Sugar Free, a short story by RoxieMarie. Date added: 2012-07-29. Times viewed: 619.
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- Intro: How far would you go for the sweet stuff?
Mrs. Smith awoke with a smile on her face. Today would be a glorious day, for today was the day she would bake all the Christmas goodies she was famous for. She dreamed about this day for weeks, as she did every year. She lived to prepare the delicious deserts and, more importantly, to be praised by family and friends for her excellent confectionary skills. Everyone loved eating her Christmas specialties, and she knew it. They were spoken of for months following, and anticipated for months before. The previous night was spent, like every year, rummaging through the large blue binder of time tested family favorite recipes. Mrs. Smith considered all the guests that would be present for Christmas dinner and handpicked her arsenal of recipes. She had written her list of required ingredients, and the time had come to go retrieve them. A smile once again found itself plastered on her face as the thought about the day ahead. A day that would be spent in the kitchen, blissfully creating the highly desired pastries, cakes, cookies and confections.
As Mrs. Smith pushed her cart down the aisles of the grocery store she hummed a Christmas tune, grabbing the items she needed and checking them off her long list. Her humming stopped abruptly when she reached the aisle containing the last, and most important, item on her list. Nothing but an empty shelf, dusted with tiny granules of escaped sugar sat before her. She quickly caught the attention of a nearby stock boy and requested that he retrieve a few packs of sugar from the back for her. The boy unsympathetically retorted that they were fresh out.
Mrs. Smith walked away only slightly diminished. She would simply pick some up from the Wellmart on her way home. It was slightly more expensive, so she didn’t care to shop there, but she needed the all-important sugar. She felt a twinge of frustration rise in her throat as she reached another bare shelf where the sugar should be. She went to grocery store after grocery store in a vain hope of finding this precious commodity. Each time she reached an empty shelf and sank deeper and deeper into a frustrated dumbfoundedness. What the hell had happened to all the sugar? Every store in town was out. She arrived home late in the afternoon with despair rooted deeply in her stomach. She had one last resort. She walked over to Mrs. Hammond’s house and rung the bell. The old lady answered the door holding one of about ten cats she had begun to collect since her husband died a few years ago. Mrs. Smith told her about the strange sugar enigma and asked if she had some that she could borrow. Her hopes were dashed when Mrs. Hammond talked on for about ten minutes about her doctor’s orders to eat as little sugar as possible. Mrs. Smith left feeling utterly distraught. She continued to go to each one of her neighbor’s houses and tell them the tale of the disappearing sugar. Each time she was sent away empty handed, more frustrated, and puzzled. Where did all the sugar go?? This was madness. Here it was almost Christmas and there was not a grain of sugar in the whole town. Suddenly, she had a stroke of genius. The local bakeries. There were only a handful in town, but one of them was bound to have some sugar that they could sell her. She was desperate. She went to all the bakeries and one by one they told her how their shipments had somehow gotten messed up. Instead of bags of sugar, they all received flour. An awful crisis for each owner, for they could not make the usual Christmas goodies that sold so well. It was at the very last bakery in town that she found a glimmer of hope. He had sugar!! She was absolutely thrilled and utterly relieved. It was now so late in the day that she would have to work all night to get everything finished, but she was willing to do that. Her hopes were quickly trampled when the baker told her that he was unable to part with even the smallest amount of suger. She pleaded with him to part with just a tiny trivial bit. She even tried tempting him with large amounts of cash. He explained how he had to make double his usual amount of baked goodies to make up for the other baker’s inability to make them. He chuckled happily as he added how much money he would make from the sudden monopoly. Mrs. Smith felt her anger rising uncontrollably as the man chortled. She had had enough. In that moment, she felt surprisingly relieved. She knew what she had to do. She reached into her handbag, a crooked smile forming on her face.
The man in front of her suddenly stopped his joyful laughter when he saw the gun that Mrs. Smith was now brandishing. She looked into his frightened and confused eyes as she told him she needed that sugar. He tried to buy himself some time and calm Mrs. Smith down by reminding her that is was Christmas time. This only served to make her angrier as she thought about all the disappointed faces around the dinner table when she explained that she was unable to make any desserts this year. She would not let that happen.
Unfortunately for Mrs. Smith, a passerby happened to glance in the window and saw the bakery store hold up. He called the police and they soon came busting through the door, tackling Mrs. Smith before she had time to react. As they hauled her away in handcuffs, amidst a crowd of media and onlookers, the baker thought about what had just happened. He thought that he had planned things so perfectly. Changing the other baker’s orders to flour. Cancelling all the orders from the grocery stores. He stood to make a fortune off the panic stricken townspeople in a rush to get the delectable desserts they so craved every Christmas. He hadn’t, however, counted on a sugar crazed Mrs. Smith holding him up at gun point.
As Mrs. Smith rode quietly in the back of the police car, a cruel twist of fate met her eyes. A truck was unloading crates of newly arrived sugar at the local Grocer King, in Mrs. Smith’s case, a moment too late.
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