Flash fiction for vocabulary acquisition

Mrs. Sanders slipped quietly into the kitchen hoping no one would notice she was home. Her hands were weighted down with her purchases. Her heart jumped when she heard her daughter Carli’s voice.

“Mom, let me help you with those, “ Carli declared, walking into the room.

“No, no! I’ve got it!” Mrs. Sanders stammered. Her nervousness was conspicuous.

Carli reached for the bags. “Don’t be silly, Mom!”

Mrs. Sanders resisted, and the ensuing tug-of-war stretched a plastic bag to its breaking point. It’s incriminating contents hit the floor with a thud. Carli’s mouth gaped in disbelief.

“Mother! You promised you’d be good!”

Mrs. Sanders was so abashed that her face turned as red as the strands of hair on the ginger girl she had seen outside the pharmacy.

“I tried, Carli. Really, I tried! But resisting proved to be harder than I had expected.” Mrs. Sander’s mouth drooped into a grimace, but she did her best to defend her actions. Before leaving the house that morning, she had carefully planned her itinerary. She had avoided several clothing stores, the local Starbucks, and the Barnes and Noble.

“I knew they would be there because I saw a Facebook posting this morning, so I stayed away. But I had to go to the pharmacy. Would you believe, they were there too! The little devils have infiltrated our entire town!”

Carli rolled her eyes. Her arms folded and one foot tapped impatiently against the floor as Mrs. Sanders continued her story.

“I spotted them from the corner of my eye. They were so cute! I decided to only buy one box.”

“That doesn’t look like one box, Mom. You’re an addict! Your need for sugar is insatiable!”

Mrs. Sander’s did not agree. She admitted that desserts were her indulgence, but she insisted she could have avoided her cookie purchase if it were not for the diabolical sales tactics of the Sunbeam Girls. She went on to explain that she had been accosted by the adorable little girl named Kelly. The child’s freckled face was framed by two bright red braids. Kelly’s pleading eyes had looked up at Mrs. Sanders as the girl announced that her troop was only five boxes away from reaching their sales goal.

“Even so, I wasn’t going to be railroaded by that child. My students learn all about these tricks in my Introduction to Sales 101 class. I fully intended to buy only one box.”

“Ha!” Carli laughed in disbelief. “That’s not one box, Mom.”

“I know, but the little trickster went for an upsell.”

As an added incentive, Kelly had informed Mrs. Sanders that her troop was having a sale: five boxes for twenty dollars. In one impulsive moment, Mrs. Sanders had whipped out a twenty and handed it over. She asked for two boxes of Chocolate Delights, two boxes of Mint Melt-a-ways, and a box of Peanut Butter Passions.

Mrs. Sander’s shrugged her shoulders. “I knew what she was doing, but, hey, it was for a good cause.”

Listening in disbelief, Carli pursed her lips. She rested her hands firmly on her skinny hips, mimicking a stance her mother had used many time’s during Carli’s childhood.

“But I guarantee you that I will never fall for that girl’s tricks again!” Mrs. Sanders firmly stated, poking the air with her finger to drive home the point. “She exploited my trust.”

Carli laughed. “Mom, she’s a Sunbeam Girl. Not a used car salesmen.”

Mrs. Sanders explained that as she had walked away with five boxes of cookies, she had heard the little imp call out to her next victim. “We’re only five boxes away from our sales goal, Mister.”

Carli looked down at the floor and counted the boxes of cookies. “Well, mother. if they were selling five boxes for twenty dollars, how did you end up with seven boxes?”

Mrs. Sander’s sighed. “Well, they were out of Mint Melt-A-Ways. The kid already had my twenty. It was too late to back out of the deal. When I left the pharmacy, I drove over to Walmart, and lo and behold, another troop was there too!

Carli’s eyebrows raised. Her eyes widened as she focused on her mother’s story.

Mrs. Sanders continued. At the entrance to Walmart a little girl with a long, blond ponytail had greeted her. A bright yellow beret sat atop her head and a smile beamed from her face.

“Hello” the child had said sweetly. “Can you help us meet our sales goal? We only need to sell five more boxes.”

“Save it girl! I’m not buying that line!” Mrs. Sanders had shouted angrily. She wasn’t about to be duped a second time. But, she was unprepared for what came next.

The little girl had looked up at her and said slyly, “But we have Mint Melt-a-ways!”

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Reading teachers are familiar with "high interest low level" stories designed for use with middle school and high school students who are struggling readers. Glisam® Language Arts Solutions takes a different approach to help students build their reading skills. We publish flash fiction stories of under 1000 words, but we use a high concentration of advanced vocabulary words within our stories. Students with attention deficit  disorder will appreciate how quickly the stories can be read. When used with the supplemental materials, students will be able to build their vocabulary quickly and improve reading comprehension. Many Glisam® stories are available on the Teacherspayteachers.com website, and many of the stories have audio versions available on Youtube.com for differentiated instruction. We hope you will check out all our stories. Enjoy!

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