Things that are hard.

Submitted into Contest #19 in response to: Write a short story about someone based on their shopping list.... view prompt



  1. Eggs
  2. Milk
  3. Flour
  4. Sugar
  5. Butter
  6. Baking powder
  7. Vanilla
  8. Salt

entry 1: eggs

The sky is a hazy blue.

The air is chilly with the snow that was yet to fall.

And I am in desperate need of eggs. 

I usually didn't run out of them, (I’d have chickens) and was surprised to find one day that my chickens had just decided to stop laying them. 

One sec… I’ll be back.

Okay then, they aren't really. a problem anymore.

The problem now is, how to get eggs.





I’ll have to think on it, it’s not like I can just drive off the sixty minutes to town, it was way too icy and I would most likely die.

I guess I’ll just have to ask my neighbors for some…

entry 2: milk

I have eggs. Luckily my friends next door were kind enough to lend me some.

It’s finally time to make my masterpiece.

I can't believe it!!! I drank the last of my milk!!

This is an outrage!

I swear I stocked up. It’s not like anybody else lives in my house!?


Okay.. so I went over to ask my neighbor if he had any milk I could just borrow.

He looked at me kinda weird but gave me a jug of milk anyway.

I am eternally grateful!

entry 3: flour

I don't know where I put it.

Where is it!!!!

I know I had some.

Some flour…

“Hey, there neighbor!” I imagined saying. “Got anything else I can steal from you this Christmas? Like I dunno… some flour?”

Why were things so hard?

The weirdest thing just happened:

“Hey neighbor,” I actually said. “ can I borrow a cup of flour?”

He squinted his eyes at me but obliged. 

As he handed me a little baggie of flour he asked, “So what is all of this for anyway?” 

I shook my head and ran off with the flour.

And guess what I found when I got home.


He was stealing all of my food and bringing it to his mother, who apparently didn't want to head to town either. 

And you’ll never guess who his brother is!


How pleasant.

entry 4: sugar

So I have been asking my neighbor for my own food. That makes me feel better. I should probably go confront him though.

“My ingredients” I had said earlier. 

Of course, he acted nonchalantly. 

“What ingredients?”

The ones your little thief of a brother stole.

He’d gasped.

Of course, he’d gasped.

“I can’t believe he would do that!” He’d cried out.

I didn’t fall for his little play.

“Just give me my food.” I’d grumped.

Then I’d heard him yelling at his brother.

“Just because we don’t have any food for ourselves, doesn’t mean you can go off stealing other people’s things.”

Maybe he hadn’t been lying.

Well, at least I have my food back right?


You know, maybe I should give them just a bit of sugar.

It’s Christmas tomorrow after all.

entry 5: Butter

I’m still shooketh.

That’s a word, right?

` Anyway, I gave the neighbor kid some sugar.

He started to cry and thanked me generously.

I felt joy.

Like, pure joy, not just a happy sensation.

I liked it.

Now that I had all of my ingredients I felt calm inside, but not quite happy.

Had I really taken them from my kind, sad neighbors next door?

Was that right?

Was it wrong?

Why were things so hard?

A few minutes ago I was standing at my neighbor's door with a basket of butter.

“Uh… my fridge stopped working and I have nowhere to put these.” I’d stuttered. “I’m handing them out to my neighbors now.”

I’d given them a stick.’

“It’s yours now.” I’d muttered before fast-walking away, back to the comfort of my own home.

My fridge is actually fine though.

Smooth huh?

Smooth like butter.

entry 6: baking powder

What is vital to cooking?

BAKING POWDER of course!

It’s the real secret ingredient that every dish needs.

How else could you get the best volume and the tenderest texture of a perfect platter?

It’s now time to create my baking masterpiece.

As I take my traditional christmas cookies out of the oven, I can't help but think of my thieving neighbors.

Maybe I should give them some?

I have made these cookies with my mother for as long as I can remember.

She’s gone now.

Maybe I can share the tradition with a new family?

entry 7: vanilla

“A little vanilla always makes everything sweet.

A drop of vanilla makes all food a treat.”

My mother's words.

Or had they been my fathers.

It’s getting harder to hold on to my memories of them as I grow older.

All the good times I used to have.

The painful ones.

The happy ones.

Times when things weren't so hard.

But my question is, should I make new memories, or grasp onto melting straws.


My parents would have wanted me to do this.

entry 8: salt

I am sitting in the kitchen of my neighbors.

Apparently the bigger brother is the little one’s guardian.

They don't know where their parents are. 

