Having a Hat On

I have no idea what to post today. And, of course, when in doubt the best reply is flash fiction, so here it is: a story about having a hat on.

It wasn’t big, or fluffy, or noticeable. My hat was just a hat, and I was just wearing it.

So why did everyone keep staring at me?

I nodded at the tourists as I passed by, and they stuck their cameras in my faces and clicked the flash as if I was an object or a statue or something that wasn’t a person. They were standing right next to Big Ben and the Londond Eye and all of that, but all they wanted to take pictures of was me and my hat.

I went to Sainsburys to grab a pint of milk. My mum asked me to get it so she could bake a cake or somesuch, but I couldn’t get into the shop. Therewas a security man standing there, barring my way like he was afraid that I wasn’t going in to buy a pint of milk but to unleashe the zombie apocalypse by the power of my headwear. I asked him what was so wrong with me, so horrific, that he wouldn’t let me past, but he just shook his head and called for back-up.

They called the police. I got arrested for causing a disturbance. I kept asking and asking and asking what was wrong with my hat — because it was definitely the hat that everyone was staring at, horrified — but no one would tell me. No one would talk at me. No one would look at me except to stare at my bloody hat.

Mum came to bail me out of gaol. She wasn’t impressed when she found out I hadn’t bought the milk, but she was even less impressed when she saw me.

“Ellie,” she said, “Ellie, my dear. That isn’t a hat. It isn’t a hat at all.”

“Then what have I put on my head?” I asked her. “Mummy, what silly thing have I done?”

“Well, my dearest, it’s a silly thing you’ve done. You’ve gone and put on your head a gun.”

I’m sorry. I am so, so, so terribly sorry. I couldn’t imagine what she’d put on her head, and when that rhyme, as grammatically questionable as it may be, came into my head, I couldn’t stop myself. I wholeheartedly apologise.

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