15 days 15 minutes---flash fiction, flash poetry
Remy Joseph tried to be inconspicous and nonchalant as he walked into the Caribbean Grocery Mart . His mother had sent him to buy some sodas and juice, but his hands were shaking and his palms were sweaty from his true intentions for being here.
He inched closer to the revolving rack of comic books that Mr. Balmir kept well-stocked in the store. There were Archies, and Superman, but what Remy loved most was the adventures of the Red Knight. He was powerful and supreme, a true super hero, but under the costume, his real identity was a young Haitian teenager, living in South Florida. A few years older perhaps, but Haitian, just like him.
Remy couldn't afford the comic books and tried reading as much as he dared before Mr. Balmir shooed him out of the store. But he wanted this issue, and acting quickly, seeing no one around, he shoved the comic book into his backpack, then went to gather the items his mother had requested.
Nervously, he finished at the cash register, sure he was going to get away with his theft. But just at the door Mr. Balmir placed himself at that door and said, "Remy, can you show me what's in your backpack today?".
"Oh, I really must get back home," Remy sputtered.
"Remy", said Carl Balmir, "I know what is in your pack, your maman would not be happy to know how it got there, oui?".
Remy hung his head feeling himself turning as red from shame as the armor of the Red Knight himself.
"Remy, if you want those comic books so badly, I will let you have them for free, in exchange for something I want you to do for me. My wife teaches at your school and she tells me you are a bright but lazy student. She tells me you are the best speller in the school. I want you to come every week for spelling lessons and drills. In exchange you may have every new issue of your beloved Red Knight.
And so an agreement was reached.
Six months later, Remy Joseph, stood at the podium of the National Spelling Bee in Washinton D.C. It was the final round, he had gone through words like synecdoche, sacerdotal, phlebotomy, effluent. Now there was him and one opponent, the word
The girl before him stood and spelled, S-H-E-E-V-A-L--I-E-R---the buzzer sounded---"that is incorrect."
Remy stepped to the microphone. In the front row he could see his maman and Mr. and Mrs. Balmir. But he looked further to the very back, and in the distance could see the red armor, the sword, as he spelled C-H-E-V-A-L-I-E-R, and the Red Knight smiled.