Monday, August 10, 2009

August's Creative Writing Prompt

A few months ago, some fellow writers and I decided to do a monthly creative writing prompt. Someone (this month it's me) :D picks a word or phrase or idea and whoever feels like playing can use the prompt and write a short creative piece on their own blog. You have the whole month of August to do this. Just be sure to leave a link to your blog post in the comments here and at the end of the month I'll compile all the links in one big post.

So far, we've done pieces inspired by flowers, waves, and a piece inspired by a certain song. Well, this month has been a crazy month for me, so I'd like to do a prompt on something that always gets me through the tough/crazy/strange/busy times......CHOCOLATE :D

Write whatever you want, short story, poem, song lyrics....anything you want that is somehow inspired by chocolate. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with :D And be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments here! I'll also leave a link in the sidebar so people can easily find this post again.

Here is mine :)

Say It With Chocolate

“Hey honey. Do you need hot chocolate, or do you still have some?” Tom asked, the sounds of Wal-Mart beeping noisily in the background.

I hesitated for a second, a little confused. This was probably the first time, in six years of marriage, that he had ever asked me this question. His usual response to my weekly, “Oh I need to pick up more hot chocolate” was an exaggerated roll of the eye that meant something along the lines of, “There goes the chocoholic again. Can’t live one day without her fix.” So, to have him ask me if I needed more was a little bit of a shock.

“No, I’m fine. I just bought that big tub a few days ago.”

“Okay. Just wanted to make sure. Didn’t want you to run out or anything,” he said, teasing me a little.

“I know I’m bad, but I’m not that bad!” I replied. “Even I can’t go through that much hot chocolate in three days!”

He just laughed. “Okay. I’ll be home in a minute. Bye!”

I hung up the phone, shaking my head a little. Inspiration finally struck. My birthday was a few days away. He was probably just trying to be sweet and make sure I had everything I wanted to make my day perfect. I smiled. He was definitely learning.

Don’t get me wrong. Tom is a very sweet, loving man. He just doesn’t do the holiday thing very well. And he really doesn’t get my dependence on chocolate. Our first Valentine’s Day together, we were shopping with his mom at Sam’s Club. I wandered down the aisle a bit, and I heard his mother whisper to him that he should go pick out some flowers for me. I was privately thinking that a box of chocolates would be better, but hey, flowers are nice too. His response was, “What for?” I thought for sure he was joking. He wasn’t. He has, luckily, much improved in that department, although he still has a hard time picking out presents for me. He always chooses wonderful, touching cards, but I generally buy my own presents, wrap them up, and act surprised when I open them.

It’s not really his fault. His family, although very loving, just doesn’t do holidays, at least not the way my family does. My family jumps on any excuse for a party…and chocolate consumption. For Valentine’s Day, my sister and I would make a big, heart-shaped cake, chocolate, with red icing. For St. Patrick’s, my mom would make corned beef and cabbage…and a big chocolate cake, green icing. And these were just the little holidays. Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and especially birthdays, were huge, blown-out affairs…and usually with my mom’s special triple layer, homemade, totally from scratch, “Pollyanna” cake (so named because it looked like the huge cakes in the movie of that name…only all chocolate!)

And just to give you an idea of exactly how strong this chocolate thing is…my sister, for some strange reason, suddenly became allergic to chocolate. It lasted for a year or two before finally going away. But while it lasted, she couldn’t eat chocolate without breaking into hives and having her throat swell up. This created a problem as every Sunday we’d have roast, mashed potatoes, corn, and salad, with chocolate cake for dessert. We started buying her something vanilla so she could have a treat too, and the rest of us ate the chocolate. Well, that brave little soul didn’t let a little thing like hives and suffocation stop her. She always managed to choke down a bite or two of chocolate. We just started filling her water glass with Benedryl.

Now this obsession is something Tom just does not understand. He is the type of person who buys a candy bar, takes one bite, and leaves it in the fridge for a month. He likes chocolate cream pie, but he’ll eat one piece and leave the rest of the pie to rot. He doesn’t even like chocolate chip cookies or chocolate cake and refuses to eat either one. How we ever got together is beyond me. He sees my love of chocolate as some kind of defect. So to have him ask me if I needed more hot chocolate was, to say the least, a little surprising.

My birthday came and Tom came home from work, proudly carrying a package in his hands. I was very pleasantly surprised. I had already bought myself a present and had it wrapped, waiting on the table. But nothing prepared me for what I was about to open. The paper came off and I merely stared. It was a thing of beauty, something I never dreamed existed. My eyes teared up and I looked with absolute adoration at the most wonderful man on the planet. He had given me a hot chocolate maker!

For years, every time we’d go into a hotel room, I’d rant and rave about how the hoteliers were discriminating against the chocolate lover. There was always a coffee maker on the counter. Couldn’t they throw a few packets of instant hot coco in the basket? How hard would that be? For years he had watched me make hot chocolate in the microwave, grumbling under my breath every time I had to reheat water to make more if I wanted seconds ( if? Ha…sorry, when I wanted seconds). He teased me, rolled his eyes, and tried his hardest to ignore me…and remembered just how much I loved my hot chocolate. I think it was the first present he had ever bought for me that I didn’t know about, or, I should say, tell him about, ahead of time. And he had chosen the most perfect present in the world.

To this day, that hot chocolate maker has remained my favorite out of everything he has ever given me. He’s done many sweet things for me, given me many wonderful gifts, but that year, he did the best thing in the world…he said it with chocolate.


christine said...

yummy - I have to start thinking about this now...Hmm...

Kris said...

hmmmm chocolate! great work!

B.J. Anderson said...

Awwwwe! That's so sweet! What a sweet story. Hmmm. Chocolate. I better go find some. :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Lovely story, Michelle. I like the way he loves her enough to give a gift he has no understanding of or use for. I also like the prompt, and being a chocolate junkie, I shall probably join in and link later. Thanks for a nice start to Monday.

willett said...

Great Idea and Great story!! Love is often best displayed in actions that are unnatural!!

Lazy Writer said...

Nice story. For some reason, I suddenly have a hankering for something sweet.

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Aw that is literally a sweet story;) My husband actually brought me home a candy bar tonight which was very sweet of him as well.

"The Beast Master" said...
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