Wish

Written in response to: Set your story in a confectionery shop.... view prompt

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Friendship Fiction Mystery

“I’ve never realized how small your mouth is.”

“Just throw it. I totally got this one.”

Jade adjusted in the booth, raising her arm to a ninety-degree angle. After making a slight adjustment to the right, she released the chocolate malt ball into the air. The small candy flew with a high arc, making its way towards the target.

“Perfect!” said Kara, adjusting a bit to the left to accommodate her friend’s throw. She felt the Whopper plop onto her tongue, closing her mouth quickly this time to prevent a repeat of the last failed attempt. “Boom. Told ya!” She smiled, flashing her shiny white teeth full of crushed malt candy.

“Yeah, after what, fifty tries?”

“It was only five. Besides, I had to accommodate for the wind.”

Jade rolled her eyes, smiling at her friend. She watched as Kara searched behind the counter, looking for another activity that would occupy their time. “I have to admit, this was a good find. Who knew it would take a candy shop to feel like a kid again. I haven’t been in a candy shop since…” Jade’s thoughts replaced her words as she struggled to remember. When was the last time she had been to a candy shop? It had become difficult to remember. 

“Hey, check this out!” Kara brought up a glass jar from under the counter, carefully removing the lid.

“What is it?”

Kara ignored Jade’s question as she dropped down out of sight just long enough to make Jade curious.

“Kara? What are you doing?”

“Fire!” yelled Kara, quickly popping up from her hiding place. She held a candy straw between her lips, taking aim at her friend. A red skittle propelled by a quick breath came flying toward Jade. Jade’s instincts kicked in, her hand flying up to catch the candy.

“Nice try! Check it out, I caught it!” Jade raised her hand in triumph. The small distraction was just what Kara intended. Jade felt a slight sting as a yellow skittle pelted her in the neck. “What the..”

“Ha! The classic technique of distraction.” Kara walked out from behind the candy counter, taking a bow before hopping off the small step back into the walkway.  

“I take it back. This candy shop was a terrible idea.” Jade said, watching as her friend sauntered to the booth seat across from her. 

“Don’t be a poor sport,” mocked Kara. 

Jade glared, her eyes glistening dangerously. 

Kara stared back into her friend’s jade-green eyes. “Did your parents change your name after your eyes developed their color?”

“Yeah, I was Janice until I turned 6 months.”

“Really?”

“No, you doof. My mom had green eyes like me. Guess my parents just hoped mine would be the same.”

“Well…they are quite beautiful,” Kara said, her face scrunching as she dove into her own puddle of thoughts.

Jade stared at her friend, trying to decipher her actions. She wondered whether or not to return a compliment. She had always been jealous of how good Kara’s silver hair complimented her naturally tan skin.

I was just thinking about…before,” said Kara, breaking the silence.

Jade opened her mouth to speak but quickly closed it. No words felt right. 

“Enough of that, though.” Kara’s entire demeanor changed, perking back up to her bright self. “I have a game we can play. Twenty questions.”

“Alright. I’m ready. Is it…a person?”

“Yep.”

“Do they…have chestnut hair and lots of freckles?”

“Yep.” Kara flashed her contagious smile.

“Is it…me?”

“That was way too easy,” said Kara, doing a fake pouty face.

“Well, when there are only two people, it makes it pretty easy.”

“Yeah, I suppose you’re right,” said Kara. She leaned back against the wall and stretched her legs out along the booth seat. “Ok. You’re up.”

Jade picked up one of the several marshmallows scattered across the table, squeezing it a few times before placing it in her mouth. “Got one. Go.”

“Is it a person?” Kara started.

“Nope.”

“Dang. I give up.” Kara threw her hands up in a dramatic fashion.

Jade flicked one of the marshmallows at her friend. “No giving up.”

“Is it an animal?”

“Nope.”

“A place then?”

“Yes.”

“Hmm. Those are always the hardest to guess.”

“It’s no fun when it’s easy. You’re on question four.” Jade said, holding up four fingers on her left hand.

“Have we been to this place?”

“Hmm…halfway, I suppose.”

“Halfway? What’s that supposed to mean?” Kara straightened her posture, staring into her friend’s eyes. “Alright, I’ll just read your mind to figure this out.”

The two girls stared at each other for several minutes before Jade finally broke down in laughter. “Hey, that’s cheating! No reading minds! Keep guessing.”

“Alright, alright.” Kara resumed her old position, placing her back against the brick wall once again. 

“Is it further than a mile away from us?”

“Nope.”

“Huh. Interesting.” Kara scratched her head, thinking about all the places they passed on their way to the candy shop. They were in the heart of the city so there were lots of memorable places. They had made their way towards the downtown area. The giant buildings had drawn their attention.

“It’s the park, right? The public park just a block north?”

“That was a nice park, but nope. Not it.”

“The cemetery, then? Has to be that. How odd to have a cemetery right in the middle of the city.”

“We’ll definitely have to check that out tonight. But nope, not that either.”

“There’s no way I’m going to a cemetery at night. I’m not bored enough to meet zombies yet.” 

Jade smiled. “Oh, fine. We’ll just put it on the to-do list, then.” Jade pulled an imaginary notebook and pen from her back pocket, pretending to scribble notes vigorously. “Anything else to add?” said Jade, looking up at her friend.

“Ooh, ooh. Add the museum. The dinosaur one.”

“So you’re good with a musty, old museum full of ancient bones but a graveyard is a no-go?” questioned Jade, lifting her left eyebrow in a exaggerated fashion.

“Uh, yeah. Of course. They’re totally different.”

“Sure, sure.” Jade finished her fake notes and shoved the make-believe notebook back in her pocket. “Keep going. You’re on question eight.”

“The candy shop. We’re in it, right?”

