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one-hundred-sixty-one-word story

Bethany’s eyes lit up and her mouth gaped as she squealed her amusement. It was but a quiet peep in that moment, but in her head it made the whole scene that much more hilarious. She slapped both hands up to her face, burying her grin, but her laughter was unmistakeable. Through spread fingers, her eyes beamed her delight.

It was more attention than Bethany was comfortable with, especially at an event well above her grade. She retreated to the fruit platter and the chocolate fountain, and later to small conversations in corners here and there. Still, the effect of Bethany’s expressive reaction continued rippling through the social fabric of the banquet hall. Even though the general prattle had predictably returned to film fests and acquisitions and travel and politics, everyone was chortling more convincingly and smiling a little longer.

“You were right,” said Carter.

“Our budding socialite daughter is a hit,” Anya replied proudly. “Aren’t you glad the babysitter canceled?”

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