For my mailing list subscribers: Free Flash Fiction Short Story

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Kathy Carmichael

Featuring characters from my

Texas Legacy Romantic Comedy series


“The pink snow bunnies from hell are back,” I hissed into the phone while keeping an eye on them. I’d only been filling in at Healthy Herbs for my cousin Diedra for a few days and already these women were giving me the creeps. It wasn’t just what they wore, pink jogging suits, but their perky attitudes grated. That and their unnatural ski-slope tans—or at least that’s where they’d told me they’d gotten their tans when I’d asked. Why on earth were they back to torture me further?

“You’re kidding me,” Bert Brockway replied. He owned the floral shop next door and had been giving me tips whenever I ran into trouble at the herb shop.

“No, I’m deadly serious. This time there’s three of them. All in pink—but at least this time they’re mixing it up. One of them is wearing red earmuffs.”

“Keep an eye on them, Heather. They might be shoplifters.”

“Did you hear what I said?”

“There are three of them today?”

“The part about the earmuffs.”

Bert was silent for a moment. “Earmuffs?”

“It’s got to be ninety degrees outside. This is Texas, for heaven’s sake. Who wears earmuffs in this heat?”

“Odd. Want me to come over? My designer’s here.”

“No. That’s okay. But if you don’t hear from me soon, you might want to make sure everything’s okay.”

With a promise to talk with him later, I disconnected the call. Taking a deep, calming breath first, I left the counter and approached the women with only a little trepidation. At first glance, they didn’t seem the least bit harmful. All three were blond, young and beautiful.

But appearances can be deceiving. The short one bounced up and down so perkily whenever she spoke, and she asked a zillion questions when she was in the shop yesterday, that I was afraid she’d trample me. The tall one spoke with a fake California girl accent, which wasn’t a problem—but she fondled and stroked everything within her reach. I made a mental note to remain out of reach.

But it was my job to assist customers. I’d promised Diedra. Diedra worked for our great aunt, Aunt Lilith, who was out of the country on vacation. Or that’s what she claimed. Personally I believed she was some kind of witch and was probably at a witch university teaching spells. Healthy Herbs made a great cover for someone who was into concocting brews, especially since half the customers who came in asked for elixirs of some type or another—like love elixirs.

Maybe these snow bunnies were part of her coven.

Either way, I needed to assist them.

“Cute outfits,” I said.

“Thanks,” the three replied in unison.

“Is there anything I can help you with?” I asked the short, nosy one.

“I’m sure you have something that will help my friend, Annie.” Again with the hopping up and down. She gestured toward the snow bunny with muffs.

I moved a step back. “What do you need, Annie?”

“I have ringing in my ears,” she yelled, the decibel level vying with that of a jet on takeoff.

“Tinnitus.” I nodded as if I knew something about the problem. I really don’t know much, but one of my sisters had it after getting over the flu. Aunt Lilith gave her an elixir and that fixed Kelli right up.

Annie looked puzzled.

The short snow bunny sighed and bounced in slow motion. “She can’t hear us.”

The tall snow bunny hollered at Annie, “Take off your earmuffs.”

I might need some of Aunt Lilith’s elixir if the shouting didn’t stop.

Annie slid off the muffs. “Sorry. The muffs help a little. Everything seems so loud.”

“If I can find the ingredients, I think Aunt Lilith has something that might cure you. Just give me a minute to look it up.” I hurried back to the counter and pulled Aunt Lilith’s book of herbal recipes from under the counter. The sooner I could sell the snow bunnies something, the sooner they would leave.

Aunt Lilith’s book was well organized, so it didn’t take long to find the recipe for ringing ears—well, except for the fact that the short snow bunny had joined me at the counter and wouldn’t stop chattering and hopping.

“You must love working here.”

“That’s a cool book. Can I buy one?”

“What’s tinnitus?”

“What’s ligustrum?”



And so on.

All I wanted was to ask, “What’s it going to take to shut you up?” But I didn’t. Diedra wouldn’t like it if I ran off the customers. Thankfully, the list of elixir ingredients wasn’t long. I made my way out from behind the counter and could soon make my escape. “Excuse me while I get the herbs.”

The short bunny started to follow me.

I motioned for her to stay where she was. If she kept talking and bouncing, I’d probably be too distracted to get the right items. “Just wait here. It will only take a minute.”

At the fastest clip I could manage in such a small shop filled with so many shelves, I gathered the ingredients, then returned to the counter. In a matter of minutes, I had the elixir ready and rang up the sale.

“Thanks so much for shopping with us,” I said, handing the red muff bunny the vial of Aunt Lilith’s concoction.

“Thank you,” said the tall one. “This place is so awesome, I thought we might stay and look around for a while.”

Oh, gawd. I’d never get rid of them. “I’m sorry, but I’m just about to close for lunch.”

“Supercool,” cooed the short one, grabbing my arm and dragging me toward the door. “You lock up and then we’ll take you to lunch.”

“I found the exact same pink jogging suit we’re all wearing at the shop on the other end of this shopping center,” drawled the tall one, fondling my shoulder. “It’ll be perfect for you.”