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The Spot Writers – “Satan’s Donuts” by Val Muller

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write a story involving hunger. The hunger does not have to be literal. Today’s post comes to us from Val Muller, author of the YA novel The Girl Who Flew Away, available from Barking Rain Press or anywhere books are sold.

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Satan’s Donuts by Val Muller

Her stomach growled even before her alarm sounded. A tired swoosh of the hand turned on the television, and the merciless Morning News came on with something warm and bubbly resounding on the screen. It was the perky and very fit, athletic, and blonde reporter Janet Simmons. She was speeding down the sidewalk—backwards, always backwards so she faced the camera—in beautiful high heels and speaking into the microphone without even sounding winded.

The camera stopped as she turned briefly, revealing her mornings destination. Simmons was known for her fun local features on the morning news. This morning, she was standing in front of the heavily advertised Satan’s Donuts.

Sally giggled. It wasn’t really called Satan’s Donuts, of course. It was called Satin Donuts. You know, because of how smooth they are when they slide down your throat. One after the next.

Not that Sally would know. She had stayed on her diet everyday for the past four months and had already shed 20 pounds. But that was the easy weight. Now, her body seemed to have reached what it believed to be ideal weight. Her doctor disagreed, encouraging her to lose the extra 10.

Satan’s Donuts happened to have its shop just four blocks from Sally’s office downtown. They had already wallpapered the mail room with flyers for free donuts to celebrate their grand opening. Several co-workers had brought in boxes over the past week, taking advantage of the BOGO offer.

At work, donuts were everywhere.

These were not regular grocery store donuts or even national franchise donuts. These were the kind that Sally could smell as soon as she walked into the office. They smelled expensive. They smelled like they were made of ingredients of higher caliber then Sally traditionally ate or cooked with. They smelled like they were worth the calories.

These Donuts were Gourmet.

And there, on the screen, sitting at the 1950s-style counter on a Satan-red and chrome stool, was Janet Simmons. Skinny and smiling in her trim pink suit. In front of her, the store owner had set a dozen donuts, lined up along the counter so that the camera could pan them slowly and excruciatingly.

The camera paused as the owner cut a small slice of each one. Kind of like a pizza. Sally watched as thin and perky Janet Simmons picked up the First Slice.

This one was a traditional Boston cream. But it made the national franchise brand look anemic. It was like a giant puff pastry. The entire donut was just about as big as Janet Simmons’ trim face. The camera panned in for a close-up. The dough looked airy and soft. The custard filling glistened in the light, and the chocolate ganache on top looked good enough to be a meal on its own.

Janet Simmons bit into her little slice and exclaimed all kinds of heavenly sounds to let the viewer know exactly what they were missing. She put down the remaining portion of her little sliver and moved on to the next donut.

Yes, she was going to sample all 12. But it was clear her producer and an eye on the clock because she started speeding up her little taste test. She hurried through the powdered jelly and committed blasphemy when she shoved a double chocolate into her mouth without truly savoring it.

She didn’t even really give the maple and bacon donut the time it deserved.

Simmons did finally pause for the birthday cake donut, a rainbow-speckled wonder that looked good enough to die for. The pink of the sprinkles perfectly matched her suit.

Sally winced. Her mouth watered. A rough calculation suggested that even with her small bites, Janet Simmons had just ingested about 500 calories worth of goodness.

That’s right, Sally had researched it. Each of those donuts topped out above 800 calories. They were a dieter’s nightmare. And they were giving Sally a headache.

Her stomach growled as the segment on TV finally came to an end. And of course a McDonald’s commercial appeared, displaying an egg and cheese sandwich magnified to take up the entire 60-inch television.

Sally turned off the TV.

Her stomach growled as she pulled on her shorts and workout shirt. She checked the weather and tied her shoes. A glance in the mirror made her smile. She lifted her shirt to check out her abs. Sure they were nothing like Janet Simmons’– all the world would know, after Janet’s little visit to the yoga studio last for last weeks’ feature—but they were defined, and they were progress.

