Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a meme which she calls

“Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.

I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. frequent
2. mischief
3. donuts 
4. sparkling
5. ankle
6. distress

Delores has also favoured us with a couple of sentences:

"burnt toast, the smoke detector wailing and the kettle dead in the water. How much better could her morning get?"

I haven't used the sentences as a whole, but there are bits of it scattered throughout the story.

Here is my story:

Laura sighed heavily and briefly closed her eyes at the mess in the kitchen. She'd hoped her morning would be a lot better after yesterday's disasters.  

 Late yesterday afternoon, the twins had found the box of donuts Laura had hidden away for today's afternoon tea. Michael was coming home after another of his frequent trips away. As the "special interest" writer for the local paper, it was Michael's job to investigate reports of UFOs, werewolves, ghosts and other paranormal things people thought they might have seen. This week's sighting had been a couple of unicorns romping in a field at midnight. 

Along with the donuts, the boys had found what they thought was a bottle of lemonade and thinking it had gone bad, they'd poured the entire bottle of sparkling white wine down the sink, then poured glasses of milk to have with the donuts. Laura had followed the trail of sloshed milk from the kitchen to the cubby house, slipping in one of the puddles and wrenching her ankle

After scolding the twins for this latest mischief, the salvaged donuts were returned to the kitchen and Laura strapped her ankle hoping to minimise the swelling, at the same time being grateful Jim and Bob had only managed to eat two donuts each. There were still eight left. 

Sleeping did not come easily as Laura's ankle caused her more than a little discomfort; waking this morning to the wailing of the smoke detector had her hobbling to the kitchen as fast as she could. The twins turned and seeing the distress on her face, began apologising. 
 "We're sorry Mum, we were trying to make you breakfast," said Jim.
"We wanted to help you feel better after yesterday," said Bob. 

Laura limped to the sink and stared at the slices of burnt toast and the dead electric kettle, which had some sort of sticky brown goo all down its sides. 
"What happened to the kettle?" she asked, while silently thanking all the gods that nothing had blown up or caught fire. Electricity and water were not a good mix, add burning french toast on the stove and you had a recipe for major disaster.   
Laura took several deep breaths to calm herself. 

Jim said, "we tried to make coffee but didn't know how much powder to put in the water, so I tipped in half the jar and then it all boiled over..."

"Hmmm," said Laura, "how old are you two now?"

Bob looked surprised. "We're nine, did you forget? Our birthdays were just last month."

"Well, no, I haven't forgotten," said Laura, "but it seems I've forgotten to teach you two some kitchen basics. Let's start with you learning how to clean up."

The boys looked really keen at that idea.

"Maybe my morning will get better," thought Laura. 

She pulled the rubbish bin forward and directed the boys to toss in everything except the kettle and frying pan. In went the burnt toast, the eggshells, soggy paper towels and a handful of spilled instant coffee powder. Laura ran hot water into the sink, added detergent and started cleaning the outside of the kettle, the inside would probably clean itself after a few boilings with just water. If it worked at all.

Jim and Bob cleared the table, bringing dirty mixing bowls and spoons to the sink; they still remained cheerful even when Laura told them they'd be washing and drying all those pieces.
"I guess it really is time I started teaching them how to do this properly," thought Laura. "It's not enough anymore that they know how to pour milk and cereal and help themselves to cookies and fruit. I think they’ll enjoy cooking once they learn what not to do.”

She grinned a little. She could hardly wait to tell Michael about the instant coffee powder being poured into the kettle.


  1. And THAT'S how you turn lemons into lemonade. Great job.

  2. And how I would love to see unicorns romping in a field...
    And yes, teaching the boys clean up duties sounds most excellent.

  3. That is a fantastic piece of fiction which could in some homes be non-fiction as I am sure many mums find themselves in like situations. The idea of making coffee in the kettle had me in stitches and it certainly sounded as though those 9 year olds needed lessons in the cleaning up side of kitchen life. I like the idea that their intentions were nothing if not well meant.
    The story that hubby Michael had been chasing....I am sure it he would have found it to be quite true as in my mind unicorns do exist and they must on odd occasions be seen by some lucky person/s.
    Thanks for sheer delight today.

  4. Delores; thank you, making lemonade is always better than holding a sour face.

    Elephant's Child; probably equally important is to teach them that only water goes into a kettle. I wouldn't mind seeing a unicorn or two myself.

    Mimsie; thank you very much. I thought about Mother's Day, when kids often bring burnt toast and cold tea to mum in bed, then she cleans the mess after she gets up. I think Michael has a great job, traveling all over looking for things that may or may not be there, interviewing all the people on the streets, think of the stories he'd hear.

  5. What an inspiring short story! I really enjoy your creative pieces - it's so interesting to see what people can do with just a few words as a starting point.

    Now could you send those boys over here as my kitchen is a disaster zone after today's baking.

  6. Oh, clever, so very clever! Enjoyed it, and sympathized with it. NO twins, just kids. Thanks!

  7. Marie; the boys are only just nine and fictional too....but I it's a bit far for me to travel.

    Susan Kane; I'm glad I didn't have twins either. I used to think they might be fun, then I had my first baby....

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  9. Sorry, River, I got put off by the stale donuts (anything donut older than 12 h is inedible). Laura must hate Mike was my interpretation. And how did two 9 year-old manage to uncork the sparking wine? Sorry I am being critical so that you can win the short story prize next year. I have faith in you.

  10. mm; I don't think they'd be too stale, probably wrapped in gladwrap, they were only for family anyway. Mostly to keep the boys quiet while she catches up with Michael. The wine was in a screw top bottle, which is why they thought it was lemonade, but I think they should have read the label...


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