Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Cookie For Your Thoughts?

I have some family visiting from WAY out of town this week (Russia to be exact) so I'm only going to have two posts, one today and one Friday. Since I don't want to bore you all to tears with the usual random thoughts in my head, I decided to write some flash fiction.

I got this prompt from Creative Writing Now, and I thought it would be fun. The prompt is - The first day of school, a love note, and a recipe with a significant mistake

The smell of sugar and chocolate melting into warm, gooey, cookies keeps me lurking in the kitchen.

"Emmaline, if you don't hurry up and get ready you're going to be late." My mom yells from the top of the stairs.

"Coming!" I say, taking in one last whiff of the room.

It's the first day of school, the only reason I'm up at six-thirty. I throw on a ripped tee and distressed jeans and run a comb through my hair. It's my Freshman year of high school, and I am determined no one is going to think I'm that sweet girl who doesn't talk to anyone.

I glob on some thick black eyeliner to complete the look and swing my backpack over my shoulder. Straightening my jeans, I take one last look before I leave the room.

"Where do you think you are going dressed like that?" My mom says when I come down the stairs.

"Um... school, duh." I say, rolling my eyes.

"Oh no, you're not. Go back upstairs and wash off that makeup and put on a decent shirt.

"But mom --"

"No buts."

"Mom, really, you can't just --"

"Yes I can, now march!"

I give her a swift nasty look before heading back up the stairs. I switch shirts, but stow my first choice in my backpack. I take the eyeliner with me too.

"Much better." My mom says with a smile when I emerge. "Now let's go, we're already running late."

The second I step into the school I make a bee-line for the bathroom and take my time changing and putting the makeup back on. Being late for my first class will help my new persona.

I saunter out of the bathroom with my head held high. I arrange my face in a look that screams 'rebel'

My first class is history, so acting bored should be a breeze. I walk in and add a little hop to my step in hopes that I look more gangster. I purposefully ignore the teacher and take the first available seat.

"Who might you be?" asks Mr. Curtis hoovering over my desk.

"Emmaline Gretchen." I say, looking around the room with a scowl.

"And why, Miss Gretchen, do you think you have the right to be late for my class?"

"It's a free Country." I say leaning back in my chair

A sly smile creeps over Mr. Curtis's face. "You came prepared for our lesson today then. It's about how the words 'free country' do not entitle you to do whatever you like.'

'Our first example is about actions having consequences. Miss Gretchen's action is that she is late. The consequence is that she gets to sit right next to my desk for the remainder of the period. Is that clear?"

I clench my jaw, trying to think of a smart remark, but noting comes to mind. I grab my book-bag and take the seat Mr. Curtis suggests. I feel mortified. All eyes are on me. Now is the time to show how tough I am, but I can't seem to find the muster.

By lunch, it seems like everyone is talking about how I got into trouble at the start of the first day "Sweet Emmaline" I hear someone whisper.

I can't knock the tension building up in the pit of my stomach. Everything about this day has just felt wrong. The phrase 'a sheep in wolves clothing' comes to mind.

I take a seat by myself, hiding in a corner, hoping no one will notice. Only, it feels like everyone notices.

For as long as I can remember my mom has sent me with a sack lunch. It's just one more thing that separates me from the crowd.

Hands shaking, I reach inside the brown paper bag and pull out the first thing on top.

It's a note from my mom. I set it aside, not wanting to hear from her right now, I already feel dorky enough.

The next thing in the bag is a famous chocolate chip cookie. Whenever my mom makes them the neighborhood flocks over and begs for more.

I sink in my teeth, expecting the sweet tones to curb my anger, but it taste like salt. I spit it out and take a deep drink from my water bottle to try and kill the flavor.

Confused, I pull open the note. My mom has never made a bad cookie, and I can't just imagine her not noticing a huge detail like too much salt.


I am writing you this note becasue I know how hard the first day of High School is, I've been there. I am guessing you are only reading this because you have just tasted a very salty Chocolate chip cookie.

On my first day of high school my mom did the same thing to me. She also wrote a note , and what it said has been with me every since.

She told me to be myself. I know you've heard this a million times before, but think about the cookie, do you like it salty or sweet? My guess is you like chocolate chips just the way they are, and you wouldn't want them to change.

You are my sweet girl, and I love you for that. Whenever you feel discouraged, just remember to hold the salt.


I wrap the cookie back up and stuff it in my backpack, tears filling my eyes. I go back to the bathroom and change my clothes and washed off the makeup. Looking into the mirror, I finally see myself.


Christa said...

I love the salty cookie. So so so great.

*^_^* said...

Wonderful! Awesome!

Emily R. King said...

Aw, what a nice story. I wonder if the tradition will continue.

cherie said...

I have an award for you, cutie!

Randy and Anissa said...

That is so cute, Jennie. I love it!

Sarah Pearson said...

That's lovely, and what an unusual way to teach a life lesson :)

Sonia G Medeiros said...

I love that twist at the end. Beautiful story. :D

J. A. Bennett said...

Thank you guys! I'm so glad you like it! :)

Krista M said...

A very good story! I actually had to make salt cookies once for a good of campers when I was a cook at a summer camp. They were "sugar" cookies and the kids were learning about what looks good, isn't always. Funny thing - the racoons wouldn't even eat those cookies from the trash. Nasty. :)

Fida I said...

Aww... awesome story and inspiration! Thanks!

Fida (:

Tyrean Martinson said...

Salty sweet story! Love the saltiness!

ali cross said...

Ah, I love this! ((hugs)) And enjoy the company!

Sidney said...

That's a cool prompt, and a beautifully executed interpretation of it.

Anita Grace Howard said...

What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing your talent, and that moral that we all could stand to learn. :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

Awesome story! And what a great message!

katherine said...

Oh my gosh, I simply love this. We take so much for granted. My mom could not bake. I don't remember homemade sack lunches. My mom never said something like this in such a way. Very lucky to be this young woman, with this mom. Very well-written too!

Mark Noce said...

Rad that you're visiting Russia, always wanted to go...I've got a few distant relatives in Irkutsk, but never have met them.

J. A. Bennett said...

@ Mark lol, I'm not visiting Russia, some Russians are visiting me. (my father-in-law lives there with his Russian wife and child :)

David P. King said...

Have fun entertaining! I'm also having company over for the next week. Looking forward to some extended family time.

I gave you a shout-out on my blog today. :)

Memoirs of Me & Mine said...

That was great. Love it.

Kelley said...

This is great! Well done :)

Thanks for the follow.

CherylAnne Ham said...

What a great story! I love the name Emmaline.

Melissa Ann Goodwin said...

I loved it. Really well done.

Aubrie said...

Wonderful flash fiction piece. So many girls hide behind make up and other things.