Earlier, I asked them if they’d wanted any cookies.

Of course they’d accepted.

We talked.

Got to know each other.

They Are actually pretty nice and, I know it’s silly of me, but I’m starting to really like the older of the two.

He’s around my age you know.

I asked if they would join me for christmas dinner, and they accepted.

I’ll keep you posted.

The boy asked me why I write so much. I’m writing this now. Maybe I should talk more. Bye.

The older one, his name’s Leo, is looking at me.

He is still looking.

Why is he doing this?


It’s the next day now and I am flabbergasted.

Leo confessed his love for me after dinner the other day. 

Apparently he’s always admired me.

And on that note I bid thee diary farewell. I am leaving you to focus on my life directly and not through the eyes of paper.

Paper doesn't even have eyes.

Goodbye, my dear diary.

Entry 9.

I’ve found it. 

Hello again.

It’s me.

Me, Ella your old friend.

I'm older now.

I have a family.

Funny enough it’s with my old neighbor.

New husband.

Life is good.

If anybody finds this, please read it and take it as a life lesson.

You are never alone as long as you try to be kind.

Goodbye now.

For good this time.

December 10, 2019 21:39

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Whitney Trang
17:38 Dec 18, 2019

I was not expecting a love story! What a sweet story! :)


Cam Croz
22:43 Apr 15, 2020

XD thanks! I wasnt either to be honest... it just kind of happened.


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Sam Kirk
02:40 Jan 15, 2020

You showed the power of kindness beautifully. Finding out that your neighbor was stealing your food and then giving it back was funny.


Cam Croz
22:43 Apr 15, 2020

Thank you!!


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Kaylee Tinsley
14:28 Jan 07, 2020

Wow!!! I LOVE this story!! You did an incredible job, and I love your style!!


Cam Croz
22:42 Apr 15, 2020

Thanks a ton! It makes me smile to know that people like my work!


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Cam Croz
17:02 Dec 19, 2019

Thanks to everyone who has said such kind things about my story! It really means a lot to me! Thank you!


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05:19 Dec 17, 2019

Loved the story! Very sweet, heartwarming and unique! Thank you for posting this. 😊😁


Leya Newi
17:42 Dec 18, 2019

Exactly my thoughts!!! This story was absolutely amazing.


Cam Croz
01:17 Apr 16, 2020

Thank you both!!


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Rima ElBoustani
22:34 Dec 16, 2019

A lot of good feelings....nicely thought out.


Cam Croz
22:41 Apr 15, 2020

Thank you!


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Amany Sayed
21:22 Apr 15, 2020

This was so beautiful! I loved it! You are an amazing writer!


Cam Croz
22:40 Apr 15, 2020

I'm glad you think so! That makes me happy! Thank you!


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Unknown User
06:21 Jan 10, 2020

<removed by user>


Cam Croz
22:42 Apr 15, 2020

:) thank you! I try!


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Lee Kull
02:39 Dec 22, 2019

Aww, so sweet! It isn't written like your typical short story. Great work!


Cam Croz
22:41 Apr 15, 2020

I'm glad you like it!


Lee Kull
01:30 Apr 21, 2020

I do! Thank you for sharing. :-) All the best, Lee


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Terry R Barca
02:52 Dec 19, 2019

I enjoyed the style of your story and its content. Well done.


Cam Croz
22:41 Apr 15, 2020

Thank you!


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Adrie Byman
16:10 Apr 27, 2020

Great story! I enjoyed the plot twist. Very enthusiastic story, I love it !!


Cam Croz
16:29 Apr 27, 2020

Thank you Adrie!


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Jan Rebekah
22:25 Mar 27, 2020

Great story.


Cam Croz
22:41 Apr 15, 2020



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Millie Spence
21:57 Feb 14, 2020

I loved the way that this piece was structured. This was a delightful read with a lovely message. Thank you for writing this.


Cam Croz
16:34 Feb 19, 2020

Thank YOU for being so kind!


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Sarah Freeman
20:05 Jul 29, 2020

Amazing!!! I love how you make Ella hilarious and indignant in the beginning, and then she gets more emotional about what her parents would have wanted for her. That ending is amazing and I just loved it. Keep writing!!!


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Harken Void
09:29 Jul 01, 2020

What a funny, sweet and totally unexpected story :) Such a cool way of using the prompt and telling a story without ballast. Short, direct sentences. Loved it. BTW, cool profile photo, fellow Avatar the last Airbender admirer ;)


Cam Croz
13:42 Jul 01, 2020

Thank you! Yes, ATLA is amazing.


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