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Fiction

"You don't think it's going too far, do you?" Eddie asked, a note of uncertainty in his voice. He had half a mind to talk his friend out of this crazy idea.


"Relax, it'll be hilarious," Trevor replied, fingers hovering briefly over the confirm button before tapping it decisively. Immediately, the screen was awash in a blue, pulsing light. Tiny blue and pink balloons trailing curlicued ribbons appeared, floating upwards to fill the webpage. Congratulations Pinkblue Employee 562, your order has been processed!


"This could either be the best prank we've ever done ... or the last one we ever do at the company," Eddie gulped, feeling lightheaded.


"Worth it, bro," Trevor drawled, and held up his hand for a high five. "April Fools for the win!"


📬


When Mandy received the home pregnancy test kit in the mail, she didn't question it too deeply. She figured it was some kind of promotional stunt for a new model, like how she would sometimes get shipped a free lipstick after buying a whack of Sephora makeup.


Pursing her Candy Apple shaded lips, she counted back in her head to when her last period had been. Yeah, it had been over a month. Probably wouldn't hurt to take the test. It saved her a trip to the drugstore, and the condescending, pitying stares from the stuck up cow behind the register.


After waiting the three minutes, Mandy looked at the test and froze. Two blue lines. Her vision shrank to a pinpoint, until those lines were the only thing she could see. The stick fell from her hands, and she crumpled to the bathroom floor.


"No, no, no, NO!" she screamed, striking out blindly and knocking over her toilet paper holder. "I'm not ready to be a mom, and Chip would be a horrible dad!"


Grabbing wildly for her phone, she Googled 'can u take plan b pill while pregnant????'


📬


"Lidia," Daniel boomed from the entryway, "what the hell is this?"


"What?" Lidia called back, taking a step out of the kitchen to hear him better. "You know I can't hear a bloody thing from the kitchen, why are you bellowing from the front door, hey?" She wiped her flour dusted hands onto her apron, a puzzled expression on her face. It wasn't like Daniel to shout and carry on like this.


"The pregnancy test, Lidia. What else?" Daniel thrust it at Lidia, accusation and hurt written all over his features. "How do explain that when we haven't lived together for three months?"


"Daniel, I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about." She was starting to feel cross. Had she had an affair? Maybe, yes. But she certainly hadn't been stupid enough to buy a pregnancy test and mail it to her home address. That was just asking to be caught.


"So you didn't order this," he scoffed, throwing the box onto the couch.


"No, I didn't," Lidia said, slowly and clearly. Maybe that would help get the message across.


"I don't believe you," Daniel said, and stormed out. He slammed the door, cutting off Lidia's pleas and guesses at what might have happened.


He had heard enough. It wasn't the first time she had cheated on him, he knew, but it would damn well be the last.


📬


When Ella traded in her parcel card for the pregnancy test, she knew it must have been a sign. Ever since her wedding years ago, she had been trying with no success. It seemed like every one of her friends were either tripping over infants or proudly rubbing their ballooning bellies. Ella's own remained mercilessly flat, and the nursery she had optimistically painted yellow the past spring was just as empty.


She stowed the box reverently in her purse, and in her hurry stopped at the nearest gas station to test it instead of driving all the way home.


Staring into the cracked and grubby mirror, she counted under her breath and prayed with all of her might that she would be pregnant. With tremulous hands, she turned the stick over and looked. It took a full minute to process the two blue lines.


An uncertain smile swept over her face, and she checked the instructions again, half sure that it was all some mistake. It was all there in black and white though, two lines meant a pregnancy.


Past the point of caring, Ella sank gratefully to her knees on the chipped, ugly bathroom tile and clasped her hands together in prayer to thank God. Once she had finished her prayers, she fished in her purse for her phone to call Calvin. Then, she called her friends, heedless of the superstition to wait until the first trimester was over. This news was too joyous to keep to herself. By the time she had made her last call, her jaw ached from smiling so much, and the banging on the bathroom door had become quite insistent.


