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Don't Touch My Nuts [YA2020]

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posted on Jan, 30 2020 @ 08:55 PM
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Claiming the last remaining package of walnuts from the shelf probably gave me more satisfaction than was warranted. I advanced to the checkout stand, whose attending cashier had constellations of purplish cheek pimples and a thin mustache. My heavens, she had a terrible attitude as well! But anyways, I paid for the walnuts, exited the grocery store, and was walking across the parking lot toward the grey family Hyundai to drive home when my phone chirped at me: a text message.

Plans got cancelled, can come to party after all. Will be over in morning. Birthday card with $20 should come in mail today.

I knew I had forgotten something: I still hadn’t gotten the daughter a birthday gift. (The wife usually did most of the gift shopping on my behalf, but I still like to get the daughter a little something just from me.)

Thx mom, see you tomorrow.

Several months earlier, conversational reconnaissance revealed the daughter wanted “something magical” for her birthday. So, as I drove home, I set myself to figuring out where to shop for a gift. When I turned on Main Street, the solution presented itself: the new gift shop! I hadn’t been there yet – it had only opened two months prior – but perhaps they had something that would qualify as “magical”.

I parked the grey family Hyundai behind a garishly lifted pickup truck with gun stickers on the rear window of its cab. It was that type of place – rednecks broadcasted their toughness with truck stickers.
edit on 1/30/2020 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 30 2020 @ 08:57 PM
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a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

A crappy-sounding square wave doorchime croaked a descending major third as I crossed the threshold of the shop. The clerk was a short, round, and disheveled man wearing Cokebottle-lensed glasses, and whose shabby appearance contradicted a dignified, almost regal demeanor. He sat with perfect upright posture behind the counter.

“Welcome and good afternoon,” he said. “May I be of assistance?”

“Daughter’s birthday’s tomorrow,” I replied. “She wants something ‘magical’. Thought I’d come browse.”

“Don’t hesitate to confer with me should your pursuit produce queries,” replied the clerk with a nod. I started looking around the shop, feeling creeped out by the clerk.

There were t-shirts, coffee mugs, coasters and bumper stickers with lukewarm witticisms; there were boutique herbal soaps and soywax candles; there were coffee table books about the hiking trails of the pacific northwest; there were keyrings and mood rings and sunglasses and shot glasses: alas, nothing particularly magical. (The daughter already had a mood ring, else that might have sufficed.)

Crestfallen and emptyhanded, I turned to exit the shop when an odd piece caught my eye. It was about six inches tall, wooden – perhaps even made out of discarded roadside lumber – and cut into the shape of a cottage façade, the “eaves” of which were painted green (implying a thatched roof). It had a functional turquoise archtop door on brass hinges, which opened to reveal a sparkly faux-gemstone glued to the wall behind it. I picked it up and found a bifold card attached to the back with the words “Spright Portal” printed in large, frilly letters (with additional information inside the card that I didn’t bother reading). I turned the object in my hand, running my fingers over it and opening and closing its door.

“Who would waste their life making this kind of trash?” I mumbled. “I’ll bet they are stoned out of their mind this very second.”

In the meantime, the clerk had crept up on me, and startled me by answering, “Superb specimen, is it not, sir? The Spright Portal has been a popular gift for the discerning wee one. They are crafted locally, and, in fact, I personally know the artisans. Rather charming people, if I do say so myself.”

“Um…I’m sure the…uh…um…artisans…are…uh—"

“Indeed sir. Indeed, let us come to the point: you are on a quest for a magical gift and—stop me if I’m wrong—I do believe you’ve found it.”

My gaze fell once more to the tacky knick-knack. Perhaps the daughter would like it. After all, she was fond of Disney’s straight-to-DVD Tinkerbell series. It was the most magical thing in the shop, I didn’t know where else to shop for a gift, and it was late enough in the day that I wouldn’t want to go if I did. Besides, I increasingly suspected the clerk to be an escaped mental patient and didn’t want trouble. The Spright Portal would have to do.

“Okay,” I said, turning to face the clerk. “Can you put it in a gift bag?”



posted on Jan, 30 2020 @ 08:57 PM
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a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

My mailbox and several of my neighbors’ share a wooden post at the street. The hinges squawked when I opened the lid, behind which I found a serious-looking spider standing guard over a bundle of coupons. The daughter’s birthday card wasn’t there.

