Contest #211 shortlist ⭐️

79 comments

Creative Nonfiction Holiday Inspirational


Donuts Do Not Die


The crotchety old guy settled back down in his over-sized crusty stuffed arm chair pushing the ottoman slightly to the side for now. He jarred another cigarette out of its pack and picked it out with his teeth, flipped his Bic to light it and clicked to a 24-four-hour news station on the large box TV balanced on top of the flickering gas fake fireplace used to heat the enclosed porch. The cold chill still rattled the three walls of windows he peered through watching for them.

He knew they were coming. The waning sun was sneaking below the horizon finally giving up any effort to warm the hazy atmosphere. Indian summer was long gone giving in to the soon to arrive winds of November. It was time.

He could detect their torches bobbing along in the distance from every direction. They were searching. Knowing the flickering lights from the fireplace and TV would be casting eerie blue images across his sullen features, he figured he might as well give in to the ghosts, and the skeletons, and the zombies. Never any good news on these days anyway.

Struggling up from his comfortable corner he lumbered to the switch by the front door and illuminated the interior then checked to see if the door was locked before settling back in for the inevitable. And he waited. He didn't have to wait long.

^**^

“This is it, Grandma! I think this is the one! We found it. Didn't we?” The miniature King Kong squealed.

“Well, I think so. It looks very much like what I remember. But it has been a lot of years since...”

“I am pretty sure, Mom brought us here a couple of years ago. The porch light is on. Let's go see. Okay?”

“But there is an old man on the porch. Someone else might live here now...

“Oh, oh. I know you. You're... Bruce. Aren't you?”

“Sure am. And you are Tammy. Right? We went to high school together, if I remember correctly.”

“Then we are at the right place. But maybe the wrong time. Is... your mother still...”

“Yes, yes. She is still alive. I live here now taking care of her.”

“She can't possibly still...”

“If you are thinking what I think you are thinking then yes. She has some help now days but you'll find her inside. I am only the gate keeper. Go on in the foyer and straight ahead. The doors are closed to keep the cold out and the warmth in. But she is watching for more victims. She is waiting to see you and your big gorilla. She will be delighted.”

“Knock on the door, Scooter. You know what to say.”

“Don't say my name, Grandma. I am the mighty King Kong!”

“Gotcha. You're on, King Kong.”

“Trick or Treat!”

“Come in, come in,” a frail, shaky octogenarian voice responded back.

They open the second door to see a crippled-up hag in a witch's hat and green and white striped long-stockings beckoning them to enter into her lair. She reaches her gnarly long figures for a napkin to wrap up a humongous golden ring of glazed pastry before handing it to the youngster.

“Here you are, you Little Monkey.” Her voice quavers.

“Could my grandma have one, too, please?” He ventures as he clutches the treasure to his chest over the plastic jack-o-lantern dangling from his arm. “She used to come here when she was my age.”

“Oh, no. I, I don't...” Tammy started.

“Sure you do, Deary. Here you go.”

“Why, thank you so much. I remember how good these are. I can't believe you are still making and passing out your delicious donuts after all these years.” Tammy oohed and ah-ed.

“My girls and even my Grandson help me out now days. But I have only missed one year, the year that grandson got married on Trick-or-Treat night, in what, near 50 years? As long as the Good Lord allows, I'll try to keep up the tradition.”

Tammy basked in the aroma of the delicacy and the welcoming smell of the whole house still emanating from the kitchen.

“Well, God bless you and thanks again, so much.” She directed her grandson back through the double-door foyer to the front porch to make room for the next in line.

“Thank you, Bruce. So wonderful to see 'The Donut Lady' is still producing her signature treat. I remember seeing that story in the newspaper years ago. If you don't mind me asking, how old is she by now?”

“Well into her eighties. Will be ninety next February in fact. Almost have to tie her down to keep her out of her kitchen. She tends to fall a lot lately so can't be out there alone anymore. But she can't be stopped from supervising the production. Ours still never come out as perfect as hers but we try.”

“Still looks wonderful and I can't wait to get home and enjoy this with a cup of coffee. Don't even have to share this saucer-sized wheel with anyone. I never expected to get one myself. Chewbaca, here, asked for one for me.”

“King Kong, Grandma! Chewbaca would need guns and you wouldn't let me carry one!”

“You make a ferocious King Kong, Little Guy. Don't be climbing any skyscrapers. Enjoy your prize.” He slightly tussled the long fur on the top of the creature's head then motioned them aside as four multi-colored Power Rangers converged on them weapons drawn.

“Trick or Treat!” They demanded in unison.

“Right through there but beware the witch!” He pointed them toward the inner door as a princess, a unicorn and two fairies exited with eyes as round as the treats they beheld.

“Excuse us, excuse us, please.”

