Flash Fiction by Raquel Swann
“Dad, did you not get the promotion because you are lighter skinned and they needed more darker men in management,” a little boy asked with a silly smile smeared on his face.
“Hahahahahaha!” Laughed an older man, most likely the boy’s father. His big belly jiggled with delight as he continued to chuckle.
“I knew you would laugh at that, daddy.”
“You must’ve taken history class today.”
“Yeah. We learned ’bout the beginning of the 21st century today. I knew you would think that was funny,” replied the boy. His tiny high pitched voice made his joke all the more funnier.
“You know your grandfather used to tell stories that his father told him. It was a time when people thought that the color of your skin actually meant something. It was really sad,” said the boy’s father taking on a more serious tone.
“Yeah, Mrs. Farrell told us that there was killing, and fighting, and arguments. Certain groups not wanting darker skin humans to live next to them.”
“Jared, people always fear what they don’t know. It’s human nature. Take these dirty off-worlders, for instance. They came here because they messed up their own planet, now they want to trash up ours. Can’t stand em’. I don’t hate em’. Just know they’re no good.”
“Mrs. Farrell believes that they should be treated equally and have the same rights as humans do,” the boy said with sincerity wrapped around some confusion. He looked to his father for the answers.
“That’s a dumb thing to tell children. Us humans need to stick together. Off-worlders should not live in our neighborhoods, shop at our stores, go to our schools. They commit more crimes, they are dirty, they take our jobs, they are just a bunch of zangers.”
“Dad, that’s a bad word. Mrs-”
“I don’t give a shit about that zanger lovin’ teacher of yours. Tell her I said she can go live in their neighborhoods and get out of here!”
“Dad, one of my friends is an off-worlder, he is-”
“Son, you’re grounded. I don’t want you hanging ‘ out with their like. Go to your room.”