtray. That dad loved.

Come Christmas morning among the toys I received was a bright yellow bus, the front and backlights flashed and set of center wheels turned all around. On the floor the bus would never be stopped; in a corner, it would back out and go another way.

Daddy had not seen the bus when mama bought it so he was as mesmerized as I was.

You never know the present that will spark

Club entry for the "250-word story" event in "Flash Fiction and Short Shorts".  Locate a writing club.
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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