“So Long & Thanks for the Sweets!” A Friendly Prompt Challenge

Okay, so I made a comment on my friend Simon’s blog that somehow lead to a writing prompt challenge. And in a friendly, BlogBattle-type competition, we agreed to run with it.

The eventual title phrase came out: “So Long & Thanks for the Sweets!” So here’s my short short story challenge. I can’t wait to read what Simon came up with too!

So Long & Thanks for the Sweets!

Silent as the night, light as a spring breeze, he slipped into the kitchen. A glimmer of mischief twinkled in his eyes as he tip-toed in stealthy glee behind his mother’s bent head while she stood over the sink, humming a familiar toon.

Four soft steps into the heavenly-scented room, Mother’s head shot up and her humming ceased. So did Frankie’s forward momentum.

The soft ca-thunk of dishes coming to rest in a soapy, warm water-filled sink was the only sound. Frankie fought the urge to squeeze his eyes shut and prayed fervently that she wouldn’t turn around.

His lungs near to bursting, Mother finally shrugged and went back to work at scrubbing the baking dishes. Frankie sagged in relief and almost ruined it all with a big sigh but stopped himself before it was too late. Still, his mama’s head tilted up to let her ear pick up any off noises.

He stood still another three seconds before her humming resumed and he crept forward once again. His prize glimmered with a fresh dusting of sugar like the sparkle of brilliant stars on a dark night.

Two. More. Steps. He reached out, simultaneously glancing at his mother’s back just over his right shoulder. She hadn’t moved from her place in front of the sink. No indication that she’d noticed him gave him a burst of confidence that his fresh cookie caper would be a rip-roaring success.

His finger pressed lightly to the edges of the still-warm sugar cookie, and his eyes grew wide at the prospect of shoving the deliciousness into his watering mouth. With careful precision, he lifted the perfectly circular creation from the cooling rack and stepped back with the same soft, deliberate steps which had carried him thus far.

He spun, slow and cautious to face the doorway out of the kitchen. He could just taste his victory. And the cookie. He could almost taste that too.

“Ah-ha!” came a cry from beside him before soapy, wet hands engulfed Frankie in a fit of tickles and giggles.

“There’s a price to pay, little cookie thief,” his mother announced while she tickled his ribs and kissed his cheek.

“Stop!” Frankie said between bouts of laughter, tears coming to his eyes as he gripped the cookie in one hand and tried to pry his mother’s hands loose from their tickle-hold. “Please!” he said amidst the laughing. “I give in. I’ll pay up. I’ll pay up!”

His mother released him and bent to his height, her face full of mischief of her own as she turned her cheek toward his and placed her index finger against her cheek in patient, amused expectation.

“Awww, Ma! Do I hafta?”

“Yes, sir. That’s the price for cookie thievery.”

This time, Frankie sighed loud and clear, but he smiled all the same and planted a big, fat, slobbery kiss on his mother’s cheek. Thinking he’d paid the price, he made for the door but not before Mother grabbed his wrist.

“That deserves a second cookie,” she said with a cheeky grin and held out another cookie for Frankie to take.

His eyes went wide as saucers and his face split into a wide smile of his own. He’d never refuse a second cookie.

He took it. He looked from the cookies in his hands to his mom, with her hands planted on her hips. With one last flight of mischief, he squeezed her around the waist and dashed from the room.

The last thing he heard before the sound of munching delicious cookies in his mouth blocked out the world was his mother’s amused voice.

“So long, and thanks for the sweets!”


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