Tag: candy

Flashback Friday: Candy is Poison

This story was originally posted on August 24, 2017. I like to write about trolls. They can be simple or complex, and live alone or in groups. That gives a lot of room for different stories. They live on the edges of human society, which gives them an interesting perspective on people. As an added bonus, they usually have fun names!

The human laughed.   “Thanks guys for helping me carry this money from the bank to where I’d parked my horse. Now I can give all this money to poor people. Here’s your payment.”

He handed the trolls each a sandwich. Then, he started attaching the bags of gold to his horse’s saddle.   The poor thing looked really weighed down.

The trolls started eating their sandwiches. “No meat,” Gark said.

“Of course not,” the man said. “They’re mustard sandwiches. They’re very good.”

“Ok,” Gark said. He took another bite of his sandwich and made a face.

“It’s like stealing candy from a baby,” the man said.

“What’s candy?” Gark asked.

“Oh, sweet things that children eat. They’re very good.”

“Like mustard?” Gark asked.

“No, more like the opposite of mustard. Well, I’m off,” the man said. And he jumped on his horse and rode away.

Now that their job was over, the trolls wandered away to sit under their favorite bridges. Gark’s bridge was in a lovely park. There were lots of pigeons to eat and a fountain where people left money behind.   He fished out the coins at night for his hoard.

Today, as he dozed and listened to the children screech their high-pitched lullabies, he thought about candy. Mustard was terrible. Was candy wonderful? Wasn’t wonderful the opposite of terrible?

And just then, as he pondered this deep philosophical question, a child dropped his cotton candy onto the rocks beside the bridge.   “My sweeties,” the child wailed.

Gark turned and stared. Was this candy? The child said it was sweet. The child’s feet pounded across the bridge as he ran away. Gark darted out a hand, grabbed the cotton candy, and pulled it under the bridge.

It was very, very pink. And it looked like the part of sheep his mother said was not for eating. Gark was not sure about this.   It seemed like a terrible idea.   He reached out his tongue and touched the very tip of it to the candy.

His tongue was on fire. Gark tossed the cotton candy far away and dipped his head in the stream. It felt like his tongue was still burning. How could humans eat such things? If candy was the opposite of mustard, it was because mustard is edible and candy is not.

Finally, finally, Gark’s tongue stopped burning.   He started to brush the water out of his fur, only to stop in dismay. His fur was now bright pink! How could he hide if he was bright pink?

He coated his fur in mud. It was cold and slimy and heavy. And then it dried and he couldn’t move until he’d managed to roll into the stream and soften the mud. And then he had to start the mud applying process again, because some of it had washed away.

It was a week before his fur faded and he could risk traveling to attend the next troll gathering. That week gave Gark plenty of time for thinking. He came to some surprising conclusions.

“What happened to your fur?” someone asked when he arrived at the meeting place. “The color is all wrong.”

“I have an announcement to make,” Gark said.   “Candy is not very good. Candy is poison.”

“But the human said it was very good,” a troll said.

“Yes he did,” Gark said. “I have learned that humans can say things that are wrong on purpose.”

The trolls gasped. “But then how will we know if anything they say is right?” someone asked.

“Exactly,” Gark said. “I don’t think it’s worth the risk. I nearly died tasting candy.”

The other trolls yelled in outrage. “I will never work for another human,” a troll yelled.   “Me neither,” another said.

And the trolls warned their friends and relatives.   And that’s why you never see trolls anymore. They’re hiding from us.

Flashback Friday: Monster Cooking

This story was originally posted on June 23, 2017. I like writing about monsters that are like us except for a few things that are very different. The fun is deciding what will be different and what will be the same.

It was monster Papa’s turn to make dinner. He loved to make dinner. It required thought and creativity, and it was very relaxing. If only all chores were this great.

“What’s for dinner, Dad?” little monster asked.

“Candle wax and string,” monster Papa said.

Little monster cheered. He sat down on the stool at the counter. “Can I watch?”

