The peddler on the side had toys, which no one wanted to buy. He whisked out a tiny plastic tube from his bag.
A pair of curious eyes watched as he dipped it in a soapy solution. Soon, a crowd of awestruck street children had stopped their play short to watch the bubbles-so many of those reflecting circles, white and blue nothings, gliding gracefully out of the garish fluorescent tube and floating into the sky.
The peddler’s poise changed, he took the form of an action hero frozen mid air. Pride filled in his tiny frame as his eyes took in all the attention.
“Do it once again,” they begged. “Please!”
The last of the little bubbles had burst, leaving behind nothing but a memory of its graceful glide in the air and a watery drop.
The peddler obliged. Once again, the street was filled with the luminous bubbles that the children reached out to touch. Slightly disappointed by the way they burst when a curious finger touched them, they felt no heartbreak- they simply reached out to the next translucent globe of light.
A car suddenly screeched to a halt on the other side of the street. The window rolled down. The peddler was rudely called.
Within the car sat a father and his son. “I wannnt the bubble maker!” the child wailed frustratingly.
“Give it to him!” the father said with all impoliteness in his tone.
The peddler reached into his bag and took out a plastic tube and its soapy solution.
“This is broken! Look! There’s a crack!” said the man in the car.
“It was the last piece sir… Unless, unless little sir here would like mine.” The peddler squeaked, barely audible.
The man nodded and snatched the tube that was the peddler’s own. He thrust ten rupees in his hand.
The street children watched quietly as the little boy stepped out of the car. He thrust the fluorescent tube in his mouth. A string of bubbles came flying out, with astonishing speed. The bubbles were deformed and tiny. The burst almost as soon as they emerged from the tube.
They didn’t glide and gleam in the light.
The street children watched from the corner, their hearts twisting in envy, as the boy walked away with the cheap garish fluorescent tube that made miracles.
The one they loved so much. They stared-till the last of the tiny bubbles burst.