I started for the house with the coupons and the gift bag and the walnuts when a squirrel gathering acorns in the yard caught my eye. I paused to admire it when, next door, our unfriendly neighbor Bill Heister exited the side door of his house carrying an overstuffed kitchen-size trash bag. He had lifted the bag halfway up to drop it in his trashcan when the bottom gave out, dumping the trash on the ground.

“Gawww damn it,” he grumbled. I stifled laughter as he went about cleaning up the spill. First, he tipped the trashcan on its side on the ground. He then disappeared into and re-emerged from the house with a broom. He had barely started sweeping the trash into the mouth of the trashcan when, barely discernible at my distance, his phone rang inside the house. He threw the broom to the ground in a huff and went inside, slamming the door behind him.

I left the squirrel in the yard to its acorn gathering and went inside the house.



posted on Jan, 30 2020 @ 08:59 PM
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a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

I followed the sound of activity into the kitchen, where I found the wife and daughter.

“Hello, you two,” I said, setting the gift bag down on the counter. “How’s it going?”

“Hi honey, we’re doing good,” said the wife. Her words belied a wrung-out appearance. “We just put the cake for tomorrow in the oven.” I walked over and put my arms around her, massaging her back. A little tension melted away.

“Yummy,” I said. “Oh – my mother texted me. She’s coming to the birthday party, after all.” At this, the wife broke out of my hug, rolled her eyes and groaned.

Great. I guess that means we’ll also be honored with a visit from—” she began.

“Oh yeah how could I forget?” I interrupted, chuckling. (Since recently rescuing Sandwiches, a nervous and yappy Jack Russell Terrier, the mother wouldn’t go anywhere without him.) “Come on. Don’t be so negative. Sandwiches must be good for something. Just relax…” I kissed her neck. Her breathing got a little heavier and her face, knitted with worry and stress and care, softened. (Not to be lewd, but at that point it was starting to look like we’d be getting it on that night.)

In the meantime, the daughter had finished licking the cake batter off the beaters and noticed the gift bag on the counter. “What’s that?” she asked.

“What’s what? I don’t see anything,” I teased. “Oh…the gift bag? I stopped to get you a little birthday surprise. Hope you like eggshells, potato skins, and apple cores…”

“You’re silly, daddy. Can I open it now?”

“Doesn’t bother me. What about mommy?” I looked at the wife, whose eyes broadcasted indifference, so I handed the bag to the daughter. While she opened it, I crossed the kitchen to get a bowl out of the cupboard and opened the package of walnuts, which I emptied into the bowl. When I turned back to the daughter, she was curiously examining the Spright Portal.

“What is it?” she asked.

“Magical. That’s what it is. Read the card on the back.”

The wife came over to where I stood with the bowl of walnuts, and took a handful. I watched in trepidation as she conveyed the handful of walnuts from the bowl to her mouth and began to chew.* I turned my head and grimaced.

“Jeeeesus Christ,” I griped through my gnashed teeth.

I pulled the bowl away as she reached for another handful. “Don’t touch my nuts.”

My crunch disapproval did not go over well. “Fine. Have it your way. Take the cake out of the oven when it’s done. I’ll deal with it in the morning. I hope your nuts enjoy a lonely night sleeping on the couch." She turned to the daughter. “Goodnight, sweetie. See you in the morning.” She left the room and I listened to her footsteps trailing heavily down the hall, punctuated by the bedroom door slamming shut. It was a familiar sound, the sound of the beginning of another sexless night. I turned to the daughter, whose eyes were agape.

“You make mommy mad a lot.”

“Yeah…well…everybody’s good at something. But anyways, what did you find out about the Spright Portal?”

“The card says it’s for fairies, pixies, and other wee folk to travel from their realm to ours, and if we leave out a treat, we can get one to visit. Can we?”

“Sure, after dinner.”

After the daughter and I ate leftovers, we set the Spright Portal on a side table in the living room with some raisins on a saucer next to it. Afterward, the daughter put on pajamas and brushed her teeth and went off to bed. I curled up on the couch in the living room snacking on walnuts, which I had set on the coffee table in front of the couch.

