At a church dinner, a precocious girl about three appeared at Michael’s side. She looked over the wheelchair then patted his longest leg stump. With total innocence, she asked, “Why don’t you grow new legs like Pinocchio grew a new nose?”
Michael laughed, “Pinocchio didn’t lose his nose like I lost my legs. The nose he had grew longer. A man can’t grow new legs.”
“Why don’t you wear those fake ones I’ve seen you walk on?”
“Because they aren’t good substitutions for my real ones. They make sores on my stumps.”
“Oh. Will you give me a ride?”
Written in response to D. Avery’s February 4, 2021, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that features a substitution. How might a character or situation be impacted by a stand-in? Bonus points for fairy tale elements. Go where the prompt leads.