Rendezvous at Pier 5

Hold up your hand if you’ve ever regifted an item. Maybe it was that gaudy touch-lamp your in-laws surprised you with at Christmas. Or perhaps the birthday sweater Aunt June presented and said “IT’S SO YOU!” And to make her happy, you tried it on even though you’re morally opposed to argyle.

It’s always nice to have two or three of these not-so-precious gifts on hand in case an occasion blindsides you, or if the recipient is someone you’re really not crazy about. Don’t you just love that priceless expression when they unwrap your gift and the word “Ohhh…” tumbles from their lips and crashes to the floor?

If you’re new to Friday Flash Fiction, the regifter of weekly photo prompts is Tomte Gnomo Wisoff-Fields. If you’d like to participate in this exercise of madness, head over to her blog for step-by-step instructions. To view the ensemble of practicing fic-titioners in the writers in FFF Hollywood Squares Authors Block click here.

copyright – Ted Strutz

Shelley recognized Pavel by the scar across his cheek. He introduced the other man as Niko.

“Did you bring them?” asked Pavel.

“Yes. They’re right here.” Shelley patted her bag.

“Come. I must see the merchandise.”

He led her aboard a small yacht, opened the bag, and dumped the contents on a table.

“Look!” He waved a Do-Not-Remove tag at Niko. “These were torn from their stitches, not cut. The work of a bold patriot!”

“Maybe so,” Shelley whispered. “But I feel like a traitor.”

Pavel arched one eyebrow. “Do you want to choose who wins the election, or not?”

41 Comments on “Rendezvous at Pier 5

  1. Dear Pavel the Regifter,

    These story-lines must be keeping you up at night. At least that’s what I said. On the other hand I might not have said it.
    My kids’ faces used to fall every year when they opened the annual sweatsuits from Grandma. There there were the flannel shirts my SIL gave Jan every year in colors and patterns to make the strongest stomach somersault. But my all time favorite was asking for art supplies and got a huge kiddie set from my MIL. I regifted it to my granddaughter (unused) two years ago. She was five at the time and delighted.
    I have nothing more to say. I lift my garden light to you and say Na Zdarovya, I mean L’chaim,

    Tomte Gnomo W(T)F

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dear Tomte Gnomo W(T)F,

    I never worry about story-lines. I just wait for somebody to regift me an idea then I run with it. I can’t say I’m upset with Shelley for trying to meddle in the upcoming elections–I’m pretty sure we’re both rooting for the same side.

    BTW – if you raised your hand at the start of the intro you can lower it now.

    Pavel the Regifter

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pavel… you kill me with your intros. Tomte Gnomo? Like, how the hell did you stumble upon that one, eh? Re-gift? Moi? Never… But my MIL sure loved to… ugh.

    And, I will approve of all these shenanigans if you will be choosing a good leader…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      I hope you looked up Tomte (I merely added the Gnomo part). I’m sure your MIL only regifted you the finest objects in her collection.

      As far as meddling in the next election goes, I’m afraid we’re all in Shelley’s tiny (but competent) hands.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Dear Russell,

        Of course I had to look it up! I just wonder how it ended up in your vocabulary (I love when that happens, by the way). Oh, no. My MIL regifted shit she found in the garbage. Sad story, indeed.

        Oh dear.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I looked up gift givers (other than Santa Claus) and found this gem. Tomte is a wee person, so a perfect fit for our hostess.


  4. It’s amazing how many bottles of wine I get gifted for various occasions and I can’t drink the stuff. They do make an excellent re-gift though. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good to know what’s going on behind the scenes. As for regifting I HAD a friend who was tee total but when she got given alcohol she kept it. An increasingly large quantity of unopened liquor bottles were tantalisingly left down there beside her sofa and not a drop was drunk.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As a totally disinterested non-spectator on the other side of The Great Water, I am delighted to say I have no idea what any of this means. I half-expected (a full expectation is beyond me at my age) to see Pierre peering from the pier, but was denied even that small plaisir.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The majority of Americans don’t understand how Russian meddling/intervention works. After writing this post, I’ll probably have to testify before a congressional committee.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Fantastic last line. Do we all get a chance to choose who wins an election? Can you give us more info on this? Okay, no, I see that would have you up before some sort of committee.
    And regifting is fine, as long as you don’t get caught.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let’s just hope the Russians don’t poison me like they did those folks in England. I wonder if those ex-spies were guilty of regifting. Danger lurks around every bend.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Does donating gifts to charity qualify as regifting? The people closest to me know that I don’t like getting presents, and that I rarely give anyone presents either.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reading the comments is more fun than reading the story this week, although I enjoyed that, too. I’m just wondering what Shelley was taking the tags from–mattresses? Pillows? MAGA hats? In any case, I’m curious to know how doing so will win an election. . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Shelley (in her mime costume) breaks into people’s house and steal the tags from mattresses, pillows, and furniture. How the Russians will use these to swing the election, I don’t know, but perhaps we’ll find out. Stay tuned.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I was once re-gifted a Laura Ashley toiletries set – above five years after the firm went out of business. I didn’t say anything, I was quite nicely brought up. But I can do chilly like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve no idea what your story is about, but my guess is it’s topical. And Trumpical, perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not familiar with the Laura Ashley toiletry sets. Did it come with a brush & plunger?

      Yes, this story about about the Russians meddling in our elections. Trump will probably deport Shelley–or worse.


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