*A recurring issue of auditory sensitivity often forces me to retreat to another room when the wife chews crunchy foods. In fairness, it’s not exclusively the wife’s chewing that bothers me, it’s just that I don’t eat with other people often. In this instance, the wife’s walnut-chewing sounded like walking down a gravel road. Next to a brontosaurus.
edit on 1/30/2020 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2020 @ 09:00 PM
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a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

I didn’t even open my eyes when I first heard the fluttering sound. ‘Probably only a dragonfly,’ I thought. ‘Wait. Are dragonflies mean?’ I opened my eyes to the barely emerging glow of dawn.

Nothing seemed amiss at first but then I noticed the archtop door of the Spright Portal was open. I heard the fluttering again and located the source. She wore red-striped stockings, and had shortish, sassy-looking red hair. Dare I say, she was sexy. A tiny sexy woman with wings was fluttering around the living room.

I pinched myself. I don’t know exactly why…I suppose it’s just one of those clichés of disbelief that hadn’t evaporated with age. Sitting bolt upright on the couch and rubbing my eyes, I was hyperventilating by the time the little winged woman had noticed my stirring. She zipped to within inches of my face.

I couldn’t manage a complete word. “Wha—” I stammered. “Who—how d—?”

“Hello human! and thank you for your considerate invitation! This is one of the finest Spright Portals I’ve seen yet…clearly the work of a skilled artisan!”

“Wh—uh—um—hi? Where di—oh my g—I…I can’t believe th—” I forced myself to shut up long enough for a thought to coalesce. “I’ve never seen a fairy before.”

She became instantly and unmistakably cross. “FAIRY?! Are you #ting me? You think I’m a #ing fairy?”

“Well…I—”

“Foolish human! I,” she began, straightening her posture and pausing dramatically, “am a pixie! Are you trying to piss me off, or are you really this dull-witted?”

I was beginning to regret purchasing the Spright Portal. To be honest, I had never considered the difference between fairies and pixies. “What exactly is the difference?” I asked as politely as possible. Her eyes widened in an expression of exasperation and disbelief.

“What’s the diff—oh my splendorous stars!” she said. She zipped back over to the side table and gestured at the saucer of raisins the daughter and I left out. “Well for one thing, pixies don’t like crumplegrapes,” she said, kicking a raisin off the saucer. “I honestly can’t believe how stupid some of y—” her eyes widened again but this time in exhilaration and anticipation, fixed on the bowl of walnuts before me on the coffee table. “You are forgiven, stupid human!” She zipped again into the air and flew to the bowl, landing on it’s rim and surveying the walnuts. “If there’s one thing pixies simply love, it’s—”

“Hey!” I reflexively interjected. “Don’t touch my nuts!” I flicked the pixie across the room.

This caused the pixie’s temper to flare tenfold. “SILENCE, LOATHSOME MISERLY HUMAN!” She stood and composed herself, fluttering her wings and flying aloft, over my head, producing a wand and a small pouch, from which she sprinkled some sort of dust. As the dust settled on my head, she waved her wand around and spoke the words “For your thoughtless disrespect/I sprinkle on your head/A pixie dust to change your form/To that upon which others tread.”

A heavy drowsiness fell over me, and I fell back to sleep.



posted on Jan, 30 2020 @ 09:01 PM
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a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

“AAAAAAAAAH! GET IT OUT! GET IT OUT! GET IT OUT!” the wife screamed. I was still groggy from whatever the pixie had dusted me with.

By this time the daughter was standing behind her, rubbing the sleep from her eyes.

“Where’s your father?!” the wife shouted.

“I dunno,” the daughter replied, yawning. “I think he fell asleep on the couch.”

“Well he’s not here now and there’s a #ing squirrel in the house!” The wife was looking right at me. My grogginess quickly gave way to an uncharacteristic hyper feeling and I began hopping frantically around the room, because I was the squirrel.
edit on 1/30/2020 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2020 @ 09:02 PM
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a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

At first the wife wanted to kill me, but thankfully the daughter protested. Finally, they managed to drive me from the house and I checked for predators. I didn’t know what else to do so I stayed on the front porch and waited and hoped for the pixie to return and reverse her magic and I checked for predators.

It should go without saying that, at first, my mind raced in frantic loops and I checked for predators. But the tsunami of shock ebbed back into the sea of disbelief and I checked for predators and I finally managed to calm down enough to check for predators and try to get comfortable in my new skin and check for predators.

