So, I thought I’d step outside of my comfort zone this week and attempt the LOLarious Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge – the theme being baby based pulp fiction:
It was FUN! Thanks, Chuck. You will be an awesomesauce dad.
So here is my effort. I may have watched a little too much Boardwalk Empire recently…
Juice by Katie Young
I’m not gonna lie to you. It’s been tough since prohibition. A gal like me has to do what she can to lay hands on the good stuff in these dry times. Don’t judge me too harshly.
I miss the Halcyon days of sugar rushes. The Little Rascals Day Centre was a swell joint back then – a place of unbridled hedonism and colourin’-fuelled high jinks. Free flowin’ Ribena and Sunny D.
Before the Powers That Be shut down our supply.
Miss Jacks used to run Bouncin’ Babies. She was a happy-go-lucky broad of the liberal persuasion. She had a sweet face – always a smile, a juice box and a huggle for everyone. Some may say she made too free with the huggles. Got too attached to her charges. Sniffled and bawled when they moved up to Tip-Top Toddlers. Maybe that’s what got to her in the end. All those little birds flyin’ the nest. Nursery is no place for the faint hearted.
Now Mrs. Potts rules the roost. That bitch is colder than a witch’s tit. You do not wanna get on the wrong side of her. I’ve heard tell she once sent a baby for a long stretch of time-out in Comfy Corner for droppin’ a sippy cup. Claimed the baby in question willfully threw said beaker. Well, I saw it happen with my own two eyes. It was a freakin’ accident.
Like I said – cold.
Mrs. Potts don’t agree with juice. She says it rots the teeth and has the worst of us climbin’ the walls. She wants us all sedate and sleepy-like, so we get milk. Well, I only have two teeth and I don’t do life in the slow lane. Don’t get me wrong. I like milk…except when it’s been left in the sun to get warm – bleurgh! Milk has its place. Milk’s OK for when you need a little down time, but I don’t come to Rascals for naps. I come to play, and play hard.
Of course, bannin’ juice only drove it underground. Bouncin’ Babies was a respectable haunt to the casual observer, but once its patrons broke for outdoor play with the rest of Rascals, it was a whole ‘nother story. I’d seen it with my own eyes. Babies in the sandpit bribin’ toddlers with Stickle Bricks for a gulp of Um Bongo. Rogue infants tryin’ to pilfer a squeeze of Capri-Sun from an older kid, only to be boinked on the head with a plastic shovel. Nasty.
And yes, I have been known to offer the odd three-year-old a suck on my binky in return for a shot. A gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do. Like I said – don’t judge. It’s a jungle out there. A Jungle Gym to be precise.
So I’ve decided enough is enough. Potts’ puritanical rule is gettin’ tired and I will be the one to bring it down. But I need an accomplice. Someone who can walk quickly and unaided. Someone with the strength to open a fridge door. Someone with enough hand-eye coordination to exact my devilish plan. And someone with enough of a rep to make a decent patsy if this whole thing blows up in my cute, dimpled face.
The Bruiser. He’s perfect. Almost four with the build of a burly five year old. I see him in a corner of the playground, sittin’ by himself. He’s playin’ with a set of Weebles and I try to get his attention by knocking them over. Let me tell you – those bastards may wobble, but dammit they don’t fall down. The Bruiser looks up at me with mild annoyance, so I make my eyes as big as they go and giggle. That seems to melt him a little. Then I seal the deal by offerin’ him a sweetener: A red crayon and half an eraser in the shape of a giraffe. He’s putty in my chubby hands.
The next morning, he waddles up to me in the corridor outside Bouncin’ Babies and proudly withdraws the bottle of lemon juice he’s stolen from home from inside his Huggies pull-up pants. And there was me thinkin’ he was just pleased to see me. I nod in appreciation and burble the next set of instructions, sweet and low, in his ear.
I chuckle to myself when I see Potts pourin’ the mid-morning milk into our sippy cups. If The Bruiser’s done the job properly, it’ll be laced with our own special addition and I know that milk will be as sour as her freakin’ face.
He does not disappoint. The first casualties are down within seconds. There’s spittin’ and wailin’ and snottin’ and general unrest. Then comes the pukin’. A dozen babies projectile hurlin’ at once. It’s a total creambath. The best of it is Potts gets caught in the crossfire. A couple of her assistants get a face full of moo juice too. Unfortunate, but they’re necessary sacrifices.
I take cover under a stool that looks like a mushroom and survey the carnage with a wry smile. I’m pretty sure once the parentals get a load of this, we’ll be back swimmin’ in sweet, delicious, non-curdlin’ juice in no time…