Saturday, December 5, 2015

(Yo) Ho Ho Ho (Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge)

You know when you drop a handful of change or a couple of bills in the red Salvation Army pot that the money is going to a legitimate charity. The donation box at your church is not likely to be a scam, either.

But it seems every business has a gift collection out for its customers to contribute during the holiday season, and not all of them are as well-intentioned as the Santa-capped bell-ringers on the street corner downtown.

While the spark for the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge prompt this week may not have been tide of giving that surges each year in December, it ran into my own suspicions about a charity program I saw last week in a shop:

December 2, 2015 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a pirate story. It can be about pirates or piracy; modern or of yore. Swashbuckling, parrots and rum can be involved or maybe you’ll invent details beyond standard pirates.

Charity is an important civic virtue; you need not have a particular religious belief to see its value to your community or yourself. But the people who take advantage of our charitable urges are no less thieves than those who plied their trade on the high seas.

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(Yo) Ho Ho Ho

The donations in his coffee-shop "Christmas Gift for Africa" box kept mounting. Each time Jeremy checked, the colorful poster behind it with its soulful photos of needy children had garnered more money.

So far, this particular holiday drive was doing better than the "Relief for Earthquake Victims" and "Kids With Cancer" combined. It seemed it would be a very merry Christmas indeed. For Jeremy.

Going with the theme, Jeremy ordered a rum-raisin muffin to go with his espresso, connected to the coffee-shop's WiFi, and prepared to spend his stolen gains online, where all the best pirates hang out nowadays.