Friday, 16 April 2010

Fiction Friday #7

Here's my attempt for this week's Fiction Friday challenge on the Write Anything blog, also submitted to the Friday Flash collection. The prompt was;

While digging in a cereal box for the toy surprise, a child makes a grisly discovery.

"Must you go rooting through the box like that, Tim?"

Annie pursed her lips as her son plunged his arm deeper into the cereal box. His hand crunched around in the cornflakes, his fist flexing as his fingers scrabbled for the toy.

"I can't wait, Mum! It might take us forever to get to the bottom of the box, and then I'd be dead, and I'd never have the toy and some robot boy would be playing with Batman and not me."  

"Yes, dear, but the rest of us might want to eat those cornflakes that you're smashing. Did you at least wash your hands first?"

"Yes, Mum. I used soap and everything."

Tim stuck out his tongue in concentration as he continued to fish. Annie shook her head and turned back to the washing up. She could never understand why the companies insisted on putting the freebies inside the bag with the cereal. It would be so much easier to put them in between the bag and the box. These companies were clearly run by people without children.

The sound of the box hitting the table and cornflakes skittering across the floor made Annie jump. She turned around to scold Tim. He sat at the table, clutching something in each hand. Sheer joy shined in his eyes.

"Wow! Look, Mum! I got two toys! I got the Batman toy, and this!"

Tim held up a severed finger. Blood clotted around the stump, and she could see dried mud caked under the nail. It still wore a tarnished silver ring. Annie's stomach rolled. 

"Tim, I think you'd better put that down." She clutched the bench, forcing herself not to gag.

"No way! This is brilliant!"

Tim launched himself from his chair and clattered out of the kitchen. The discarded Batman figure lay on the table, surrounded by cornflake crumbs. Annie snatched up the box, searching for the complaints phone number. She hoped they would at least get a free box of cornflakes, or at least a reward for returning the ring.

14 comments:

Walt said...

Excellent, the scenario played out just as I would imagine. It felt real, from the cornflakes falling from the box to the curious boy ditching the plastic toy for a severed finger.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Thank you! I remember being that age and I'm pretty sure I would have behaved the same way!

Marisa Birns said...

I remember rooting around in cereal boxes for prizes, though I'm so glad I only found cheap plastic things!

Loved--and laughed at--the last sentence.

Really enjoyed!

mazzz_in_Leeds said...

Well of course a severed finger would win over batman - far more fun to be had!

I think it's a crying shame they don't put toys in cereal boxes any more - health and safety grrrr

Shelli said...

I loved the last line, too. Funny, with our society, that she didn't think right away about suing the company. Fun tongue in cheek tone.

katen said...

"No way! This is brilliant!"

Well done. And nice parallel between Tim and Annie's reactions.

keithsramblings said...

I'm with Annie! Might as well gain from it. Great little story.

afullnessinbrevity said...

This played out beautifully. The characterisation was strong and believable (I still hold to my pre-adolescent protagonist wearing Superman jim jams) and the dialogue was so spot on.

Benjamin Solah said...

My mum avoiding getting cereal with prizes for this very reason, well not the finger part :P

Icy Sedgwick said...

I can imagine my mum behaving like Annie, to be honest. Why not get something out of it? (Besides a finger, naturally).

Carrie said...

AHHH! Eww. Scary discovery!

Chris Chartrand said...

Very cool. The tone was great and the reveal was well timed. I'd be off making "giving you the finger" puns while my mom went after the company for free cereal.

Jessica Rosen said...

Ick! Love the last bit about hoping to get a free box of cereal or a reward for the ring. Terrific description of the kid as he rooted around for the prize.

Take care,
Jess

dan powell said...

The kid's excitement at getting two gifts is spot on. Great story.

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