Sally headed through the kitchen to the front door and eyed the box of chocolate protein cereal that waited for her to finish her run. That and half a banana wouldn’t even equal what Janet Simmons had eaten that morning. And that was its own kind of victory.

Sally locked her front door and pounded the sidewalk at a brisk pace. A good run, she learned, was the best way to beat the hunger, and to look just a little more like Janet Simmons.

 ***

 The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Dorothy Colinco: www.dorothycolinco.com

 

 

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The Spot Writers – “Caught in the Act” by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This week’s prompt is to use “he threw open the door” in the writing. Today’s story comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy has recently branched out into children’s picture books and several will soon be published. Check out her website for updates!  www.writingwicket.wordpress.com

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Caught in the Act

I was caught unawares when Fred threw open the door and shrieked, “What are you doing?” I must have blushed. For sure my arms fell to my sides like limp noodles though I was unaware they had fallen until I raised my arms to protect myself. But, no, Fred was my husband. He wouldn’t hurt me.

Still, I’d been caught in the act. And by my husband, the one person I tried to impress.

“What are you doing?”  he repeated.

“Nothing,” I mumbled, surprised I could even speak.

Fred glared at me for a second before disappearing down the hall to his office.

I slumped into the chair, swallowed the mush in my mouth, and licked my fingers.

I was filling in at Fred’s company while the receptionist was ill. I wasn’t doing much besides answering the phone and offering up greetings when someone entered the building. I’d much sooner be home in my own routine, but I had agreed to help in his time of need.

When Fred caught me in the act, I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do. I almost cried but then reconsidered. What good would tears accomplish, except to run my mascara and ruin my foundation?  And what had I done, really? I hadn’t stolen company funds, nor was I snooping into financials. No, I had simply been caught—literally—with my hands in the cookie jar, to use a cliché.

I had been gorging on donuts—donuts Fred had brought in earlier that day for the guys in the warehouse.

But it was his fault! Despite knowing I have no willpower, he had left the box of confectionary goodness with me at the front desk. I’ve been married to him for almost forty years. Shouldn’t he have clued in to my faults by now?

Yep, you guessed it. I didn’t take those twelve luscious, mouth-watering globs of goodness out back as I had been instructed. I had stuffed my face, was on donut number ten, actually, when he unexpectedly entered the office at 10:35.  He wasn’t supposed to have returned until early afternoon when he was going to take me to lunch. I had already rationalized I’d have a diet soda and salad for lunch, so I wouldn’t consume more calories.

Funny, though, after Fred disappeared to his office, I didn’t feel guilty. I had been on a diet for three weeks. I hadn’t eaten dinner the previous evening nor had I eaten breakfast that morning. I was starving; I had to eat, and there was nothing else available but those donuts. I couldn’t leave the office, not when I was manning the premises. And the boss’s wife couldn’t starve, could she?

“Help yourself,” Fred had said that morning though neglecting to remind me to take the box to the warehouse as he had done previous mornings. Of course, “help yourself” didn’t mean to scoff a dozen donuts. One morning he had even snickered when he dropped the box on my lap, tempting me. “Smell good, don’t they?” he had said before disappearing.

I looked inside the box, stunned to see two lonely donuts. Had I really eaten ten? Gah! How many calories had I consumed? No matter. I might as well put the pair out of their misery. Too late for the box to go to the warehouse. Ten hulking guys couldn’t share two.

The sweet mixture soothed my feelings of inadequacy. Gah, they were good! Lunch be damned. I’ll take donuts any day over a salad and diet pop.

***

The Spot Writers—Our Members:

RC Bonitz: http://www.rcbonitz.com

 

Val Muller: http://www.valmuller.com/blog/

 

Catherine A. MacKenzie:https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

 

Deborah Marie Dera:  www.deborahdera.com

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