A to Z 2016 · Fiction

X is for “Xavier’s Long Run”

Short scene. Here’s the prompt:

He got horribly sunburned. How did this happen? Write the scene from the point of view of someone who expected this would happen, and had warned him.


Who best to warn someone about being sunburned? Your mother, of course.



Xavier’s Long Run

“Xavier got burnt, Xavier got burnt! Silly, stupid Xavier got burnt!” Sadie danced around the bathroom, giggling.

“Hush, Sadie, that’s not nice.” I ushered her out of the room. “Though, she has a point.”

Xavier’s face screwed into a scowl. “This really hurts, Mom.”

“You poor baby,” I exaggerated a pout while I dug around the bathroom closet. “I’m not sure you’ll ever survive this. Whatever shall we do?”

He started to pull off his tank top, and it was even more clear just how much color he had achieved. His shoulders and arms were almost a scary shade of red.

“Jeez, honey, what did I tell you before you went out?”

Xavier tipped his head. “I… well, I really wasn’t listening.” He sat on the side of the tub, and his running shorts rode up enough to see the same color extended down his legs.

I sighed. “I know you have to run and all, but can’t you at least take a little bottle of sunscreen with you?”

“I put some on before I left…”

I gaped at him. “You were gone for almost three hours! It’s not sweatproof for that long!”

“But, Mom, the marathon is in three weeks!” he whined. “I needed the run, I’m in training!”

“Don’t I know it,” I muttered as I tossed him the aloe bottle. His dietary needs have been making grocery shopping … complicated. “Just, keep putting more on. Oh, and Xavier?”

Head down applying aloe, barely listening as usual. “Hmm?”

I slapped his shoulder and he jerked up, shrieking in pain, and fell backward into the tub. “Listen to your mother next time.”


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