Sunday, January 31, 2016

Writing Prompt - My Short Story - Her Name is Box Of Cheese-Its

 I don't always do well when I'm given writing prompts. In fact, there's only been a few times where I was able to make something real come out of it. All other times, it ends up as a one or two paragraph joke that can be anything that includes being weird, hysterical, or something a 10-year-old boy would write.
 However, this time, I was happy to write something longer. Mind you, this is not my normal style of writing, so this style is definitely not you'd see in the "G" series (G3:DF, G4:O, etc.). It's funny, but I didn't notice the "Strange, Bizarre, and Weird" in the corner of the prompt until after I wrote it, but it ended up fitting well. The mood of this short story is mostly of sadness, despair, and empathy. It basically answers the question: If groceries had feelings, how would they think and feel about their lives?
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For those of you who do not have Facebook, you can read it here:
The Writer's Circle's Facebook Page posted this:

It prompts: "Write about a character whose name happens to be... the item closest to you right now."

Mine is titled Her Name Is Box Of Cheese-Its because I was eating an off-brand of Cheez-Its.  It wasn't the real name of the box of cheese-flavored crackers because it had a long name that started with "Baked". And since North American slang often gives innocent words crude meanings ("baked" can mean that a person is intoxicated, which would not do well if I were to say "She is Baked"), I thought it'd be best to give it my own name for it based on what the product mimics, which is Cheez-Its.

Now for the short story!

Her name is Box Of Cheese-Its. She's had a difficult life. 
Growing up, she didn't know her parents. She was born at an experimental facility that created thousands of identical clones. Sometimes the humans in charge would decide to redesign the next clones to a different, more attractive look. Box just wanted to be unique and have a real family. 
One day, when she was fully grown, they forced her into a brown Cardboard Box, a Box she had never met before. He was large and protective. She felt safe in his arms, along with several of her clones, even during a very long earthquake. He took most of the blows when they were thrown in all sorts of directions.
It was the first time she really felt loved. It didn't matter if he was a father by adoption and that they didn't look related. She just wanted to stay there with him and never go. 
Unfortunately, it was not to be. 
His arms were forced open by humans, and they took her away. She screamed from the inside. Not again, not another experiment. She couldn't be separated from Cardboard Box. Not after all they went through together. 
The human put her on display on a shelf, along with many other kinds of clones. So this was it. This was why she was created. Her beauty was to be compared with others, and humans were to pick which clones caught their eye. It was a beauty contest. 
Hungry, lustful eyes fell on her, and she screamed internally as she was grabbed from the shelf and placed into a metal cage on wheels. She cried as she was now no longer protected from the violent shaking of the world. She longed for the protective embrace of Cardboard Box, but he had long been taken away. 
Around corners she rode, sliding back and forth across the painful bars of her cage, getting small dents and scratches in the process. She beheld many more rows of other clones, and horror took over her. There must have been hundreds, maybe thousands, of other facilities that created and displayed clones of all kinds. 
This was a truly terrible world! No remorse! No empathy! Their lives were meant to please the eye of humans. 
...And then what? Terror filled her, as she had no idea what end purpose they all had. Why were they created? 
More clones were placed or thrown into her cage. Other humans with their captives wheeled around the facility, as well. She also noticed that more fragile clones were treated with better care. Some humans did not care and threw them all. Hers did not do this.
Once her human was done picking out clones, it wheeled her and the others she rode with to a conveyor belt and placed her on it. It was similar to how she was created.... 
Another human grabbed her and slid her across a red light. Beep! 
Then she and several of her other fellow captives were placed in the arms of a new stranger called Plastic Bag. She was pretty and pure white, but not as protective as Cardboard Box. Still, Plastic's hands allowed Box of Cheese-Its to be safely carried by her human, which seemed confident to carry all of her fellow clones. There were several clones of Plastic Bag's. 
Then Box wondered: What if there were clones of Cardboard Box, too? 
Out of the facility her human walked. 
She was glad to no longer be there. But where was she going next? 
Her human walked and walked, eventually stopping and setting the Plastic Bag clones down. It started to grab Box's clone companions and putting them somewhere. Then it grabbed her, sticking her inside a small, dark, wooden room with clones she had never seen before and shutting the doors. 
There she sat for a long time. She was near the back, forgotten. It was lonely and quiet in there. 
Finally, one day, her human looked inside and found her with a face of delight and relief. It was the first time Box Of Cheese-Its felt that maybe some humans did care about her. 
Her human set her down on a table and sat. 
Then it pried open her head and gut bag, eating her insides. 
This was her purpose, she thought in despair. So that she and the rest of the clones would please the greedy, heartless humans. She was not loved, not even for her beauty for which she seemed to be made. Humans grew bored from seeing the same looks for very long, so that's why her creators changed and often improved the clones' looks. Life was no beauty contest, life was to sacrifice one's life for others in order to allow others to survive. 
She never chose this life. She never chose her own creation. She would never have any parents. She was created to be a slave of pleasure. 
Left feeling empty inside, she was later crushed flat by the same hands that had reached for just her. By the same human that had smiled at only her just hours before. 
Her purpose.... She was thrown into a large container filled with the rotting guts and other remains of various clones the human had devoured. 
Her life.... The lid closed over her. 

 I have to say, I almost shed a tear while writing this. 
 Having Asperger's Syndrome, I grew up feeling empathy towards everything and everyone. I would give my mom toilet paper to hold over her shaving cuts, I would tell a whimpering whistle from an air-leaking window in the back seat of our van that it was okay and that "We're almost home! Hang on!", I would even feel the "pain" of an inanimate object when it was treated poorly. Thus, the inspiration for this short story. 
 I still hate it when people think they have to slam or toss things, but it's more because I'm sensitive to loud sounds and because I get panic attacks when I see things fall, especially if I drop something on purpose. 
 Anyway, I hope you can still step into a grocery store and not be bothered by my emotion-twisting story. :) 
 P.S. Again, this is not my usual style of writing. I'm not near as dark as this. I personally like the elements of surprise, shock, determination, and desperation. And so much detail, so much world-building. Not exactly your typical fantasy book, but close in some ways. ;-) Check out my progress at .

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Paper Bag + Paper Wad = Our Newest Game

Sweetie is quick about learning new games I give her, with this as no exception: This video is only our fourth time trying this out. It was an instant hit, so here she is shown having a ton of fun, even cheating a little.