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Fiction Funny Kids

“Victoria said she didn’t want a pumpkin-themed toothbrush cup holder,” Molly, eight-years old, said in a disappointed tone to her mother.

“Well I want one,” said her mom. “And dad will want one too.” Mom tried to cheer her up.

Molly had become the crafting queen in the Dyson family. Her parents, Tara and Mark, had arranged a crafting desk for Molly. The desk now had items spilling onto the floor.

Tara could walk anywhere in the house and find remnants of Molly’s craft projects – tiny, torn pieces of construction paper in every color of the rainbow, stacks of empty toilet paper rolls, glue that wasn’t closed, scissors stuck in the carpet that somehow their dogs had not choked on.

Tara joked with Mark that with a last name like theirs, Dyson, she needed a vacuum cleaner that when she snapped her fingers, it could clean the entire house. Tara tried to command her current one to suck up all of Molly’s leftover crafts, (or crap, as she sometimes thought of it). Despite Tara’s wish, it never worked.

Shame on me, Tara thought. Crafting makes Molly so happy. Yet sometimes looking around and seeing it everywhere felt like a mess. The crafts were on Tara’s desk, in the kitchen where she needed to prep meals, on her nightstand and next to her bathtub where she sought solace. Still, Tara managed a better attitude than her 12-year old daughter, Victoria.

“Mom, I’m sorry, I can’t fake my feelings!” Victoria would say to Tara with exasperation.

“You could try,” her mother encouraged.

“What, get excited about another paper plate project?” Victoria said with an obvious sarcastic tone.

“They’re cute,” Tara offered. “Your sister was quite clever in how she put yours together – a mummy with string. She hole-punched it and placed the string all over the face. Come on, it’s adorable!”

“Look around, mom!” Victoria pleaded. “It looks like a Halloween store vomited all over our house.”

“It’s festive and fun,” Tara replied. “Get into the spirit, Victoria, or you won’t receive any Halloween candy!”

“I think the mummy took my spirit away,” Victoria teased. “Or your Frankenstein door hanger did. Or dad’s spider over there hanging on the wall,” she said pointing to the most recent craft. Molly had taken a paper plate, painted it black and added spooky eyes, pipe cleaners for arms and black construction paper around the edges to design a spider for her father.

Tara and Victoria looked around the living room. There was a candy corn ceiling dangler decoration that Mark hung up for Molly last night. Molly had spent more than an hour carefully gluing the orange, yellow and white pieces of construction paper together. She was so proud of her creativity.

Tara sighed. One kid loved to make and give away items. The other one was not interested in anything right now. Victoria just wanted to be left alone, live in her room and only come out for meals.

“Mom, where’s my hole puncher?” Molly walked up and asked.

“Sweetie, I don’t know,” Tara said. “Did you check the pull-out drawer in your craft desk?”

“Geez, Molly, how should we know?” Victoria rolled her eyes. “Did you see mom and me over here making a craft lesson plan or something?”

Victoria was tired of Molly always coming around and interrupting her when she was speaking. She felt like Molly was lingering and listening in on conversations any time she wanted a private moment with her mom.

“But I’m in the middle of making something for my friend, Chloe!” Molly whined. “I need it.”

“Then look for it!” Victoria snapped back and glared at her.

“I did and can’t find it!” Molly yelled.

“OK, I’ll help you look around in just a bit, but you need to keep better track of your things Molly,” Tara said.

Tara turned back to Victoria who looked more annoyed.

“You don’t have to jump for joy, but please just smile and say thank you when your little sister gives you something she’s made,” Tara said to her oldest daughter with that stern look in her eyes.

“OK, fine, whatever,” Victoria said and went back inside her room.

“Mom, this is a crisis!” Molly begged.

So much for some quiet time this afternoon for me, Tara realized. She followed Molly around the house to help her look for the much-needed hole puncher. Molly wanted to create both witch and scarecrow-inspired posters.

“Why are we going into the bathroom to look for the hole puncher?” Tara asked and looked at her daughter strangely. “Do you craft in here now when you’re on the toilet?”

That would not surprise Tara about Molly. Nothing much surprised Tara these days.

Tara giggled at the places where Molly led her to look for the hole puncher. Her kids always insisted on looking in the weirdest spaces when something went missing. Tara worked hard to keep a straight face as Molly had her peer under the sink, inside closets, in the cramped food pantry and other places that Molly never crafted, nor could she even fit into.

Tara could not find the hole puncher despite the scavenger hunt for it all over the house. Molly was about to cry.

“Maybe we can use scissors in the meantime,” Tara offered.

She went to the drawer where the scissors are normally kept. They were not in there.

“Molly, where are the scissors?” Tara looked at her daughter a bit frustrated.

“Oops,” said a guilty Molly.

Molly walked over to her craft area and found them still stuck in the carpet near the dogs’ beds and toys. At least the dogs had not choked on them as her mom had warned Molly.

One of the canines, Chance, started to cough just then. The large Siberian Husky was mimicking a cat caught with a fur ball in his throat. He gagged and coughed.

Tara kneeled near Chance’s face to take a closer look. Then she backed away as he coughed deeply.

“Mark!” Tara called out for her husband to assist her, but Mark was outside doing yardwork.

Chance continued to nearly hurl and make awful sounds. Any moment Tara knew he would spew all over the carpet. Chance had a history of eating too quickly, drinking too much water and finding things around the house that caused him to regurgitate.

“Eww!” Molly said.

“He hasn’t even done anything yet!” Tara said.

“What’s going on?” Victoria came out from her room, curious about the commotion she heard.

Then Chance spit out a foreign object. The Dyson girls leaned in closer.

Covered in doggy slobber was an orange and black pom-pom piece that he must have found on the floor near Molly’s craft desk. All three of them looked at Chance and then each other.