Eventually I checked for predators and started hopping around on my new squirrelly legs and I checked for predators, cautiously at first and then with a genuine squirrelly bounce out into the yard and I checked for predators.

My attention turned to the oak in the yard and, curious, I checked for predators went over and clambered up and around the trunk and checked for predators. I turned my body and checked for predators, facing the ground, delighted to check for predators and discover another feature of squirrelhood I had never considered and checked for predators: the feet of my hind legs rotated at the ankle! The equivalent movement would be something like a human turning their feet out until their toes pointed backwards – without turning their legs! It was a sensational discovery!

I checked for predators and from high in the tree, I spotted an acorn in the yard and checked for predators. This sight alone triggered a fervent, ineluctable desire to locate acorns and I checked for predators. So I checked for predators and went out into the yard checking for predators and started gathering nuts and checked for predators. It felt perfectly natural, checking for predators and quite satisfying. ‘This isn’t so bad,’ I thought, checking for predators, ‘Maybe I’ll make a fine squirrel.’

But I checked for predators and from behind me, back at the tree, I heard an aggressive ruckus. Turning to locate the source, I saw a burly, surly squirrel. In spite of my rookie status as a squirrel I instantly recognized bloodthirst in the burly, surly squirrel’s eyes.

“Whatyouthinkingasshole?! whatyoudoing?! YoudothingInolike! InolikeandInolikeyou! Ihateyou! Thismytree! Noyourtree! Mytree! Mytree! mynuts! Don’ttouchmynuts! Youhearme? Don’ttouchmynutsasshole!!!,” said the burly, surly squirrel, giving little sniffs in the air all the while.

“Your tree? Your nuts? Wait just one sec—"

“menowaitasshole! youwaitasshole! whyyoutalksoslow? hmmmm? hmmmm??? whyyousmellsofunnywhyyousmellsoweird?? yousmellbad! bad! bad! sotellmebadsmellassholefromwhereyoucome,hmmmhmmmmhmmmmhmmmm?!”

‘Surely this burly, surly squirrel can be reasoned with,’ I thought.

“Please. Allow me to explain. Things are a bit backward today. I am a human – I live in that house over there – but I’ve been transformed into a squirrel by a belligerent and vengeful fai—no, no, pixie. I am simply trying to get my bearings – but you see, there’s no reason we shouldn’t be friendly in the meantime.”

“Hm. Mhm. Iseemhm.”

“You do?”

“YesIseeIseeyounotonlyathiefandliarbutinsultmyintelligenceaswell…” the squirrel’s voice came to a sudden crescendo, continuing, “SONOWYOUDIEINTERLOPERASSHOLE!”

And with that, the burly, surly squirrel hurled himself at me. I was a pitiful match: he had the benefit of a lifetime of experience using his burly, surly squirrelly body and incisors while I hadn’t even a couple hours. He tackled me and we rolled around for several seconds. He bit me hard, digging his incisors into my left shoulder, but I managed to scramble from beneath him before he could land a fatal bite to the neck. We each arranged ourselves in position for a final standoff. I was done for.

The foregoing tension was so high, neither of us noticed the car pull up and park on the street in front of the house, nor did either of us notice the hysterical voice of the mother bellowing “No Sandwiches! No!”. Sandwiches burst through some curbside shrubs at a full sprint, and before the burly, surly squirrel had time to react, it was gripped in the jaws of Sandwiches. I heard the horrific cracking of the burly, surly squirrel’s ribs before Sandwiches hurled him aside like a ragdoll. Thank god for Sandwiches!

But then he fixed his gaze on me.

“Sandwiches, it’s me, boy! Don’t you recognize me?” I chittered hopefully. But it was no use. He barreled straight toward me and I ran. He gained on me and I barely had time to escape through a tiny opening in the chain-link fence into Bill Heister’s yard. I instinctively looked for shelter: the garbage bin still laid on its side! I darted into it and stayed still, and in short time, the mother had finally collected Sandwiches and gone inside my house.
edit on 1/30/2020 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2020 @ 09:03 PM
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a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

I waited in the trashcan until my pulse calmed to several hundred beats per minute, then poked my nose out of the trashcan and checked for predators. The trash, of course, was still there from the day before and I checked for predators and couldn’t help but check it out: perhaps there’d be a yummy meal fit for a squirrel, after all.