Monster Papa smiled. “Of course you can.” He pulled out a large tin can and started throwing in the ingredients. String, candle wax, toenails…”

“Why toenails?” little monster asked.

“So that you’re always on your toes. What’s that over there?” Monster Papa looked to the left. Little monster turned to look and monster Papa poured a bag of candy into the can.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t quick enough. Little monster leaned forward to look into the pan. “What was that?”

“What was what?” monster Papa asked.

“What did you add to dinner?”

Monster Papa started squeezing lemons into the mix.   “Lemons, so that you’re not afraid to move forward when things go sour.”

“No, before that,” little monster said. “What was it? What was in the bag?” Little monster kneeled up on his chair and tried to lean over the counter and look into the tin can.

“It’s a surprise,” monster Papa said.

“It’s not something gross is it?” little monster asked.

“Of course not,” monster Papa said. “Well maybe a little.”

“Tell me, tell me, tell me, please?” little monster clasped his paws together under his chin. “Please, please, please.”

“Stop using your best manners, or I’ll tell your mother,” monster Papa said.

Little monster made a scary face. “What did you put into dinner?”

“Fine,” monster Papa said. “I’ll tell you. It was hot peppers, so that you’ll have biting wit.”

“You just put that in,” little monster said.

“Okay, I’ll tell you. Listen closely, because I’ll only say this once. It was…” monster Papa mumbled the last word.

“It doesn’t count if I can’t hear it,” little monster said.

“Oh look, the peppers are working already, and you haven’t eaten them yet. That’s amazing.” Monster Papa covered the tin can with foil. “Time to put this in the oven.”

“If you tell me I’ll shred the newspapers into tiny pieces and scatter them all over the living room,” little monster said.

“That would be nice,” monster Papa said. “We could turn on the fan and pretend it’s a blizzard.”

“So will you tell me?”

Monster Papa sighed. “Fine. I added candy.”

Little monster scowled. “Ewwww. Why?”

“So that you grow up sweet,” monster Papa said.

“I don’t want to be sweet.” Little monster stomped his feet.   “Who wants to be sweet?”

“It will help you appreciate the scary moments,” monster Papa said. “It’s important to have balance. Besides, it’s sweet to say I love you, and I say that all the time. It’s okay to be sweet sometimes.”

“Fine,” little monster said. “But I’m not eating it. Not if there’s candy inside.”

“Tell you what. Eat three pieces of candy, and you can pick the rest out.” Monster Papa set time on the oven.

“You can have them, Papa,” little monster said.

Monster Papa made a face. “I guess it’s good for me, right? Well, go tell Mama that our casserole surprise will be ready soon.”

“Okay. I love you, Papa,” little monster said.

“I love you too, my little monster.”

Charlie’s Room: A Handkerchief

“It’s almost valentine’s day,” Charlie said one afternoon. “Mom’s at a workshop, so you can tell me what you got her and she won’t hear.”

Isaac smiled. “I got her a handkerchief. It’s that really bright green like her favorite shirt. She always gets a cold this time of year, so an extra handkerchief will be handy.”

“You can’t get her a handkerchief.” Charlie looked horrified. “You’re supposed to give people flowers and candy. Everybody knows that.”

“But the handkerchief is useful, and it will last longer than flowers and candy. And I think it will make her smile. Your mom has the prettiest smile of anyone I know.” Isaac thought for a moment. “She does like flowers, though. Would you like to go to the store with me and help me pick some out? They can be from both of us.”

Charlie grinned. “Of course I will. I know all the flowers Mom likes best. I help her in the garden, you know.”

“Sounds great. Let’s go.” Isaac set down the crossword book and stood up. “Don’t forget your coat. It’s cold outside.”

As Charlie put his arm in the sleeve of his coat, he paused. “Could we get ingredients for cookies? Maybe we could take some to the neighbors. They need valentines, too. Cookies are good neighbor valentines.”