Bruce held open the porch door to let them pass and as Tammy and her grandson started exiting as well he touched her arm, “Uh, Tammy. It was good to see you again. Perhaps I can buy you a regular sized donut and cup of coffee sometime soon over at Flinny's?”

“That would be nice. How about Tuesday at half pass eight?”

“Sounds delightful. See you then.” He smiled as he ushered in Donald Trump and Barack Obama. “Right this way, Gentlemen.”














August 17, 2023 16:06

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79 comments

Lily Finch
16:22 Aug 17, 2023

Mary what a cute story of about a mini-donut making little old lady who was known in the neighbourhood for her Trick or Treat treats. So great. LF6

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Mary Bendickson
16:39 Aug 17, 2023

Mom's donuts were Texas sized. She presented the full sized ones on Halloween for 50 some years. Thanks for reading and liking. You would have loved her donuts, too.

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Lily Finch
18:33 Aug 17, 2023

You are correct Mary. Donuts are my weakness. Yum yum. LF6

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09:06 Aug 19, 2023

So sweet, like the donuts! Nice bit of misdirection up front. Lovely take about a kind lovely lady. Thanks for sharing 😌

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Mary Bendickson
15:37 Aug 21, 2023

Sure,happy to share. Mom was a treasure and my brother could be difficult but he came through when it came time to care for her.

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08:03 Aug 22, 2023

Glad to hear it! :)

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Michał Przywara
20:37 Aug 18, 2023

The title drew me in, with its D-N-D-N-D sound pattern. The story itself is sweet (ha!), and the opening quite funny, with the "ghosts, and the skeletons, and the zombies". I wasn't sure what we were in for - bad memories? Some kind of monster apocalypse? But of course, it was Hallowe'en :) Some traditions keep us alive, don't they? They give us drive and purpose, and when it's something like a tasty donut, other people look forward to them as well - everybody wins. I like the last line too - a subtle nod to good food bringing people toget...

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Mary Bendickson
14:41 Aug 21, 2023

A little of both on that last line ☺️ Thanks for reading and commenting. For this week's entry I'll be writing a thank you letter to Killer Nashville Writer's Conference for the winner's medal they presented me for best in western genre for first fifty pages of my unpublished manuscript!!!🥳🥳🥳

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Michał Przywara
21:26 Aug 21, 2023

Oh! Best in genre!! Congrats, Mary! That's awesome news, and a great sign of a promising novel :D

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Michał Przywara
16:39 Aug 25, 2023

Congratulations on the shortlist!

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Mary Bendickson
16:43 Aug 25, 2023

Thanks. So surprised 😲. Must be on a roll🍩

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16:24 Aug 17, 2023

Wow! Awesome story! So glad I got here this early :) What a surprise, another creative non-fiction! You're the queen of them. You seem to have so much to write about in your life. This must've been the perfect prompt! You know an octogenarian? Nicccce. Such a nice story :)

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Mary Bendickson
16:44 Aug 17, 2023

Thank you so much. My mom passed away two years ago at the age of 96. She was famous in our town for her donuts she passed out at Halloween. I had to go back a few years to make her 89 in this story. We helped her accomplish that feat right up 'til she passed. People would seek her house out on that night. My son still will make them but doesn't give them out for trick or treat.

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J. D. Lair
00:45 Aug 20, 2023

I had forgot this was labeled creative nonfiction. That makes it so much better! Sounds like your mom was quite the lady. :) this story has me thinking I should start a tradition like that with my family.

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Rebecca Lewis
18:23 Jun 05, 2024

I enjoyed "Donuts Do Not Die"! It's got a charming and nostalgic vibe, mixing a bit of spookiness with warmth — perfect for a Halloween story. The opening is great. It sets a somber, eerie tone with the old man waiting for something inevitable. His actions — lighting a cigarette, watching the news — establish his character. Bruce and Tammy's reunion is heartwarming. The grandmother's character interesting. Her dedication to making donuts despite her age is touching. The dialogue feels natural and keeps the story moving. Bruce asking Tammy ou...

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Mary Bendickson
20:29 Jun 05, 2024

Thank you. The story is dear to my heart because it is a tribute to my mother's donut making.

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John K Adams
14:53 Mar 21, 2024

Great job, Mary. Lively characters and a good twist.

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Mary Bendickson
18:36 Mar 21, 2024

Glad you liked that one. Told one story about my mom and my brother.

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John K Adams
21:51 Mar 21, 2024

What would storytellers do without families?

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Glenda Toews
13:47 Sep 22, 2023

Congratulations on the Short List Mary! What a beautiful story! The taste of donuts lingers in my mouth :D

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Mary Bendickson
14:39 Sep 22, 2023

No one made em like Mom.

