55 Fiction

“The World’s Shortest Stories” yearly contest

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The Exiled Elf

They say magic is in the air around Christmas time and this story is proof that elves have feelings too. My other Christmas story is “Tangible Proof.”

Michael was working the customer service desk when the angry couple approached and began their tirade.

“We want to return this, it’s not what it claimed to be, it’s an imitation, a cheap fake.”

The woman pulled a receipt from her purse, flattened it out on the counter with both hands. The man opened a paper bag in front of Michael and poured out the contents. A set of steak knives bound together by a single thick blue rubber band, the kind a bunch of broccoli has wrapped around its stalks, fell onto the glass counter top.

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Michael stared blankly at the couple. “That’s a set of steak knives. How can they be fake?”

The man was indignant in his response. “They were not made in Solengen, Germany. Instead of being chrome-plated steel, they’re just plain old stainless steel. See here, it’s inscribed on the side of the blade.”

Michael read the words as instructed. He did not question the couple, instead said, “This is a thrift store, not a downtown mall store. We don’t claim to have any brand names and, besides, all sales are final.”

The man raised his head like a rooster about to strut in order to emphasize the depths of his self righteousness. “We paid for Solengen, we did not get Solengen, therefore we want our money back.”

In retail, discretion is usually the better part of valor even if the customer is dead wrong. On the one hand, Michael was about to emphasize the store’s no-return policy,

This story is 16 pages long, available in PDF format.

All novels and short stories on this site are works of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. ©NetNovels 2010-2018