The Flavors of Life

Submitted for Contest #53 in response to: Write a story that begins with someone's popsicle melting.... view prompt

43 comments

Aug 02, 2020

Drama

Your lemon-lime popsicle drips steadily onto your tights. It’s like a summer routine now. Attempt to cool down with popsicle, ruin clothing instead. 

Seriously, though, your tights have suffered so much. There’s grass stains, ink, candle wax, and now a couple of drops of a lemon-lime popsicle. 

You take a lick. It’s one of those cheap ones, the ones that are shorter than a pencil and are packed with that delicious artificial flavoring. The ones you have no idea how to eat once you have only a little ice on one side of the stick left, so you let it fall sadly into the sink. The cherry ones taste like medicine, the orange ones have way too strong an artificial flavor, the banana gives you the illusion of healthiness which takes away from the fun, but the lemon-lime….The lemon-lime is just right. It has the perfect amount of flavoring, it’s sweet and sour at the same time, and it tastes like you’re biting into a Ginger Ale ice cube. 

You take another lick. Your life is kind of lemon-lime flavored too. It can be sweet when you have your time to yourself, when you have your hobbies, when you have your friends and the people who care about you. And the people who don’t care, well, that’s what makes it sour. It’s sour going to sleep at night to yelling beyond your door. It’s sour pretending not to care. It’s so sour, it leaves your mouth feeling sticky, and your teeth in need of brushing. Of course, there’s also the artificial flavoring, the fake smiles they give you as if you didn’t hear them arguing. The fake smiles you give back because you want to try to forget. 

So maybe your life is orange flavored instead, because yes it’s sweet, but it’s much too filled, overflowed, with the artificial smiles. The masks they wear and the lies they tell. You take another lick, and this time, when your precious popsicle drips, it drips onto your shirt, which is adorned in watermelons all over it. You wore it in the spirit of summer, though you aren’t really feeling it. 

If only your life could be watermelon flavored, moist, and sweet, with the bitterness of seeds barely getting in the way of happiness. But much like the cheap popsicle in your hand, life doesn’t come in such luxurious flavors. You take a tiny bite off the top of your melting popsicle and swallow it. It chills your throat. You take another bite, this one bigger, which causes you to have a brain freeze once you swallow. 

With the hand that isn’t gripping the stick, you clutch your head and wait for the pain to subside. Life has small brain freezes too, like when you just don’t know what to do, when one person tells you one thing, and someone else another, so you have to make your own decision. 

Your brain freeze has finally receded, so you take your hand down from your head, only to realize that your hand had some melted lemon-lime popsicle on it, meaning there’s also some on your hair now. Perhaps you could add that to your summer routine. Attempt to cool down with popsicle, ruin clothing and hair instead. 

You lick your popsicle again, not daring to bite and risk another brain freeze. 

Maybe your life is cherry flavored, sweet but sometimes in the wrong way, like when you see them sitting together plastered with their fake smiles and looking at you with artificial kindness. 

Or maybe, just maybe, your life isn’t a popsicle at all. Maybe it’s just an ice cube, the ones that you can’t quite get out of the tray, so they end up cracking and melting away. Or, your life could be a snow cone, empty ice waiting to be flavored with fake conversations and meaningless words.

However, you could possibly be exaggerating because of course although there is some artificial flavoring, don’t they say the popsicles include at least 20% natural?

You wouldn’t be allowed to eat if it were completely artificial, and your life wouldn’t be liveable. You take another lick, keeping your tongue on the popsicle to cool it down a little. It’s over 90 degrees today, and you know there’s probably an argument even more heated going on inside your house, too ruined to call a home. 

The only spot you actually like in your house is your room, located on the top floor, and mostly isolated. You could call that your home, where you sleep, do art, and tell your cat everything. 

You would’ve eaten your popsicle there too, had you not remembered your summer routine. You loved your green bedspread too much to get lemon-lime popsicle all over it. You loved your bean-bag too, and the fluffy rug that you sometimes layed down on. You like your walls, filled with pictures, not of your family, but of art. Besides, you could hardly call the people you live with a family. A family is warm and loving. A family is flavored milk-chocolate because it isn’t a popsicle that melts over time, it’s a warm drink filled in a big mug that leaves you with a mustache you laugh and wipe away.

Your family….your family is like spicy hot Cheetos, flavorful, sure, but messy and hot and not at all sweet.