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Suma Jayachandar
06:09 Sep 17, 2023

Mary, What a sweet, warm and delicious story! That first section is pure gold. Rich in description and anticipation that something sinister is about to happen. Then you flip things around and it brings us to one of the best things humans can bond over; good food. No wonder Grandma doesn’t want to let go of that privilege of bringing people to her doorstep for it. I’m glad this got the recognition it deserved. I’m a bit late, but congratulations!

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Mary Bendickson
18:39 Sep 17, 2023

Thanks souch. I have fallen behind on my activity feed so sorry if missed an

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Stevie Burges
04:05 Sep 11, 2023

Thanks for this, Mary. I wasn't sure where it was going at the beginning and thought it might be creepy, but instead, it was cute and full of good cheer. A lovely, well-written story.

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Mary Bendickson
19:05 Sep 11, 2023

Glad you liked my donut story about my brother on the porch and my Mom making donuts.

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Story Time
17:31 Aug 28, 2023

Mary, I'm so excited to see you on the shortlist! And as a donut lover, this one really made me smile. Just a delightful story from top to bottom. Congratulations.

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Mary Bendickson
18:41 Aug 28, 2023

Thank you.🙏I, too, was excited to see me on the shortlist.😊

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Delbert Griffith
12:43 Aug 28, 2023

I love this tale, Mary. Sweet without being too sweet. That's a masterful touch, my friend. I see it's creative non-fiction. Sounds like someone in your life was giving out some terrific treats for Halloween. I still remember getting popcorn balls and peanut brittle from our neighbors back in the day. Beautiful. Congrats on the shortlist, Mary. The tale deserves such recognition. Keep it up, my friend! Cheers!

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Mary Bendickson
14:55 Aug 28, 2023

🙏 Thanks. That would be my mom. Her claim to fame.

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Michelle Oliver
22:23 Aug 27, 2023

Congratulations on the short list. This is so beautiful. I love the opening, I wondered where on earth this was going. Was Mary venturing into horror? But the opening set up for a great story of how one person has such an impact on the world around them. I would have loved to meet your mum and sample her donuts that were obviously make with such love d care.

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Mary Bendickson
22:27 Aug 27, 2023

Thank you. She was amazing but never thought it was anything special.😌

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Jarrel Jefferson
13:39 Aug 27, 2023

You had me going there with the beginning. I thought something bad was going to happen with the old guy. This is a very sweet story. I also like the title. Maybe the Donut Lady is actually a witch who can live forever as long as her descendants help her make donuts every Halloween. What made you decide to start off with a darker tone in this story?

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Mary Bendickson
19:09 Aug 27, 2023

At first I was going to go with fireplace scene. My brother did spend countless hours on front porch in crusty arm chair, smoking and watching sports or news programs on huge box tv perched on fake fireplace heater. He was quite grumpy after watching politics all day. He was mom's caretaker as she aged but he was in his sixties. He did wait for the trick or treaters to find the right house and lead them in to where she loved to see them. Just thought I would add to the suspense. Her donuts were the stars.😉

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Philip Ebuluofor
21:08 Aug 26, 2023

The language you used captures interest and the storyline is equally captivating. Congrats.

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Mary Bendickson
21:22 Aug 26, 2023

Thank you for liking and for the complimentary comment.

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Karen Corr
17:17 Aug 26, 2023

You took me from a sunny summer day on my back porch to a dark Halloween night, and now I’m craving donuts. Thank you for the ride!

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10:51 Aug 26, 2023

Mary!!! Amazing!! Well done so happy for you!!

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Mary Bendickson
14:38 Aug 26, 2023

🙏 Thanks. Surprised 😯 me! Once again, I appreciate that!

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14:41 Aug 26, 2023

Very well deserved! And overdue!!

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Kevin Logue
10:01 Aug 26, 2023

Congratulations Mary, may your streak continue 🎉🎉

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Mary Bendickson
10:21 Aug 26, 2023

Thank you 😊. Working on widening doorways to fit my head through.😏

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Susan Catucci
19:51 Aug 25, 2023

Sweeeeet recognition for a sweet tale lovingly told. Twenty thumbs up, Mary (with a mini-doughnut at the end of each!) So glad for you - congratulations!

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Mary Bendickson
20:10 Aug 25, 2023

Thank you 😊 Thank you 🙏. So 😯 surprised!

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Tsvi Jolles
17:21 Aug 25, 2023

Congratulations Mary. I was really happy to see that.

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Mary Bendickson
18:18 Aug 25, 2023

As was I! Quite surprised 😯! Thanks 🙏

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17:19 Aug 25, 2023

This might be the perfect autumn tale for 2023. Lovely homage to your grandmother, from start to finish. Well done, Mary. A confection of perfection.

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Mary Bendickson
18:16 Aug 25, 2023

Like that line: confection of perfection. 🙏

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