Isaac zipped up his coat. “That’s a great idea. You could make cards to go with them. Homemade cards are good valentines for anyone, including neighbors.”

“Are they good for parents, too?” Charlie looked hopeful. “I didn’t have any extras of my cards from the store. There was just enough for my class at school.”

“I love homemade cards. Your mom does too. I think they show that you spent time on trying to make something that someone would like, and that you were thinking of them. That’s nice.” Isaac made sure Charlie was all the way in the car and closed the door.

“Maybe I could make dinosaur valentines! Do we have green paper? And googly eyes, the kind that you glue on and they move around when you shake the paper?” Charlie held out his arms, hands wide apart. “Googly eyes will make my cards this much better.”

Isaac laughed. “Let’s see what we can find at the store. I think we have a busy afternoon ahead of us.”

They found everything they needed. Charlie picked out a lovely bunch of pink and red and white carnations. “Mom likes the smell, and these look like valentine’s day,” he said. There were craft supplies and baking supplies, and Charlie even got a new pencil sharpener when they were looking at the craft paper nearby. “I lost mine, so it’s good they have some here.”

At home, they put the flowers in water. “Won’t your mom see them before valentine’s day if we leave them on the counter?” Isaac asked.

Charlie thought for a moment. “You could hide them inside the curtains by the window in my room. Maybe she won’t see them.”

Flowers well-hidden, they started on the cookies. While they baked, Charlie made cards. He drew all sorts of dinosaur shapes on the paper, and Isaac helped him cut them out. Then Charlie decorated them and glued on googly eyes.

When the cookies were cool and packaged with paper plates and plastic wrap, and the cards were all made (and a few of them hidden for later), Isaac and Charlie looked at the clock.

“Mom will be here soon,” Charlie said. “Do you think she’ll want to deliver the valentines to the neighbors with us?”

“But it’s not valentine’s day yet. Shouldn’t we wait?” Isaac asked.

“You can deliver neighbor valentines early,” Charlie said. “It’s like Christmas cookies. We delivered those weeks before Christmas.”

“I think you’re right.” Isaac nodded. “Let’s wait for your mom.”

When Marianne came home, they delivered the cookies. “No caroling,” Charlie said before they left. “That’s only for Christmas.”

Marianne admired the dinosaur cards. “I hope you made me one,” she said. “I think they’re great.”

Charlie grinned. “You’ll have to wait and see.” He turned to Isaac. “I told you googly eyes would make them better.”

The neighbors loved the valentines. A few days later, Charlie helped Isaac give Marianne the flowers. She loved them. “My favorites,” she said happily, and smelled the carnations.

Isaac and Marianne loved the dinosaur cards, of course. And Marianne smiled when she opened the handkerchief. “It’s just what I needed,” she said happily.

Charlie looked confused and turned to Isaac. “You were right. I wouldn’t want a handkerchief for a gift, though.”

Isaac handed him a small package. “It’s a good thing I didn’t get you one,” he said.

Charlie tore open the wrapping paper. “A dinosaur eraser? Wow!” He smiled.

Marianne hugged them both at once. “I made us a chocolate cake. Who wants to eat cake and watch a movie?”

That night at bedtime, after Isaac read a bedtime story and listened to Charlie’s prayers, he got up to turn off the light. “Dad,” Charlie said, just as he turned off the light. “It wasn’t really about the handkerchief, was it? Mom was happy because you were thinking of her, right?”

“That’s right. Like the cards you spent so much time on.”

“And Mom’s chocolate cake she made.”

Isaac nodded. “That’s right.”

“That’s what I thought,” Charlie said. “The flowers were good though, because I know Mom’s favorites.”

“That shows you were thinking about her, too.”

“I guess you’re right. Valentine’s day is more complicated than I thought.”

Isaac laughed. “Don’t worry. You have plenty of time to figure it out.”

“I guess there’s one every year.” Charlie yawned. “Goodnight, Dad. I love you.”

“Goodnight, Charlie. I love you too.”

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