At least you’ve got one, that’s what your friend would say. It’s not that she doesn’t have one herself, no, she does, the good milk-chocolate kind too, but she likes constantly reminding you to be grateful. It’s easy for her to say. If her life was a popsicle, it’d probably be pink-lemonade flavored, one of those slightly more expensive popsicles, the big ones that make for perfect selfies and rarely melt because they’re so well made. And the inside is good too, sweet and juicy all till the end of the stick, the thick ones you like to keep for future art projects you could do. 

You take a lick of your popsicle, now craving a pink-lemonade one. A drop of it melts into your hands, which are now sticky and hotter than before. You’re almost to the point where the flavored ice will fall off the stick, but it doesn’t matter. You can always take another one from the small cardboard box in the freezer.

Oh, but you’ll have to pass the living room for that. Maybe walk into some yelling. Of course, the yelling will stop once you pass by. It’ll morph into the artificial smiles. 

The last bit of your popsicle falls onto the grass. You leave it there, because who knows, the grass might want to taste the lemon-lime. 

Despite what you may find inside, you brush off your tights and get up, wet stick in hand, towards your house.

Maybe one day, it’ll be home.

And maybe….

Maybe when you walk in….

Maybe today will be different. 


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43 comments

The Daltons
21:21 Aug 08, 2020

I did like it! I did three of the prompts for that week's contest, and it was my first time submitting any prompts. Well, now I know my competition. (Don't at all think I'll win!!! You're SOO good!!!)

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Aditya Pillai
17:13 Aug 04, 2020

Such a great read! Loved the metaphors you used throughout. The depiction of sadness and pathos with that tiny hope sprinkled in really comes through. Really liked your writing style! An awesome work indeed. Would love it if you could go through mine too! :)

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Amany Sayed
17:16 Aug 04, 2020

Thank you so much, Aditya! I will go as soon as I can!

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Jane Andrews
07:02 Aug 04, 2020

I really enjoyed this one, Amany. I used the popsicle as a metaphor too but I think you’ve done it so much better. This was poetic, philosophical and poignant. Well done.

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Amany Sayed
14:22 Aug 04, 2020

Thank you so much for reading!

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D. Jaymz
04:48 Aug 03, 2020

Highly creative. Well-written. I enjoyed reading this. I liked the sentence, 'Maybe it’s just an ice cube, the ones that you can’t quite get out of the tray, so they end up cracking and melting away.' for its lyrical quality. A fun line to read. A metaphorical delight, with a threaded sad theme in a grape-flavored dark, throughout. ~~~~~~ In this clause, 'It’s easy for her to say when if her life was a popsicle,...' the 'when if' seem cumbersome on the tongue. Would it be better as 'It’s easy for her to say. If her life was a pops...

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Amany Sayed
01:05 Aug 04, 2020

Thanks so much for all the constructive feedback D! I went back and changed the sentence you said to. Love how you put a flavor to my story :) ☺Amany

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Saron Mengistu
03:42 Aug 03, 2020

Well done!! I’m very impressed with the structure of the metaphors. It’s entertaining, unique, yet still captures the reality of broken down families. Awesome!! I think it could the transitions could be better. There were multiple ideas and concepts in your story, and using language to show the flow between could make your writing even better. All in all, could job on another amazing story!!

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Amany Sayed
01:05 Aug 04, 2020

Thank you so much for stopping by Saron!

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Saron Mengistu
06:28 Aug 04, 2020

You are most welcome!! :))

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Alby Carter
22:54 Aug 02, 2020

I liked the popsicle metaphors, but it may have been a little overdone with the added snowcone stuff. Anyways, great story!

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Amany Sayed
01:06 Aug 04, 2020

Thanks, and I'm sorry you thought so. That's why I said after "Maybe your exaggerating..."

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Alby Carter
02:07 Aug 04, 2020

Ah, okay! It still turned out to be an amazing story, so nothing to fret about!

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Paula Dennison
17:23 Aug 13, 2020

This is the first story I've read on Reedsy where the author has included metaphor in the story and also is writing for a younger audience. You use metaphor so well. I loved reading the comparisons your protagonist was making in her life with the popsicles, ice cubes and hot chocolate. You did a superb job doing this. You have inspired me to introduce more metaphors into my own writing. I also think it was brave of you to take on such a sensitive topic too.

