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Raymond and the Chocolate Box

by Debbie Roome  
9/16/2008 / Short Stories

Raymond loved chocolates and if he ate his meat and vegetables, his mum would let him choose one every night. He knew just where she kept the box. On the top shelf, behind a cake tin, next to the bag of flour. Each evening he would finish his dinner and show the empty plate to his mum. She would always say the same thing.

"Raymond. I'm so proud of you. Would you like to choose a chocolate for pudding?" Then she would pull a chair over to the shelf and bring down the box. Raymond loved the smell of the box. So chocolaty and yummy. Mum would always put the box on the kitchen table and open the lid for Raymond. He wasn't allowed to touch them. Just look. He knew by now which ones tasted the best. The orange shaped ones with thick, gooey fillings were his favourite.

He had eaten all his dinner again tonight although it had been very hard to swallow the last carrot. Raymond hated carrots as much as he loved chocolates. Mum knew that but she still cooked them every second night. Raymond thought he deserved two chocolates for eating carrots, but when he had told Mum that last week, she had been very cross.

"Raymond. I'm so proud of you. Would you like to choose a chocolate for pudding?" said Mum as she took the dirty plates into the kitchen.

"Yes please! Yes please!" shouted Raymond as he followed her.

Mum turned around with her finger to her lips.
"Shh. Remember your little sister hasn't been feeling well today." Raymond copied her, pressing his own finger to his lips. Soon the box was open on the table and Raymond could smell that lovely chocolaty smell. The box was full as Mum had bought more chocolates at the supermarket that morning. He stared at them. There were his favourite orange chocolates. And caramels, and nuts, and strawberry and milky. His sister started crying down the passage and he couldn't think which one to take because of the noise.

Mum sighed. "Raymond, choose which one you want and take it to the lounge. I've got to go and see to your sister."

Raymond was left alone and after a minute the crying stopped. He breathed in the chocolaty smell and leaned closer to the box. He decided a caramel chocolate would be nice and carefully removed it from the box. How good it tasted. So creamy and sweet. He looked down the passage. Mum was still with his sister. He could hear her singing quietly. He looked back into the chocolate box. There were so many orange chocolates. Mum always bought a lot of those because he liked them. She would never know if he had two chocolates tonight. And besides, he thought he deserved two after eating all his carrots. The orange chocolate was just as yummy as he thought it would be. Raymond climbed off the chair and walked to the kitchen door. Mum was still singing. He crawled back onto the chair. What if he took one more for all the carrots he had eaten last week.

Once he had started, Raymond couldn't stop. One for the carrots I ate last week and one for the carrots I ate the week before. One for the carrots I ate at Aunt Sandy's house and one for the carrots I ate on Christmas Day. When Mum came back, the box was more than half empty and Raymond looked like a chocolate himself. Chocolate face, chocolate hands, chocolate clothes. Mum was very cross.

"Raymond." she scolded, scrubbing him clean in the bath. "I told you to take only one. If you eat too much chocolate it's bad for you. It makes you feel tired and sick. You're not going to have any chocolates for a week."

Raymond didn't feel well when Mum tucked him into bed. His head ached and his stomach ached and when he fell asleep, he had terrible dreams. He dreamed his bed was a chocolate and his house was built of chocolate slabs. The kitchen table was a small chocolate slab balanced on four of his favourite orange chocolates. When Mum served his dinner it was chocolate carrots, chocolate vegetables and chocolate meat. Raymond tried to run out of the house but the doors were locked with chocolate padlocks.

"Mum, Mum,"he shouted. "Help me Mum. Please help me." He felt a cool hand on his forehead.

"I'm here Raymond. You've been having a bad dream." Raymond opened his eyes. He was feeling much better and the sun was shining into his room. He sat up and hugged Mum.

"I'm sorry for eating all those chocolates." he said. "I'll never do it again."

Debbie Roome is passionate about writing stories that touch people's lives and point them to God.

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