New flash fiction from Charlie Wirth

Pre Pre-School

What can kids possibly learn from the school before pre-school? I learned one thing: How to play with toy dinosaurs.

There was one thing on my mind: get to the coolest dinosaur before anyone else could. Sitting at tables with crinkly paper and watercolor trays shaped like a longed traffic light was not the most exciting part to a male toddler's brain. What could I even draw at that age? A semi-yellow sun, faded rainbow, and a cave-man-art-inspired person? It was all about the action figures, and it only took a small human's brain to make them come alive.

As soon as arts and crafts time ended, the teacher had to play the cruelest game of all; dismiss the most angel-faced, well-behaved children sitting perfectly in their mini chairs one by one to the play area. Torture. It was ok if a girl was dismissed, they didn't usually run to the dinosaurs, but if a boy got to go ahead then there was the only hope that they had the building blocks mentality.

My mom must have dressed me extra cute that day because I was one of the first to be freed. I ran as fast as my little legs could take me, slamming my knees onto the faded carpet in front of the wicker basket full of plastic toy dinosaurs. I don't think real dinosaurs were all one solid color, shiny, and had their mouth open all the time. That didn't matter, because They seemed more real than anything else could be at that age.

* Charlie Wirth is a creative writing student at Concordia University St. Paul. Some of his works are forthcoming in the Cynic Online Magazine.

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