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Amany Sayed
18:55 Aug 13, 2020

Thank you so much! It was very fun to write so I'm glad you enjoyed reading it. Ahhh, I'm so happy I inspired someone :) Thanks again! ~A

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Helen Jett
11:54 Aug 11, 2020

Wow! What's so amazing about this is that you managed to pull off so many metaphors without making the story at all boring. Great job on yet another story, can't wait for your next one!! :)

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Amany Sayed
14:06 Aug 11, 2020

Thank youuuu

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21:54 Aug 10, 2020

A very creative use of the idea of a popsicle. Great story and keep writing! :)

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Amany Sayed
22:21 Aug 10, 2020

Thanks so much! You too :)

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Omani Saleem
10:42 Aug 09, 2020

Really enjoyed this

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Amany Sayed
13:26 Aug 09, 2020

Thank you for reading!

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17:39 Aug 05, 2020

Amazing story! I love the detail that you put into it, especially the first bit of figurative language! Great job!

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Amany Sayed
17:41 Aug 05, 2020

Thanks for reading Nataleigh! I appreciate it!

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Nayab Ahmar
03:36 Aug 05, 2020

I loved this story! The way you used popsicle flavours as metaphors for life was so creative! I felt the underlying sadness of the narrator throughout and the hopeful ending touched my heart... it was very well-written. Also, if you wouldn't mind, could you give my latest story (or any you prefer) a read and provide some feedback? Thank you regardless. :)

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Amany Sayed
04:03 Aug 05, 2020

Thanks so much, Nayab! Of course, I'll go as soon as I'm free! :)

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Brandon Johnson
23:01 Aug 04, 2020

Great story! I loved how you used the flavors of a popsicle to describe life!

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Amany Sayed
23:05 Aug 04, 2020

Thanks for reading Brandon! Glad you enjoyed it!

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Sarah 💜🌸
22:02 Sep 09, 2020

Oh, I like this a lot! The way you used popsicle flavors as a...yea I think a smile to different kinds of lives. It was a really cool narrating device. Also now I want a popsicle, thanks a lot Amany.

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Amany Sayed
00:02 Sep 10, 2020

Thank you! Sorry lol.

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S. M
03:28 Sep 03, 2020

Incredible talent

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Amany Sayed
12:47 Sep 03, 2020

Thanksssss :)

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This story is so good! I really loved the way you compared life to popsicle flavors, it was really creative and unique. You should be proud, this story is amazing! ~Alainna

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Amany Sayed
23:54 Aug 31, 2020

Aw, thanks a ton! This means a lot!

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21:13 Aug 13, 2020

Tbh i didn't really notice that it was second person... Great writing!!!

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Amany Sayed
21:16 Aug 13, 2020

ThankoU! It wasn't going to be at first, but I changed my mind as I wrote.

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Ujjwala Ananth
21:29 Aug 08, 2020

Ah, loved this! The imagery, the train of thought, just perfect. The popsicle being the fulcrum for this story is inspired. Loved it! I wrote on the same prompt, I'd love some critique on mine! Thanks and we'll done again!

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Amany Sayed
18:53 Aug 13, 2020

Thanks so much! Sorry for such a late reply. Of course, I'll go check it out as soon as I can!

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E. Jude
08:51 Aug 04, 2020

Hi, I'm here from that submission of mine you commented on! First of all, well done!!! It was a really vivid story that strung a strange sort of feeling in me. This is how I think a lot of the time, and I'm guessing you think like that as well. I loved your popsicle mantra, it was very creative. How you paced it out and drew out certain parts made it hyper-realistic (that's a good thing, right?) and credible. It almost reminded me of the pianos, fortes, and crescendos of a musical masterpiece. I'm presuming she is a kid around the age of 10...

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Amany Sayed
14:19 Aug 04, 2020

Hello! Thank you so much for reading and providing so much feedback Ella! I sort of imagined her as a maybe 12 or 13-year-old, so you aren't far off. I'm so happy I could formulate the voice of my character! Especially considering the story was second person, that's hard to do. Of course, I'll go as soon as I can!

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E. Jude
15:11 Aug 04, 2020

Makes sense. I actually am in a kind of situation in my life, and this story deemed really relatable!

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Amany Sayed
15:15 Aug 04, 2020

By the way, what work were you saying you wanted me to critique? I have read and commented on the most recent one, "Where's Morrie?". Are you submitting one soon, as there is no story after that one on your account?

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E. Jude
18:43 Aug 04, 2020

Yeah, sorry I'm still working on it, it will be submitted by Friday though

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Sahitthian 🤗
03:57 Sep 06, 2020

Good story .Great job👍keep it up. Would you mind reading my story “The dragon warrior?”

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