The Once and Future Hot Potato (Excerpt) we had to play Let's Pretend. Molly put the racquetball away and held up her empty hands, palms up. "All right," she said, "here is the potato, Betty, and I am giving it to you." Betty accepted the pretend potato ceremoniously, and even made a show of putting it in her bookbag.

Diana reiterated the rules. "Betty's got the hot potato. She can't give it away until tomorrow--until midnight comes around. After that, anyone she gives it to must accept it. Don't get caught with the hot potato!"

"What does that even mean?" I asked. "Getting caught with it. Normally you stand in a circle and hand it around until someone's mom or dad stops the music. We're not doing that."

"Well," Diana began, "getting caught... means... It means..." Molly rolled her eyes. When Diana started speaking slowly like that, it meant she didn't know the answer to the question, and she was making something up on the spot. "It means that... well, every day--OK! Every day we get the weather report on TV, right? So you know whether it's going to rain tomorrow. If it rains while you have the hot potato, you lose, and a new game starts when you hand it off. And you can't hand it off until it stops raining."

Rain. That's another thing you'll just have to take my word on. It means water that falls from the sky. Meteorology was different before the Quake.
This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for August 14, 2015. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (1285 words) from Patreon in PDF or MP3 format depending on their pledge tier.

Cover art includes original photography by Nicole J. LeBoeuf, who's growing some hot potatoes of her own.

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