ARGH! I made it only seven days before I’ve broke my own length parameter. This story is 50 words too long, but since this kind of grammatical quarrel is a hill I have died on many a time, I somehow couldn’t manage to cut it any further…
The Giving of Gifts
May I help the next guest?
Uh — yes. I’m looking for the perfect present.
Delightful. May I ask to whom you plan to gift it, madam?
I… sorry, I’m actually looking for a present. For my girlfriend.
Exactly. Well, this is extremely tasty gingerbread, madam. I’m sure your girlfriend will be thrilled to be gifted such a delicious item.
What the hell? Gifted?
I’m sorry, madam. You don’t like gingerbread?
That’s not it at all. It’s just — you keep saying ‘gifting’. It’s giving. I’ll be giving her the gingerbread as a present.
Whatever you say madam.
I mean, it’s not a word. Gifted. Gift is a noun. The verb form is gave.
I fear you are wrong, madam. I myself have gifted on many occasions.
Okay, okay — I am wrong. Gifted is a word. But only in adjectival usage. Gifted at math. Gifted at piano.
We no longer sell pianos, madam.
That’s not my point!
And your point is, madam?
The point is, I refuse to gift anyone anything.
It’s been a pleasure serving you, madam.
No — no, don’t leave. My girlfriend loves gingerbread.
As much as she loves English-usage pedants?
The beauty of English is its versatility, madam. Parts of speech are a slippery slope.
I just want to buy this gingerbread, okay?
Repeat after me, madam. ‘I plan to gift this gingerbread…’
I— I don’t think I can do it.
How can I help you, sir?
No! No — don’t leave me.
I beg your pardon, madam, but I believe this gentleman was next.
<whispers> ‘I plan to gift this gingerbread to my girlfriend…’
One moment, sir. I seem to have forgotten to ring through this lady’s gingerbread. I’ll be with you in just a moment. One cannot stand in the way of such generous gifting, can one?
For the month of December, my goal is to post a piece of festive flash fiction here to the blog every day. Twenty-five stories, each 250 words or fewer — a little fictional festivity to brighten the darkest month of the year. For readers, I offer these stories as a moment of peace within a hectic month of busy. And writers? If you’d like to join me, I’ll feature any flash fiction you’d like to share!