Friday, April 16, 2010

Morning Malady

Charice slapped her hand on the kitchen table and glared at her son. “You’re big enough to fill your own bowl for breakfast. Now hurry up, the school bus will be round soon.” She eyed the raven haired teenager across the table. Her nose, lip and eyebrow studs caught tiny sparkles of sunlight as she chewed her toast. “ And you can stop dreaming Miss. We’re on a tight time frame this morning.”
Marvin poked his tongue out at his sister and thrust his hand inside the deep cardboard box. As his wriggling filthy fingers grasped a handful of breakfast goodies and withdrew from the box, it tipped forwards, spilling much of the contents along the table. Tiny cockroaches scattered as the box hit the table.
“Marvin, you’re such a clutz. Mum are you sure he has any of our family in him?”
“Tearna, leave him be. The poor lads still getting used to his growing body. He has his grandmothers hands. What that woman couldn’t do with a needle and thread wasn't worth knowing.” She spun suddenly and snatched up one of his hands and admonished him, “Oh Marvin look at those hands.  You can’t eat with them like that. Whats this?  A clean spot?”
Dan arched his eyebrow as the local rag sagged low enough to see what the noise was. With a grunt, he shifted his focus back to the comics, blocking out the early morning fuss.
Marvin grasped the carton of milk and began pouring it into his bowl, but stopped suddenly as he grumbled. “Awww Mum, theres little curdles in my milk!”
Clarise rolled her eyes and brushed her hands on her tatty apron before picking up the carton to scrutinise the details.  “Humm the dates seem right. I’m sure its alright. Just eat your breakfast. Your father can sort it after you are at school. Dan. Get your head out of those comics. The quality control down at the factory must be on the blink again.”
A grunt emitted from behind the comics.
Mixing his breakfast about in his bowl, Marvin grumbled under his breath. “Don’t like little curdles.”
Teearna poked out her tongue “Little curdles turn into big ones - its just the same. Deal with it and stop being a baby.”
A wail and shriek cut the air.  Charice spun with a wooden mallet in her hand. “ Will the two of you cut it out?”  Instead of seeing the siblings bickering, Marvin sat gripping the sides of his seat and staring into his bowl whilst howling.
Thrusting her hip forward and settling a hand on it, Charice frowned at Marvin. “With that sort of noise you’ll be waking the dead. You know gram-pa likes to snooze till afternoon. Now quit it.”
“ But Ma!” plaintively wailed Marvin as he pointed to his bowl.
Teearna eyes flickered lazily over to his breakfast and widened as she saw what had floated to the top. Green bile rose to her throat and burned as she forced is down.
Charises eyes followed her daughters frozen horrified look, into the bowl. “Quick Dan! Get filthy thing off my table.” 
“What the?” Dan slapped his floppy material news sheet on the table, peered into the bowl and swished the contents about. “How did that get there?”
“Dad - it was in the cereal.”Mavins pale face glowered green. “Can I be excused, I want to be sick.”  
“I’m writing to the company this is outrageous.” Charise crossed her thick hairy arms across her broad chest. “ In fact, I won’t stop there, I’m getting out local television cannel to run a story on it. This sort of thing is unacceptable.  Imagine if there are more of those things inside children's breakfast cereals?  Just as well we a such a liberal family.”
Shaking as she clutched a napkin to her face Teearna whimpered; “D.d.d.d.daddy what is it?  Its horrible.”
Dans stitched, weatherbeaten face was grim. “I’m sorry you have had to witness someones sick joke children; but we will get to the bottom of this scandal.”
With set of long barbecue tongs and a towel over her face, Charise pincered  the offending article out of Marvins bowl and placed it on the draining board.
“Theres no mistaking it kids. Its a sugar coated cornflake and if you can believe it human children eat them every day.”
After patting Marvins green shoulders, Charice produced a grimy bowl and placed it in front of him. “Here honey. I’ll pour you some more Batsblood shapes from this new packet.  Can’t have you eating that other bowl, not now its been affected by that dreadful cornflake.”
Marvins toothless grin mirrored the love he had for his mother and he then busied himself shovelling Choker Pops into his maw. 

Story inspired by the [Fiction Friday] prompt at Write Anything and submitted to JM Strother’s #FridayFlash via Twitter.

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


Shelli said...

I liked it. You did a good job building personality into the characters. It had a funny, ironic twist to it, using something mundane for the gruesome item.

Walt said...

I kept waiting for something horrid to be in the bowl, turns out to be a common food seen in a totally different light. I enjoyed the twist that brought it all together.

mazzz in Leeds said...

That was fun! And hey - sugar coated cereal is gross, I agree with them!

Adam Byatt said...

A great twist, inverting the social norms. It wouldn't go astray as an adjunct to Gary Larson's Far Side cartoons.
Very funny. Great characterisation that revealed itself nice and slowly.

Benjamin Solah said...

Very clever twist. I didn't see that coming as I was wondering what was in the bowl.

Icy Sedgwick said...

Haha, wonderful work!