Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Ohhh…. (02/04/10)
TITLE: Gone with the Chagrin
By Beth Muehlhausen
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One evening in mid-February, Starlet hummed “Dixie” under her breath as she chopped organic vegetables for her mega-salad. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed a flashy red M&M nod from his tucked-away spot in the corner between the counter and the wall.
“Evenin’, m’am” he said presumptuously while waving a white-gloved hand in greeting.
Ohhh … trouble! Starlet knew one taste of chocolate could cause her new years resolution to evaporate. She couldn’t mess up NOW after almost six weeks of successful dieting!
His throaty southern drawl oozed with cockiness. “C’mon Starlet, I rolled all the way over here weeks ago.” He gestured with a coy ‘come hither’ hand while glancing repeatedly to the cabinet above. “Surely you’re not going to disappoint me now, are you?”
Although Starlet pretended to ignore him, her eyes followed Red’s to the overhead cabinet door. She reached for it involuntarily and was greeted by a very large, mostly-full bag of his fellow comrades.
As if on automatic pilot, Starlet unwound the bag’s white-coated-wire twist-tie. A few multi-colored M&M’s tumbled to freedom from the open package and erupted in song:
“Oh I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten
LOOK AWAY! LOOK AWAY!
LOOK AWAY! Dixie Land.”
The smell … chocolate … ohhh …
Red chuckled from below. With his gloved hands cupped to his mouth and his head tilted back, he called out, “You’re free men now fellas, free to be eaten alive, that is!”
Starlet glared at Red. “Just what do you think you’re doing? You slick, fat, red-faced bald, disgusting thing!”
He chuckled. “I heard a quote once: ‘A man can be short and dumpy and getting bald, but if he has fire, women will like him.’” *
“Well I hate to burst your bubble fat-man, but I want nothing to do with you.”
“Ah, so much easier said than done! I’m all about addiction honey, all about addiction. And frankly my dear, you’re a susceptible target.”
It was true. Starlet’s saliva drooled; she WAS still addicted to chocolate! The aroma of those big, fat, crunchy, colorful chocolate orbs… ohhh …
“NO! No, you evil brute! With God as my witness, you and – that, that army up there in that bag – you’re not going to lick me, and I refuse to be tempted again! If I have to destroy every last M&M, I’LL NEVER BE TEMPTED AGAIN!”
Red scratched the top of his shiny, red head. “You know Starlet, I really do love you – maybe especially because it’s almost Valentine’s Day.” He grinned, his bone-white teeth showing between ruby-red lips. “We’re a lot alike you know. We’re selfish, shrewd, and yet we both know how to look things eye-to-eye and call them like they are.”
“Fiddle-dee-dee, Red!” Starlet fumed. “What do YOU know about ME?”
“I know how to make your resolve crumble into little bits.”
“Sir, you are certainly no gentleman.”
“And you, miss? You’re no lady.”
Meanwhile the chorus of M&M’s in the cupboard seemed stuck:
“… Look away … look away … look away … look away …”
“Quiet … QUIET, I say!” Starlet shouted at the cabinet as she stomped her foot in rage. “Stop that racket RIGHT NOW!”
“My my, fancy that – she has a temper.”
“Make them stop it, Red! How do I …? ”
Red jumped to his feet. “Why, my dear, may I rescue you? Let me tell you. Just eat one … that’s all it takes. Really. Just one. And they’ll stop singing. I promise.”
Starlet spontaneously popped a bright blue M&M in her mouth and then gobbled a handful of rainbow-colored balls.
“THERE!” She glared at Red. “You made me do it! You … awful … red … smooth-talking … “ She moaned. “Ohhh … OHHHHHHH … “
He responded with a volcanic laugh. “Ah Starlet – you’re like a thief who isn’t the least bit sorry for stealing, but is so terribly sorry you’ve been caught.”
With that Starlet grabbed Red, threw him into the sink, dumped the rest of the M&M’s after him, flushed them all down the disposal with hot-hot water, and flipped the switch.
Heady chocolate smells wafted through the kitchen. Starlet shook her head as if to clear it of cobwebs. “Talking M&M’s?” She looked at the multi-colored stains on her hands. “I can’t think about this right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about it … tomorrow …”
*quote from Mae West
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