An offering for Daily Flash Fiction evoking this mother's memory of a curious son.
|A Shiny Red Button Christopher actually didn't mind going to the big mall for shopping. Sure, his Mom dragged him along because she liked the idea of a sale and he was too young to leave alone at home. He was six and he liked to run, and hide behind the giant sparkling Christmas trees. He and his mother understood the rules of this game. Once they were safely inside and away from vehicle traffic, Mom would let go of his squirming hand. With a quick backward glance, a grinning Christopher dodged and skipped around the shuffling shoppers. He always stopped behind the nearest tree, trembling, and holding his breath. Hearing the loud 'Boo' still caused him to jump. Chris loved to hear Mommy's laugh. Today, Christopher scurried ahead to the looming escalator and hopped onto the first step. As he slowly dropped towards the next level, he stared intently at the bottom steps disappearing into the floor. Where did they go? They seemed to fold and flatten before they quietly slipped away. Where was Mom? He stumbled back up a few steps to prolong his ride. Hearing his name called in a familiar voice, Chris let the silver stairs pull him down to a red shiny button on the polished handrail. What was this for? Just as he reached and pressed it, his Mom shouted, "Don't!" Suddenly, the red button was flashing a bright light and his ears hurt because of a screeching siren. Christopher stood frozen. What just happened? Amidst his confusion, he sensed that the escalator had stopped. Like him the metal steps were frozen. A still surprised boy was scooped up and whisked away by his mother scolding, "Red means stop." (285 words)|