In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Flangiprop!.”

Hope Cahill was facing the biggest predicament of her life. On the world’s biggest scavenger hunt, she’d been chased by the Japanese Yakuza, been buried alive in a cave in Korea, and had been poisoned, but nothing had made her feel as desperate as she felt at this moment.

Her son, Daniel, had learned how to pronounce syllables. He’d already said “milk” and “food” and even something that sounded suspiciously like “ninja”. However, no matter, how hard she tried, she could not get him to say “mom” or “dad”.

God knew why.

“Come on, Danny! Say ‘Mommy’,” she coaxed. He stared at her innocently, as if she were some sort of interesting toy, and he didn’t understand a word she was saying. “MO-MII!”

Dan just blinked. Hope sighed, dejected. What did it take? He could tell the difference between his dad and his uncle. What did it take to process two syllables? Two simple syllables!

At that moment, his father came in. “I am beat!” he announced before flopping down on the couch. Hope turned toward him despite her depression, adjusting Dan on her lap so he faced his father. Dan immediately began sucking on a thumb.

“See that, sweetie?” she whispered in his ear. “That’s your Daddy. Say ‘Daddy’.”

“Aren’t you going to ask why I’m so tired?” Arthur asked. “What are you and Danny conspiring?”

“Danny’s saying syllables!” she announced. Arthur stared at them wide eyed.


Hope nodded.

Together, they tried to get him to say words. Simple words like “milk” and “books”. And even though Dan had said half of these words before, he did not pronounce a single word while they were at it. He just stared at them like they were from outer space. Finally, they gave up.

“So what did you do today that you’re so beat?” Hope asked Arthur, understanding that Dan was in no way going to play along as long as they were paying complete attention to that.

Arthur plopped back onto the couch. “I had to fling the props. All of them,” he said rolling his eyes. Hope gazed at him understandingly. A few minutes passed by in silence.

“FLANGIPROP!” Dan exclaimed.

His parents turned to him instantly.

“Did he just say ‘fling the prop’?” Arthur said.

“FLANGIPROP!” Dan exclaimed again and almost jumped from Hope’s lap into Arthur’s arms. Once there, he continued to chant the word while poking at Arthur’s chest with his tiny fingers.

Hope and Arthur looked at each other, flabbergasted. “So, that’s ‘Dad’, now?” he said. And then they burst out laughing.

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