Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sticky

The bottle was nearly empty.  Cindy was stunned.  The innocent carpet picnic she had orchestrated for her boys to bridge the evening hours had turned into a living room massacre of sorts.  No one had been harmed, save the cat whose meows rang of a personal assault.  The only creature daring to move, she feverishly licked her fur.  The three tow-headed tots remained silent and stiff on the floor, their bright, blue eyes wide.  It was the youngest who spoke first, his voice squeaking as he pointed, "Mommy, you shook dippy all over the ceiling!"

Still clutching the bottle, its cap long gone, Cindy gazed upwards, her mouth gaping.  It was then that a drop of ketchup detached from one of the many strings that had formed and hit Cindy square on her button nose.  Scrunching her face, she barely resisted the urge to scream.  Redirecting her emotions, she extended her other hand palm side up and calmly quipped, "Whelp, this is interesting weather we are having.  Good thing it's chicken fingers for dinner!"

Relieved by her reaction, the three boys immediately burst into giggles of delight.  Cindy followed suit and was soon laughing so hard she had to sit down.  Ketchup dappled the sofa and now the back of her jeans.  It clung to the walls and it hung from the door frames.  It stuck in the boy's hair and even to their necks.  Ketchup streaked the curtains and across the television screen.  Every glimpse of the stuff shook Cindy all the more, her body rocking and reverberating with hysteria.

Tears streaming down her face, she motioned for the boys to eat, their plates already covered in the desired condiment.  They happily complied and she plopped down with them after catching her breath.  Cindy speckled the rest of the meal with periodic sighs of disbelief, her mind, like the living room, clouded with a bittersweet aroma.   

Hours later, the boys long asleep after leaving an orange ring around the tub, Cindy's husband returned home from overtime.  "Hey babe, it's me!  I brought your favorite!"  Reaching into a grease-stained white paper bag, he proudly lifted out a warm package of crispy, golden fries for Cindy to behold.  "I'll go get the ketchup."

"Sweetie, wait."  Cindy held up her hand.  "They look delicious, but let's just leave them plain tonight." 

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This piece is a work of fiction and was inspired by this week's the speakeasy writing prompt.  Click on the button below to read the prompt and the other beautiful writers who hang out there.  Thanks!
 

    

23 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh, this is the kind of thing that would cause mothers to contemplate murder...:)

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    1. Yikes! But, you are right. I don't think I would have handled this with as much grace as I gave Cindy.

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  2. Ah, motherhood! This is so fabulous Kristin - made me laugh and cringe at all the same time! You must be a mother or something... ;)

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  3. Ack! I would die if that happened because I absolutely hate ketchup!

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    1. I would hate it if this ever happened to me!

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  4. This would be my worst nightmare - I hate ketchup, hate it! I love what you did with the prompts, especially how subtle your use of the photo prompt was. Well done!

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    1. Thanks Stacie! I had fun listing our guitar-related words and putting them to good use in this piece.

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  5. i agree. it's all so subtle and well put together. Good job with dialogue. I felt like I got to know them.

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    1. Thanks, Lance! I thought perhaps I didn't use dialogue enough, though I guess in this situation not too much needed to be said :)

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  6. Such a different take on the prompt - you amaze me.

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    1. Sandra! Thanks! I always think the same about you. It is so interesting to learn a bit about each other's minds through this.

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  7. Oh, man... I can't imagine the clean-up.

    I once made mac and cheese and went to shake the cheese powder to the bottom of the envelope and it tore, so I shook cheese powder all over my kitchen. My kids thought it hilarious, but it was not easy to clean up.

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    1. Me either...so I chose to leave it out! ha! Oh yuck...powder would be awful. I saw a very disturbing video on YouTube once where two little kids got into a 5 lb. bag of flour and covered the first floor!

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  8. This story made me smile . . . there are so many unexpected messes with children and while this one was definitely over the top, I love the mom's ability to laugh about it and salvage the evening!

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  9. I really love where you took the prompt! Reminds me of a ketchup incident at a restaurant many years ago... good memories.

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    1. oooh, I would love to read about it!

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  10. Haha - this is great! Um...no honey...hold the ketchup, okay? wow, this is a Bounty commercial waiting to happen. ;)

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    1. Thanks Linda. Yeah, cleaning it all up would be less than fun, for sure. I imagine the boys helping how they could and then Cindy blaring some good music and gettin' it done.

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  11. I love this story. It takes you right to the moment. Good job.

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