Unlocking the door, she beamed at the scowling soccer mom on the other side. "I'm pregnant," Ella screamed, and hugged her. After initially stiffening in her embrace, the stranger hugged her back and congratulated her. When Ella finally let go, her eyes were red rimmed and shining. "I've waited so long to be a mum," she whispered. "Sorry if I freaked you out. I'm just so, so happy."


📬


Polly was extremely bemused when she received the pregnancy test in the mail.


"Don't they check these things," she chuckled, showing John the package. "I mean, honestly. I'm seventy years old. Not exactly the right demographic for their company."


John had been equally amused at first, but he soon forgot about it. Polly, on the other hand, kept coming back to the place in the cupboard where she had stored it away. Holding the box in her wrinkled, liver spotted hands, she wished with a desperate fierceness that she was still able to have children.


Her first husband hadn't wanted any, and she had loved Adam enough to accept that. Every time that she visited her sister's, her heart had broken at the sight of her nephew's chubby fingers, and his beautiful blond hair.


Adam had passed on, bless his soul, some twenty years ago. By the time she had met and fallen in love with John, she was far too old to have children on her own, and it seemed too late to adopt.


"Polly, love? Is everything okay?" John's voice tore her out of her memories, and when she looked down she saw that her hands had twisted the flimsy cardboard box into shreds.


"No, I don't think it is," she admitted quietly.


📬


It had only taken days for the whole thing to blow up. Newscasters eagerly reported on the story, enthusiastically informing their viewers that the two employees who had engineered such a cruel and thoughtless prank of sending out thousands of false positive pregnancy tests had been fired from Pinkblue.


Victims of the Pinkblue Hoax were invited to join a class action lawsuit against Trevor Diaz and Eddie Smith, in the hopes of being paid for emotional suffering, unnecessary medical bills, and undue harm.


The clip of the two perpetrators fleeing the Pinkblue headquarters in a hail of coffee cups and used pregnancy tests thrown by picketers seemed like poetic justice to the many victims of the prank.


Other's felt that it wasn't going far enough, and the two hapless pranksters had been ushered into protective custody after Eddie's brakes had been cut and he'd suffered a number of broken bones and a concussion.


Investigators later found a message scratched into the car dashboard that Eddie had overlooked.


Not so funny now, is it? - Ella

April 02, 2021 01:01

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5 comments

Michael Boquet
15:02 Apr 02, 2021

A very clever take on the prompt. It was particularly smart to show us all the different people affected by the prank. Even though we only see them for a short time, all the pranked women come across as realistic and unique. Based on my own experiences, my heart broke for Ella. I'm glad she got her revenge. In the paragraph that begins: "When Mandy received the pregnancy" you've got "kid" instead of 'kit'. Also, this may just be a word I'm unfamiliar with, but you say a "whack of Sephora make-up". It looked odd, but like I said I may just ...

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Courtney C
15:11 Apr 02, 2021

Thank you for reading Michael, and I'm glad you liked the story! Also, I've fixed that 'kid'. Must have been a Freudian slip lol.

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Rachel Smith
19:58 Apr 02, 2021

I enjoyed this story. I was immediately drawn in and I thought using lots of little examples was very effective. I felt so sorry for Ella and Polly. I said 'oh no' quite a few times. Well done.

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Courtney C
01:07 Apr 02, 2021

Just a quick, silly story for April Fools. I'm not expecting it to do super well, but enjoy!

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Ryan Lm Colli
19:40 Apr 08, 2021

First of all, a big thank you for such an excellent critique of my story. And coming from someone who's heading the leaderboard this is very humbling. I gave read a couple of your stories, and as I had mentioned I am a huge, huge fan of writing skills. Let me tell you, this is my first attempt at a longer story though I have penned four full length novels besides two books of poems. I wrote this on my phone, and hit the sent button without so much as a second look. Also, it's something to do with my phone button keys- I get confused and at t...

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