“Halfway.”

Kara gave her friend a dirty look, picking up a handful of the remaining marshmallows and throwing them at her friend. “If you say halfway one more time…”

“Halfway!” said Jade, standing up while grabbing her own handful of the white puffs. “Halfway. Halfway. Halfway.” She threw the soft sponges at her friend and took off running toward the back of the candy shop.

“Hey!” Kara leaped out of her booth. She watched as Jade disappeared behind the swinging doors.  She decided to approach with caution. Who knew what kind of trap Jade had set up back there. She had spent a good amount of time in the backroom while Kara was busy searching the front.

The swinging doors were much heavier than Kara expected. When they closed behind her, the backroom became almost pitch dark. The only light came from the small gap between the two doors. “Jade? Where are you?” The lack of windows made the atmosphere much more spooky.

“Back here. Get the lights, would you? They’re on the left.”

Kara turned back to face the wall, moving her hands along it until she felt a small knob sticking out. She flicked it up, illuminating the area. The room was packed with boxes; some of them ripped open with candy falling out of the sides. “Oh great. A candy maze.”

“Left. Right. Left. Left. Right,” shouted Jade.

Kara followed the instructions, weaving between the assortment of confection-filled boxes. She found some Tootsie Rolls to snack on along the way. At the end of the labyrinth, Kara found Jade standing next to a metal ladder that ran all the way up the wall. 

“Halfway,” said Jade, giving a coy smile. 

“What’s up there?”

“I assume the roof. When you decided to come here, I agreed because I wanted to see if we could get up there. I’ve always wanted to see what it was like on the rooftop of one of these buildings.” Jade grabbed a metal rung and began her ascent up the ladder. When she reached the top, she unlatched the mechanism and pushed the door up with her forearm. 

Fresh air poured down onto Kara’s head as she looked up at her friend. She followed Jade’s lead, making her way up the ladder. When she reached the top, she saw Jade sitting on the edge of the building. “Well, what do you think? Everything you imagined?”

“It’s quite breathtaking. Check this out.”

As Kara neared the edge, she was taken aback by the sight. The whole city was lit up as if nobody had ever left. It was a stark contrast to the fading light of the setting sun.  “How do you think it’s possible? Why does everything still work? Can’t complain, though. Glad we got to take the elevator rather than going up 10 stories of stairs.”

“I don’t know,” said Jade, her voice barely audible. “Nothing makes sense, really.”

Kara crouched down, joining Jade on the edge of the building. She leaned forward just a touch but quickly leaned back after seeing how high they were. “Yikes. Maybe heights aren’t my thing.”

Jade chuckled softly. “What was your favorite thing? Ya’ know, when people were still around.”

“Interesting question,” said Kara, thinking of a response. “Honestly, I enjoyed it when I was able to find the quiet. Put in the headphones and tune it all out. Kind of silly when you think about it. I wish there were people so I could do that again.”

“I enjoyed the people watching, I think,” said Jade. “Humans are so fascinating to watch, with all our funny habits and rituals. During my morning walks, I’d always say hi to Pete and his dog Rosy, I’d drop a quarter in homeless Steve’s mug, and I’d watch Sara Lue get on the school bus. But, like you said, it seems a bit silly now. I wish it was all back, too”

The two girls stared out into the city for a while, not saying much more. The quiet was meditative, the presence of another human enough to bring comfort. 

“Have you ever noticed the fog?” asked Jade, looking off into the distance.

Kara squinted, looking past the bright lights and eerily silent city. She hadn’t noticed it before but did now. A thick, rolling fog surrounded the city. “No, I hadn’t. Did you?”

“Nope.”

“Feels like my brain,” said Kara. “It feels so foggy. Everything seems like a distant memory that I can’t recollect no matter how hard I try.”

“Yeah, same. Feels like a dream. But it also feels…real.”

“I’ll race you to it,” said Kara, rising to her feet.

“You’re on,” Jade replied. “Besides, I need another marshmallow.”

February 18, 2022 08:19

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15 comments

13:00 Feb 18, 2022

these two are adorable. It made me think of me and by bestie xD I love how you used the game "20 Questions" to slowly reveal their "plan" for the night! it was a very nice touch!

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Riley B.
20:52 Feb 21, 2022

Thanks for your kind thoughts! I always loved 20 questions growing up so it was enjoyable to include.

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Craig Westmore
13:46 Feb 20, 2022

I like the playful relationship between the two. The fact that they are only mildly curious about the disappearance of everyone else is intriguing.

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Riley B.
21:02 Feb 21, 2022

Thanks for your thoughts, Craig! I hope to explore this idea more in future additions.

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Riel Rosehill
23:18 Feb 18, 2022

Kept me guessing from the start, why are these girls allowed to run wild in the candy shop? And, the answer was great!

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Riley B.
21:02 Feb 21, 2022

Thanks, Riel! The prompt was the perfect idea starter for my story.

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Philip Ebuluofor
21:07 Feb 18, 2022

Unless if I missed something. You can be throwing or playing 'I caught it' game in the confectionery shop even if you are the owner.

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20:31 Feb 18, 2022

I really enjoyed reading this story. It kept me going until the end! Well done!

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Riley B.
20:56 Feb 21, 2022

Thanks, Rebecca!

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Pankaj C.
15:09 Feb 18, 2022

It's very well written. Kept me engaged throughout.

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Riley B.
20:56 Feb 21, 2022

Thanks, Pankaj!

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12:43 Feb 18, 2022

I love it. It makes me want to read more.

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Riley B.
20:53 Feb 21, 2022

I hope to continue this one. Thanks for your time!

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Tammy Cooper
11:06 Feb 18, 2022

Great storytelling.

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Riley B.
20:53 Feb 21, 2022

Thanks, Tammy!

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