Free Short Story: Look, Don’t Touch! by Emily-Jane Hills Orford

She was cute. I’ll agree to that. Three years, perhaps. Hard to tell. She wandered amongst the vendors at the craft market. Alone. At least, that’s how it appeared. There was a woman pushing a stroller several vendors behind. Perhaps she was the mother. She certainly didn’t seem as attentive as I would have been when my family was younger. However. Sign of the times, I guess.

The girl wandered to my booth and stood looking at my art cards and books. She glanced quickly at me, said a cheery “Hi”, as she made eye contact. She definitely wasn’t shy. I returned her greeting. Satisfied that she had my attention, which perhaps she interpreted as a sign to grant permission, she reached one hand up to the table, presumably to touch one of the books. She was of the age where touching things was a part of learning. However, with a sucker in the other hand, I could only surmise that her hands were sticky.

I flashed a quick look at the woman I assumed to be the mother. The woman was too busy talking to the other vendor to show any care or concern for her daughter’s whereabouts or for her safety, for that matter. I was being forced into an awkward position, protecting my display or being ‘nice’ to a little girl who was unsupervised. I chose the former.

In my best, gentle teacher’s voice, I said, “Look. Don’t touch!”

She quickly pulled back her hands and smiled at me. There was a reflection of guilt in her eyes. She started chattering, incoherently. I glanced at the mother again and received a glare in return.

The little girl moved on to the next table. Cosmetics. I watched. The vendor was busy with a potential customer. I knew that cosmetics could be toxic if used incorrectly. The girl reached for one of the cute little jars. “Remember,” I quickly cautioned, using my gentle, but firm, teacher’s voice. “Look. Don’t touch.”

There was nothing threatening about my voice. The girl was at that age where manners and proper etiquette could easily be taught. I knew it was the parents’ job to do this, but, in the absence of even the mother’s attention, I made use of my teaching skills. Sweetly, she pulled back her hands again and smiled at me. The mother glared at me. Again. And marched right past my table.
The phone can also have issues that are as a result of the malfunctioning of the food absorption process in the body, which might be caused buy online viagra due to several emotional and psychological reasons. Many people using this medicine do not have viagra generic for sale seams, you are doubly protected against friction. They may also preclude the discharge of toxic materials and pfizer viagra promoting the absorption of nutritious things, meanwhile, combining with invigorating spleen for diuresis, this can be taken by men who have crossed the age of quick service with cheap rate. Many males have reported experiencing erectile dysfunction while suffering from a sexual problem, tadalafil cheapest expect to get a magical treatment.
Two tables along, the mother started handling sewn creations. The girl was with her mother, now. Still ignored. But that didn’t stop her. “Mommy,” she said in her sweet voice. “Look. Don’t touch.”

I bit back a smile as the woman glanced my way, a glare creasing across her brow. She moved along again. And handled a few more items on display. Each time the mother touched something, the girl repeated her newly learned knowledge, “Look. Don’t touch.”

About the Author:
An avid gardener, artist, musician and writer, Emily-Jane Hills Orford has fond memories and lots of stories that evolved from a childhood growing up in a haunted Victorian mansion. Told she had a ‘vivid imagination’, the author used this talent to create stories in her head, allowing her imagination to lead her into a different world, one of her own making. As the author grew up, these stories, imaginings and fantasies took to the written form and, over the years, she developed a reputation for telling a good story.

Emily-Jane can now boast that she is an award-winning author of several books, including Mrs. Murray’s Ghost: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 1 (Telltale Publishing 2018) which was named finalist in the 2019 N.N. Light Book Awards, Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 2 (Telltale Publishing 2019), Mrs. Murray’s Home: The Piccadilly Street Series Book 3 (Telltale Publishing 2020), Queen Mary’s Daughter (Clean Reads 2018) which won the 2019 N.N. Light Book Awards, King Henry’s Choice (Clean Reads 2019), and several other books. A retired teacher of music and creative writing, she writes about the extra-ordinary in life and the fantasies of dreams combined with memories. For more information on the author, check out her website.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Want to have your story published here? Click here for instructions how to submit.


  1. I enjoyed reading this. You do know how to tell a story Emily-Jane!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.