Danny & The Magic Box
Danny pulled at the seams of his scratchy suit that was too small for him, he grew a couple of inches over the summer and they did not have any time to buy a new one. His mother tugged at his sleeves and brushed him off trying to make him look presentable. Danny liked his suit despite being slightly uncomfortable, it reminded him of his Uncle Harry who always had his sleeves pushed up to show people that he wasn’t hiding anything. His Uncle was a Magician. His parents did not like Danny to be around his Uncle in fear that he was a bad influence. They did not want their son to look up to a man who was performing at children’s birthday parties. Uncle Harry invited Danny to stay with him over the summer and work at his magic shop but his parents made excuses then kept him busy with baseball, basketball, tutoring, and piano lessons. Danny wished that he could have had more time with his Uncle before he passed away. It was an untimely death, a freak accident when Uncle Harry was performing the “Box of Impaling Swords”. During his funeral he had one last trick up his sleeve. After the viewing, the casket was closed and reopened and was revealed as empty. Everyone had a good laugh even though it made them uneasy.
Hungry for love
Being fat is not easy. You're never picked for teams, you can’t find clothes that are cute, and dating? Forget about it. Being fat is an immediate invitation to the friend zone. In public you always feel like people are watching while you eat and silently judging you. When I’m working I pack a salad and a fruit and always refuse my slice of cake when there are birthday parties. But when I am at home, by myself, I can eat whatever I like. I can make a huge stack of pancakes at midnight if I wanted, it's like being free to be myself after all day pretending to be someone else.
MaRiE & ME
“Honey I’m home!” I took off my shoes and slid off my coat. The furniture was rearranged, I guess Marie was bored of the way the house was. “The living room looks great.”
Devil's Food Cake
The Baker’s Wake Contest was just three days away. I looked at the flyer one more time and stared at the image of a big flat screen Television on the front, the grand prize. I never knew that I could want something so badly. I didn’t have any friends, but if I won this flat screen maybe the kids in my neighborhood would come over to watch it with me. We could watch football or have a video game competition or have a sleepover with horror films that our parents wouldn’t let us watch. I hope they wouldn’t make fun of me for baking since that was a girly thing, maybe they will think it's cool and ask for me to make them food when they come over. Either way I had to try, I was tired of playing with my baby sister every day, I wanted friends my own age. My town has always had this bake off every year and every year my great aunt won it. When she passed away she instructed in her Will that her recipe book be given to my mom over her dead body. At first we thought it was a joke since when people would ask her for the recipe to something she would grumble “Over my dead body”. The executor of The Will took his job very seriously, and after the ceremony he handed my mother my great aunt’s cookbook over her grave. I remember this clearly because it was raining during the funeral and a great loud thundering boom sounded off as he was handing it to her. My aunt always creeped me out, she became blind in her old age but she always knew what was going on around her. One time while she was visiting I tried to sneak a cookie off her plate, she snapped her fingers and the cookie disappeared. I tried to tell my parents what happened but my tongue would swell up every time I tried. She also would say things that didn’t make any sense, almost like she was speaking a different language but my mother said it was “old-timer’s” disease. My mother kept the cookbook in a box in the attic, the book was old and smelly. The edges were cornered in a rusting metal that made the book heavy and the spine looked like it was an actual spine underneath the tattered old leather cover. All the pages are stained with different shades of brown, and I could barely read what anything said. After scanning through what seemed like a hundred oddly named soups I found a cake recipe. Devil’s Food Cake. I knew that Devil’s Food cake was a chocolate cake and who doesn’t like chocolate I thought. I have never baked before we had most of what was needed in the kitchen but there were a few that we didn’t have. Instead of chocolate I needed a fruit called Black Sapote, Amaranth flour and salt from the Dead Sea. I figured that my mother just doesn’t bake too much to have these things in the kitchen and thankfully she left her Amazon Prime logged in on the computer so I ordered the ingredients and they will arrive just in time. I figure she wouldn’t be mad about the cost if we won the television.
Being stood up is not the worst thing that can happen. This always brings up an array of emotions. First there is worry. You wonder if they are lost or if they got into an accident. After they do not immediately respond to your texts, you call them, they do not answer. Then comes anger, you immediately tell your friend, they tell you not to worry and that maybe they are just late. So then you are hopeful, for the next 15-20 minutes. After this time you turn in on yourself with doubt. You wonder if they met someone else, someone more attractive. You wonder if maybe you put on the excitement for the date too strong that you scared them off. After the first hour you get the message you refuse the desert menu the waiter offers and their pitied smiles. Once it has happened once or twice you get used to the stares as you walk out of a restaurant.
A Painted Man
I have painted Renior, De Kooning, Picasso and many others. Not Pollock however, for obvious reasons. Always using the same oil paints and canvas as the greats, well as close as I can get. If the painting is done on wood, then I paint on wood, same with linen, or silk it all depends. My clients want the closest they can get to the original. No, I can not be found on the internet, you will not see a business card with my face on it. You will only know me at parties, or through a friend of a friend, this is how I get my business. You do not contact me. If I am interested, I will ask for your information and I give you a routing number to send funds through. Always half up front, then the rest when they pick it up. Normally in a location of my preference. Only serious buyers shall apply.
A storm came on us with no warning, our boat had no chance. The captain screamed at everyone to put on a life vest and go below the deck. The fear made me sober and very alert. Tying my vest on as fast as possible a window shattered beside me, water flooded the floor and people were pushing each other down the steps. I gripped onto the bar, the next wave hit tilting the boat sideways, my body lifted and slammed back down. The windows were bursting and the wind rushing in sounded like a scream. Maybe someone was screaming. I was frozen and could not go below deck with the others. The boat rocked again and another massive wave hit. The cabin filled with water, my grip of the bar was ripped away and I was sucked out through the window opening. I kicked and flailed my arms not knowing which way was up. My head spinning and my lungs begging for air, finally popping out to the surface I could barely take a breath before another wave pushed me down. Slammed again and again, I thought that it would never end. I fought the water until the waves slowed, my limbs hung lifeless from exhaustion, all I could do was bob up and down. It was very dark, the rain slowed, I closed my eyes and prayed myself to sleep.
We are allowed to pick two items that weren’t essential. Most of the boys went for the old Gameboys with no games or almost flat basketballs. All the good stuff was gone if there was any good stuff to start with. I rooted through trying to find anything that I could use to entertain myself for a few hours before it was taken by one of the other boys. Finally, I managed to find a little black notebook and a pack of pencils with girly-looking frogs on it. ‘Beggars can’t be choosers’ I could hear my ex-foster mom saying with a pointed finger. If I had a penny for each time I heard that…