Tara and Victoria had looks of disgust. Molly looked guilty.

“Sorry, I guess I forgot to pick that one up,” Molly said. “That was a special project I was doing for my teacher for Halloween,” she admitted.

“Well, OK then,” Victoria muttered. “I’m glad I don’t have to touch that or clean it up.”  She walked back to her room.

The back door from the patio opened, and Mark walked in holding Molly’s hole puncher. He placed it down on the table.

“Dad, why do you have my hole puncher?” Molly protested. “I was looking for that!”

“It’s not yours Molly,” Mark said. “We all use it, and I needed it to put a hole through material I’m using on my boat,” he explained.

Molly looked at the table where her dad put the hole puncher down. She had stacked several craft supplies there.

“Dad, where’s my tissue boxes?” Molly asked, concerned. “I had three empty boxes stacked here to make trick or treat boxes for my friends.” She pointed to the vacant area.

“What?” Mark asked. “I took out the trash and saw empty boxes lying around so I threw them away.” Mark paid no attention to the glares Molly was giving him.

Molly tried to use her mother’s mean face, the same stern look that she saw Tara use often with Victoria and her.

Tara chuckled and whispered to her husband. “Oooh, you’re in trouble!”

“I’m going back outside to finish the yard work I need to do,” Mark shrugged and closed the door behind him. He was used to ignoring the drama happening inside the house.

Molly went to her craft area with the hole puncher and new ideas to celebrate autumn. Tara went to the bookshelf to pick out a book. She was hoping to read quietly for a few minutes.

Chance started gagging again in the room next door. He coughed and heaved until something else came out.

Tara groaned and put the book down before walking over to Chance. She leaned over to see the latest victim: purple construction paper with feathers and glitter, now covered in doggy slime. Oh Molly, she shook her head and thought to herself.

Molly walked up to see what Chance had thrown up. She recognized the culprit.

“That was leftover from my purple night owl drawing yesterday,” Molly admitted. “Sorry mom! But hey, come take a look at this new craft idea I have!” 

October 10, 2020 19:20

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9 comments

T. S. Burkhardh
00:08 Oct 21, 2020

Hi, I really liked all the attention to detail in your story. Your story felt very real but also bright and entertaining. The fact that the dad threw out Molly's boxes was very relatable--in my experience this sort of thing happens all the time in families that reuse and create things. It still happens to me, actually. (I also wrote a story about school-age kids and pets and making things, if you are interested in taking a look, although I think mine might have come out a little too quirky.) The only possible criticism I might have for your ...

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Mandy Fernandez
11:20 Oct 21, 2020

T.s. Burkhardh - thanks for reading my story and for leaving a comment. That means so much to me! Parts of the story are/were indeed very real so I'm glad that was conveyed in my piece. Names and some details were changed and exaggerated to protect the real-life characters I live with! Lol. I'm so happy you found it entertaining and light-hearted. That was my goal. I don't know about you but I read a lot of sad, dramatic stories so for a change, I just wanted to share a glimpse of an everyday type of family with a few highs, lows and mostly ...

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Echo Sundar
17:53 Oct 20, 2020

Wow! This story is great! I love how you made the whole story about crafts from construction paper, because some of the story's talk about the decorations for one sentence. I mean the story are still amazing, I just really love how the whole story was about Molly and all her crafts.

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Mandy Fernandez
18:26 Oct 20, 2020

Hi Rachel, thank you so much for your feedback. I truly appreciate you reading my story and spending a few minutes to give your insights! That makes me so happy that you liked how I used the prompt throughout the story. This was my first time participating on Reedsy so I hadn't read that many other stories on here to see how it's done. I have a daughter who has a lot in common with Molly so I had a great muse to help me with the idea for my story. I read all the prompts for the week but when I saw this one, I immediately thought of my own da...

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Echo Sundar
18:39 Oct 20, 2020

Thanks you to, and I just wanted to say you had an AMAZING first story and I cant wait to read more of your work!

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Lisa Hills
05:46 Oct 20, 2020

I love the title 😂. It was an awesome and funny story and I enjoyed reading it. I like how each character has a different attitude towards Molly's crafting hobby. They aren't all just supporting her and having the same reactions. Oh... and poor Chance 😂.

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Mandy Fernandez
18:22 Oct 20, 2020

Lisa, thank you for reading it and for taking time to comment. That means a lot! I'm so glad you found the story funny and entertaining. That was my goal - a light-hearted glimpse of a family who has a crafting enthusiast. Molly is a lot like one of my daughters and Chance is somewhat like my own Husky but our dog hasn't yet swallowed any crafts. So I had a lot of real-life inspiration that I changed and exaggerated for this piece. I'll go check out your writing as well. Thanks and take care!

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K. Antonio
17:57 Oct 17, 2020

Super attractive title. A very fine first submission Mandy! I really enjoyed the way you started the story so playfully and introducing us to the character's persona off the back. I really enjoyed the interaction between the characters and also this sort of "realness" in which everything was portrayed. I thought the story was happy and cute. If I were to be knit picky, I guess it has maybe a bit too much dialogue, but that's just me (because honestly, dialogue isn't something I personally enjoy producing). But that's just me being m...

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Mandy Fernandez
18:40 Oct 17, 2020

Thanks for reading K. Antonio, and thank you for your honest feedback! Titles are kind of my specialty so I really appreciate you saying it stood out. I'm glad you think that the interactions were portrayed in a real way, since some of them were indeed real or based on real conversations and happenings. I won't reveal which ones but I will say that the characters are very much like the characters in my life! ;-) I can appreciate your transparency on dialogue. I get that it is tedious and not for everyone. Some may consider it a cop-out even...

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