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Packed With Peanuts
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The Magic Ball
Corrine and Victoria
The Death Reader
Early One Morning
Lost Four Words
It's Been There...
A Pang of Pity
The Way It Ends
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In the Cards
Looking At Me
Suspension of Disbelief
Aunt Rose's Revenge
Lytle Creek Trek
Protect and Serve
The Last Tenant
Into the Knight
Salugi at Starbucks
The Parent Hunt
The Last Laugh
The Red Eagle
The Grand Old Party
Lacy and the Bear
Rules of Civil Procedure
Do Unto Others
A Stranger Dressed Black
Strike Force - The Reckoning
Sniper Hunt, A Collection
Some days you're the pigeon...
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Packed With Peanuts
This is a flash fiction piece I wrote for a writing class about an attempted late night snack.
Jennifer L O'callaghan
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (5)
Haul Out The Holly (Short Stories) This is a holiday story I wrote for a writing class, inspired by what my sisters and I call "The House of Tacky" in our neighborhood. [2,087 words]
Make Him Crave You (Short Stories) When bad dating advice happens to clueless women. [1,674 words] [Humor]
My Mother, The Halloweenie (Essays) Reflections on my favorite holiday and how it has changed. [1,460 words] [Humor]
Not Necessarily Cancer (Short Stories) A young woman's reaction to her abnormal Pap smear. [1,920 words] [Literary Fiction]
Remembering Jamie (Essays) Thoughts following the unexpected death of an old friend [793 words]
Packed With Peanuts
Jennifer L O'callaghan
Marilyn stifled a yawn with her fist and squinted at the clock, which blinked 2:30 a.m. with red digital urgency. A familiar grumble from her stomach nagged her to get out of bed. She swung her legs out from beneath the covers and stepped onto the cold tile floor. She knew what she had to do.
In the pile of laundry squatting on her closet floor, Marilyn found a dollar crumpled in the pocket of a pair of Levi's. Like everything else in her closet the jeans were just a bit too snug to remind her (or so her mother said) of how much better her life would be if she could just lose a few pounds.
From across the room her roommate stirred, but did not wake. Marilyn tiptoed over to the door and eased it open. She peered down the empty hall, littered with empty beer bottles and boxes of cold pizza. Her gaze fell on a figure shrouded in a halo of fluorescence, beckoning her to come, come to the light. Her stomach gurgled a response and she stole down the hallway to pay her nightly homage to the Phoenix Vending gods.
A choir of pretzels and chips sang hosannas of monosodium glutamate to her from behind the glass. As if to test her will, the machine at first rejected her offering, spitting the dollar out in a disgusted buzz. She knelt on the carpeting and pressed the bill flat between her palms. On her second attempt, the Phoenix accepted the dollar. She punched E-4 and waited while the silver coil around the waist of the Snickers retreated to the back of the machine. Marilyn closed her eyes to listen to the thunk of candy hitting the tray below the rows of Juju Bees, lifesavers and Slim Jim twinpacks, but the thunk never came. The machine burped out forty cents and then fell silent.
For a moment she stared at the empty tray in disbelief, willing the missing candy to appear. She looked again at the Snickers coil, which now sat empty and brooding. And then she spied her missing treat, stopped in mid-swan dive by a bag of M&M’s, just inches away from its destination.
Marilyn felt heat rising to her cheeks. In a burst of adrenaline, she heaved the machine from side to side. The Snickers did not budge, but she did manage to knock a three-pack of condoms free. She sighed and blew her bangs from her eyes, aware that at any moment one of her hallmates could emerge from their rooms and catch her battle at the vending machine. She looked down at the remaining three coins that had melded themselves into the crease of her palms. Maybe there was still hope.
The Fritos, she noticed, were positioned almost directly above where the Snickers' flight had stalled. She nodded at the lead bag and then fed the machine a second time. When she pushed G-4, the Fritos rocketed towards the Snickers, but glanced off the candy bar and bounced harmlessly into the tray.
Marilyn’s stomach growled again, as if to say that although they were much easier to reach, Fritos would not make a suitable substitute for the snack that really satisfies. She could almost feel the tendrils of caramel stroking her chin and taste the nougat squishing between her teeth.
She studied the machine carefully and estimated that the Snickers was really only about six inches from its destination. She pushed up her sweatshirt sleeves and crouched next to the Phoenix. Her arm snaked up past the row of sugar-free gum until her fingers brushed the wrapper fringe. The Snickers bar swayed for a moment and then tumbled into her outstretched hand. Marilyn yelped in delight. Her joy fizzled, however, when she realized that the vending machine had a tight grip on her arm. She pulled and twisted to no avail. Marilyn was stuck.
Five hours later a team of firemen, summoned by her hallmates, arrived on the scene to extract her from the Phoenix’s embrace. Through a suppressed smile, her resident assistant lectured Marilyn about the hidden hazards of vending machines and then issued her a vandalism ticket to pay for the damages inflicted during her rescue.
The hall emptied suddenly as her hallmates rushed off to class. Marilyn gazed for a moment at the darkened vending machine. Then she shuffled down the hall to her room, still clutching the Snickers bar.
|READER'S REVIEWS (4)
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"Well....I don't understand what you mean by "looking for your voice." You have a great way with description and you "show" rather than "tell" what is happening, which is where most writers miss the boat. The best advice I can give you is....Keep it up! You have a real talent." -- Gary Gordon (a.k.a. Lo Phat Ham), Phoenix, Arizona.
"Ummm, I like the name of the title, but I honestly don't believe the title and the shory story are a perfect match." -- Amanda Castro-Socci, Washington, DC.
"Packed with peanuts: Snickers satisfies. I know the feeling. :-)" -- R. Bennett Okerstrom.
"Finally! After sorting through an amazing amount of sadism, sorcery, evil, death, mayhem, social evils and personal stories of distress and failure, I find a decent interesting story written in a finely crafted manner. A short story that moves me to think about a snack! Very nicely done!" -- Dohn Gayne.
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© 1999 Jennifer L O'callaghan
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