Emily Rae Robles

the paradoxymoron

Cravings (Flash Fiction: Day 18)

prompt: wild child

Stephanie had never been so warm and comfortable in her life.  Swaddled up like a newborn baby, she rolled along the bowling lanes until she reached the pins, at which point an employee yelled at her and made her get up and walk back to where her friends waited.  Her unwrapped blankets trailing behind her, Stephanie hummed to herself until the tunes in her head and the tunes playing through the tinned speakers blended together in a cacophony of sound.

“Stephanie, are you coming?” Evelyn asked, breathless from giggling at the bowling escapade.  “We’re going to get pizza.”

“Sure!” Stephanie said brightly.  “I hate pizza.  Can I get breadsticks? I’m definitely craving breadsticks.”

“Yeah, their breadsticks are fantastic,” Evelyn replied. She was used to Stephanie’s oddities.

The group of girls wandered over from the bowling alley to the pizza place, tittering amongst themselves about things they would forget about the next day.  When they sat down in a booth, Stephanie pulled out an apple and started spinning it on the table.

“Where on the apple do you think I’ll take the first bite?” she asked no one in particular, as she usually did.  “I wonder if the apple cares.”

“I bet it’ll be right there,” Karen announced, pointing randomly at the skin.  “Now go. Eat it.”

“I don’t think this apple wants to be eaten,” Stephanie pondered.  “Would you want to be eaten if you were an apple?”

“Definitely not,” said Pauline, who almost always agreed with everything Stephanie said.  It was easier that way.

“Would you rather be an apple or a breadstick?” asked Stephanie as their food arrived.

“Breadstick,” said Karen.

“Apple,” said Pauline.

“Stephanie,” said Evelyn, “You’ll never actually BE anything but what you are.  You know that, right?”

“Nope!” Stephanie twisted a napkin around her finger and gazed at it.  “How do you know what I am? I don’t know, so how can you? I have lots of options, but I think my favorite right now is still the bowling ball.  But when I go to college, I think I want to be a children’s book illustrator.  Doesn’t that sound fun?”

“Yeah, but it has nothing to do with bowling balls,” Karen pointed out.

“I can draw all the bowling balls I want,” Stephanie persisted.  “And breadsticks.”

The three girls gave each other dubious looks.  All three of them, though only in 7th grade, had long ago decided that they would open a fashion designing business together in the far-off future.  Stephanie had rejected their offer for a fourth partner, choosing instead to pretend to be inanimate objects.

“Well,” said Pauline, chewing on a piece of pepperoni, “I guess it’s the wild child who gets the coolest life.  Breadsticks are definitely worth living for.”

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March 27, 2011 - Posted by | flash fiction, writings

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