The Gift

After 30 minutes of stillness inside this steaming, stinky bus, I promised myself I won’t ride an ordinary bus again. I almost went off until I hear someone quietly sobbing.

The man beside me, a construction worker (I think) wearing dirty green chinos and old faded jeans silently cries as he clutches a plastic bag with his tired-looking hands.

I resisted asking him.

Five minutes passed…

I give up.

“Are you hungry? I have some biscuits here.”

He shakes his head.

I resisted talking.

But he suddenly speaks again.

“Today is my son’s seventh birthday.”

“We never celebrated birthdays.”

“We have no money.”

“But for the first time I was able to save enough to buy his dream ice cream.”

“Our house’s only 10 minutes away.”

“But in this traffic… my son’s ice cream is now turning into a soup.”

His eyes quietly welled up again.

Now so do mine.


Word count: 150

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Ellespeth’s friend

IMPORTANT NOTE: This story is inspired by a real incident I read on Facebook last year.


In response to Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers (FFfAW) February 23, 2016.


  • a flash fiction challenge (stories in 100-175 words or less)
  • each story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end
  • no serial (continuation) stories
  • include a pingback to the challenge post

Thank you for a thought-provoking photo prompt, Priceless Joy!


Read more short stories here:

97 thoughts on “The Gift”

  1. Very nicely done ! and now you got me crying to 😦
    Bah! I really didn’t need this today 😉 Well , I guess I’ll just have to go and find one of your hope and joy filled stories 😀
    Turtle Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Don’t be girl 🙂 It only means that you were able to make us “feel” the emotions of your characters , and that is something to be happy about , plus I’ve been reading some of your more uplifting ones now 😀
        Turtle Hugs 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Fun. It really happened. Not that the father (in true story) is really crying. But the incident of a construction worker dad wanting to give his kid an ice cream for his birthday truly happened.
      I almost cried when I read the story. It’s just sad how traffic can actually affect one’s life.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That is very sad that his son no longer has icecream but soup! Maybe he can freeze it again and make it back into icecream! This was so sad it almost made me cry! But then I thought, why didn’t he buy him a candy bar or something that wouldn’t have melted?? Wonderful story, Rosema!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh they have no freezer. They are so poor that they live in a hut among the squatter’s area. He bought in ice cream because that is his son’s dream for several years now. 🙂

      Thank you for your prompt, PJ, and for your kind touching words! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow creative Rosema, and heart wrenching. I can picture this happening for real. He was able to save just to buy his son ice cream and it seems like the world has turned on him because the ice cream has melted. You feel bad for the kid, but also for the Dad because he was excited to give his son something, to see his reaction. I’d cry too, I can relate to how your speaker empathizes with this man. I wish I could actually be there and be like here, here you go here is the $40.00 I was going to use for dinner out with a friend, you need it much more….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Mandi! That is so kind of you to do. But I would also do the same (though I seldom have extra money. I only bring my fare no more no less, everyday).

      I am glad it has touched you the same way that I want my readers to see this story. I wanted to show how traffic can actually have that kind of big effect on someone.

      Thanks, Mandi!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Awwee.. let’s freeze that ice cream! Now! I’m sure he will always find his son smiling at him with or without ice cream because he’s a such a great father. I love your story, Rosema. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. It will not. This incident happened in real life. The rraffic was unexpecteed as it was a mid-week night. But a big religion hold a humongous rally in a major thoroughfare thus paralyzing the highway. It’s just sad.

      Liked by 1 person

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