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SWEET & SOUR
by linzy bruno
5/03/2016 / Short Stories
One memory from my childhood that I'll always keep close to my heart is the walks to the candy store my sister, cousins, other neighbor kids and I used to take on gorgeous summer days. As soon as we would get our weekly allowance into our eager little hands, we would summon some of the neighborhood youth and take the 1 and a half mile walk to Bros [pronounced: braw-siz, not the way one refers to a brother.]
First we would meet in the backyard of the coolest kid's house; the one where all the kids gathered like cows. Then we would follow that kid [Brian] through that awesome path he made in the thick, deep woods that bordered all the houses, with his torn-up t-shirts marking the path on boulders; tall trees and brush, oh and the unforgettable tree house he so eloquently erected. With woods more than a quarter mile deep that opened into a huge cornfield; any exciting new thing, good or bad was possible.
Once we got to the cornfield, we would make our way down to the road and continue heading slowly to the store; talking to one another in the most carefree way, after all, we were getting that SWEET candy so soon, we could practically taste it:
"Hey Brian, you should blaze a trail through the cornfield like you did in the woods! Hahahaha!" I remember I remarked; making all my friends giggle.
"Funny!" he replied, as he grinned in that alluring way that always made me feel noticed as his very own budding female counterpart.
We reached the road and suddenly heard "the bad boys" carrying on across the street. There was nothing else in sight, but right there on the other side of the road, was this home for delinquent boys whenever they spotted us passing by, they would shout at us. We could never quite make out what they were saying, but we were certain it wasn't good, so we would just say "OH NO" and talk even louder; trying to ignore them, as we walked more quickly than before.
We got to the candy store; Mr. Bros was hunched over the counter counting coins and soft static-y 70's music was playing on his little portable radio. The old heavy door, the creaky floor, the sounds of milk shakes spinning in blenders and the microwave that seemed to be going 24/7 were just a few things that seemed to add to the character of that cute, tiny store. We purchased our treats and headed home
On the way, we always ate our candy, like we were having a race; trying to eat it all before getting home in order to destroy the evidence, not that we were ever successful. I would get 3-4 kinds, but was mostly interested on my favorite: those old-style *Sweet Tarts; those things were enormous. I would start licking hard and fast; delighted by the sweet savory flavors taking over my mouth, but after a while my tongue would begin to ache. "Ouch!" I would holler; pulling the thing out of my mouth. Then I would stick out my tongue in amazement and see blood, but giggle and stare in disbelief, but still licking; sounds like a glutton for punishment I know, but my perspective was one of "shock and awe."
No one even responded to my sudden realization, but I didn't care. I was so distracted by fascination that candy could do such a thing; to me it was more like a cool science experiment than a problem. I quickly tried to finish my treat, but couldn't quite make it time for my arrival home. I shoved it back into the wrapper and stuffed into my pocket with the rest of my treasures; actually glad to postpone the gorging with my tummy now upset [our mother had no idea what my sister and I were doing with our tiny weekly allowances, but we eventually confessed. She replied: "So that's why you girls had so many cavities!"]
Those summer days had everything: adventure, laughter, sweet treats and hanging out with the boy across the street, who majorly impressed me with the trail he made through those woods [like hit with Cupid's dart!] It's no wonder this little glimmer from my past is one of my most cherished childhood memories.
Acknowledgements: *Sweet Tarts Brand candy
I have been writing for many years. I really got serious when my 3 kids were still quite young, as they inspired me to write children's fiction nearly every day; observing them at play. These days I've been working hard on completely a Bible course online, THEN I'm going hard copy with my books!!
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