There were old damp coffee grounds clumped in their filters and brown apple cores and I checked for predators and there were limp black banana peels and greasy napkins and paper towels and I checked for predators and fast-food soda pop cups and papers and used up AA batteries and a burned-out light bulb: alas, nothing particularly yummy.

Crestfallen and emptyhanded, I checked for predators and turned to exit the wasteheap when something caught my eye: an envelope. But not just any envelope, a red envelope…one of the types of envelopes that come with Hallmark birthday cards. Using my tiny squirrel hands, I turned the envelope over and checked for predators and my suspicions were confirmed: the envelope was addressed to the daughter.

“Damn you, Heister!” I chittered and checked for predators. “I’ll get you for this!”

But in my squirrel body, I could do nothing: revenge would have to wait. So I left Heister’s pile of trash and checked for predators.

As I crossed the yard, I heard a faint chitter and checked for predators and looked through the chain-link fence into my yard. The burly, surly squirrel still had a flicker of life.

“The…writing…contest…is…over…asshole…is…this…all…you…can…come up…with?,” said the burly, surly squirrel.

‘Strange,’ I thought, ‘He's in some sort of delirium…’

“one…more…thing…asshole...” he continued.

“What is it?” I replied.

“Don’t…touch…my…nuts…” and with that the burly, surly squirrel lay dead.

“I’ll see you in hell mother #er.”

I turned and checked for predators and walked away and at that moment, from across the street, a voice called, “Yoooo-hoo!”

I checked for predators and I looked in the direction of the voice and checked for predators and saw a girl squirrel…a totally foxy girl squirrel! ‘Would the wife consider it cheating if I chased tail in my squirrelly form?’ I thought and checked for predators. ‘Ah well, when’s the next chance I’ll get to make it with a girl squirrel? I’m gonna give it a whirl!’

“Pleased to meet your acquaintance, miss,” I chittered as I bounded eagerly toward the girl squirrel.

She fluttered her eyelashes and tossed her tail lasciviously. I hopped from the edge of Bill Heister’s yard and over the curb into the street, landing between two parked cars. I looked for the girl squirrel again but instead saw the pixie! I was going to go over to her to beg to be changed back into a human. I took one hop from the safety of the space between the cars into the street. “Yoooo-hoo!” she said again, gesturing down the street from me. I turned to look just in time to see the tread of the tires on a quiet-running hybrid car, and a millisecond later, I was crushed. My anus ripped open as my guts got squished through it, and the words “to that upon which others tread” rang in my mind the moment I died.
edit on 1/30/2020 by DictionaryOfExcuses because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2020 @ 09:04 PM
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a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

I woke up on the couch in a cold sweat. “What a dream,” I said, letting out a heavy sigh. Or was it?



posted on Jan, 30 2020 @ 09:04 PM
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a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

I pounded on the door and footsteps thumped nearer and nearer until finally, Bill Heister answered.

“Whaddya want?” he asked.

“Have you ever heard the phrase…” I began, pausing dramatically to tug the soiled Hallmark envelope from my back pocket, “…One man’s trash is another man’s treasure? Now, where’s the twenty dollar bill, Heister?!”



posted on Jan, 30 2020 @ 09:05 PM
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a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

When I returned with the daughter’s birthday money, the wife was in the kitchen applying frosting to the cake. Upon entering, I saw that the wife had taken my bowl of walnuts and was snacking on them.

“Hey, don’t touch m---,” I began. The wife looked at me with her brow cocked. “—I mean…uhm…good morning dearest wife. It's been a long lonely night and I'd love it if you touched my nuts.”

THE END



posted on Jan, 30 2020 @ 09:05 PM
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Hey DOE looks like you got your muse back. Could you please sign my copy and I will read by the fire.
WIS
PS. Well done



posted on Feb, 2 2020 @ 12:30 AM
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a reply to: DictionaryOfExcuses

Hi DoE.
Thanks for the excellent, rocking and rollicking ride !
S & F !

Wonder what my neurologically-damaged squirrel neighbor would think ?



posted on Feb, 2 2020 @ 01:41 AM
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Honestly great writing and story



posted on Feb, 4 2020 @ 09:54 PM
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a reply to: WalkInSilence
a reply to: Nothin
a reply to: 727Sky

Thank you all for reading....glad you enjoyed!

The library is about to close, and my internet connectivity along it, so I'll read all your stories next time.



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