Who's Watching the Children?

Flash Fiction based on an experience I witnessed at McDonalds this evening...

"Do you like cookies and ketchup?"

I looked down to see a little girl about 5 years old pumping ketchup into a white paper cup. She lined it up with five other filled cups on the counter, licked some excess ketchup off her fingers and then reached for another cup.

"I like cookies and ketchup," she said pumping the next cup full.

"Alicia! Come here now!" called a woman standing in line to place her order.

She looked at me as if I were some kind of pervert who had enticed her daughter into a conversation.

I finished filling my cup with Diet Coke as the child reached for another cup and began pumping. "Do you want some ketchup?" she asked.

"Alicia! I said come here," called her mother again.

Alicia ignored her and continued filling the cup. "You want some ketchup?" she asked again, setting one of the white cups on my tray.

"Thank you," I said.

Alicia's mother stepped out of line, stormed across the room and snatched her daughter away, leaving 7 little white paper cups filled with ketchup sitting in a neat row on the stainless steel counter.

As she passed, the woman gave me a dirty look.

So, I guess it was my fault that her daughter was talking to a stranger.

Wake up people!

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(Copyright© 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

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