Short story about the entrepreneurial hi-jinx of two young boys.
Just a short (~2 pages printed) story I wrote for my mom for Mother’s Day.
“Mom! I’m going with Rob to his house to get supplies!”
Mrs. Conway looked up from her desk. The clock said 11:30.
“Danny, come in here.”
“But Mom, I hafta hurry!,” he yelled back.
“Hurry where?,” she asked as she walked down the hall, only to find him in his Sunday clothes standing in the half-open front door.
“Close that door until we finish talking. It’s almost lunchtime, and where do you think you are going dressed like that?”
“Rob’s mom is makin’ lunch, we’re opening a lemonade stand. Gotta dress nice for the customers.”
Mrs. Conway rolled her eyes. “Okay, go on. But please don’t you mess up those nice clothes.”
“I won’t Mom. Don’t worry,” Danny trailed off as he shot out the door, leaving it open.
Faye Conway sighed as she closed the door. She called Rob’s mother Carol to make sure Danny would be home for supper.
Danny and Rob took their “power lunch” of bologna sandwiches and milk to the back stoop where they had already laid out their supplies.
“We need a good name, first thing. Something to catch the eye of investors,” Rob explained.
“And a logo and a slogan,” Danny said as he chewed the sandwich. “Gotta have a good slogan that sticks in their mind.”
The two sat and ate, brainstorming for the perfect name. Finally, they found it as they finished lunch.
Rob took the dishes in, and set to work on getting the lemonade ready, along with the ice and cups. Meanwhile, Danny got to work drawing up the sign and the logo. They agreed to work on proposals for a slogan and set it down when they got done.
Two hours later Rob was laughing as he plopped down on the back stoop. He looked at the sign.
“Yellow Lightning(TM)” the sign on the top, next to a bright lightning bolt hitting a big wet glass of lemonade with a lemon sticking out the top.
“It really looks great Danny,” Rob said. “What did you think up for the slogan?”
“Well I thought with the lightning, we could use ‘It’s so sweet it’ll shock your feet.'”
Rob frowned. “I don’t think people want to think of their feet when they think of lemonade. The best one I have is ‘Take a minute in the sunshine with Yellow Lightning.'”
The two thought it over, and spat out some new ideas they came across before they arrived at ‘Yellow Lightning — Something to wash those storm clouds down.’
Danny italicized it on the sign below the logo and name, and Rob loaded up the wagon.
Down at the corner Jeff, Will, Cameron, Beth, and George were already waiting for them.
“What took you so long?,” George asked them. “It’s already four. You guys missed the busiest part of the day.”
Danny looked over at Rob and smiled.
“Well you’ll have plenty of time tomorrow and every day if you win the auction. But before all that, my colleague would like to say something.”
Rob jumped on top of the wagon. He quickly pretended to straighten his clip-on tie.
“As I’m sure you all know, you get out of a business what you put in. But everyone knows that. What you need is an edge. An image. You’re not just selling the product. You’re selling you. An image of yourself.
“What we have for you is a name, a sign, and the recipe. Sure, it’s late in the day, but I’ll show you all, right now. Behold the power of…Yellow Lightning.”
Rob and Danny set up the wagon as a table, the sign in front. The next ten cars that stopped, they offered a free cup. Each of them bought a second, and some a third cup, for fifty cents.
The group of potential buyers was amazed.
“That concludes the demo. But we’d like to give each of you a free glass before the bidding starts,” Rob said. He handed each of the children a cup of lemonade.
“We will open—,” Danny started. He stopped himself and jumped up on the wagon. He began again. “We’ll start the bidding at $35.”
“None of us got that kind of money,” George protested.
“Well maybe we shouldn’t do it as a regular auction then. If you guys pool the money you got, become partners like Rob and I did, we can negotiate it. Like my associate has said, you get out what you put in.”
The group moved to the side and huddled together. George walked back over to Rob and Danny.
“We’ll give you $40.”
Rob looked up slowly to George’s eyes.
George glanced back at the other children.
“$45, that’s fair.”
Danny shook his head. “We made over $8 in just half an hour, not even at the peak! You said so. You guys would make that back in less than a week. Maybe even one day if it’s hot enough.”
Rob handed George the sign, along with a slip of paper that had the recipe on it. Danny packed up the wagon.
It was only five when Danny got home.
“I figured you’d stay out there until Dad had to come get you, Danny,” Mrs. Conway said. “The way you were when you left I was sure you had the blood of a businessman in you.”
Danny smiled at his mom. “We sold the business,” he told her. “I made $29.”
“Wow. All in an afternoon, honey? You are a businessman. Who did you sell it to?”
“The other kids bought us out. They saw how much money we were making. It’s a good thing though. That market is getting tough.”
“Why do you say that, son?”
“Rob’s dad was all out of vodka.”