Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hot Chocolate

Here is a short story I wrote a couple of weeks ago (~700 words, ~5 min. read). It was inspired by the following picture  from one of Ozlem Yikici's writing prompts.

Hot Chocolate

I hate it when Mama gets her hair done.  It’s so hard to sit in one tiny corner of the stuffy, smelly salon, especially when it’s snowing.  I tell her it’s awfully cruel to keep a child trapped inside when there’s a white world of wonder waiting to be explored.  But she just laughs.  An evil laugh.  She’s evil.
I’m supposed to keep from pressing my nose on the window and making fancy breath patterns on the glass, and just sit still with my storybooks like a proper little girl.  Even the little girls in my storybooks are allowed to go play outside.
How absolutely monstrous of her to keep me from the snow!  She says that I’m too little to cross the street by myself, that the horses and carriages will not see me until it’s too late and that by then I’d be as flat as Aunt Margaery’s notes.  I just know that would never happen, though.  The constables in their sharp uniforms and shiny brass buttons would protect me.  They might even agree to have a snowball fight with me! Mama’s paranoid.
Oh how much I could be missing, sitting on this uncomfortable hard chair, swinging my legs back and forth, next to this horrible row of gossiping ladies!
Why, a unicorn could be frolicking about just outside right now! Unicorns love snow because snow is white just like they are.  I would have hot chocolate with the unicorn.  I’d name him Cocoa, because hot chocolate is brown even though he’s white, which is what Papa would call ‘ironic’.  I would ask him to make snow angels with me. But I can’t and it’s all Mama’s fault.
The bare trees outside could be lonely and cold, right now.  No one ever pays attention to trees once their leaves have fallen off.  I could be chatting with them, keeping them company so that they forget all about the snow that’s caught in their branches.  But, no, I’m stuck inside this salon.  Oh look, Mama’s giggling with her friend.  Doesn’t she realize it’s snowing outside? Mama obviously doesn’t care about the trees.
I could be missing a lady passing by in a pretty pink carriage.  She could be wrapped in red furs to match her red lips.  I’m sure she would take pity on me if she saw me.  She’d tell me to climb on up and snuggle me to keep me warm.  Then she’d take me back to her manor, which would have rooms and rooms and rooms, and feed me tarts and tea.  Mama never gives me tea.  She says tea is for grown-ups.  I’m sure the lady’s tea wouldn’t be as bitter as Mama’s tea.  I tried it once and hated it. I bet tea’s not supposed to be bitter at all.
Right now, little dwarves could be frantically searching for stones along the road.  Everyone knows dwarves collect stones for their rock gardens.  But they are so simple and daft that they get confused when it snows because they can no longer find stones.  And then they become careless and wander the streets in daylight, forgetting that they’re not allowed to let humans see them.  But I haven’t ever seen one, yet.  I could be missing my chance!  Silly Mama.  She doesn’t know anything. I would help them find stones, I would!
The road could be turning into a frozen river with mermaids and brightly coloured fish trapped underneath, so that it would look like a painting on the ground.  But I’m missing it.  By the time we leave the salon, the river would be covered with snow and the road would look ordinary again. I hate Mama.
I bet that right now a snowman is landing his hot air balloon just across the street.  He could be calling children for a ride!  Oh, I just know he’s out there and -   
“Come, princess!  You’ve been such a patient little girl.  Let’s go to the cafe and have hot chocolate with marshmellows and plan the snow castle we will build at home!”
You know what I think? I think Mama’s the best person in the whole wide world.


  1. Where can one find ur other collection of short stories??

  2. Radha, this is utterly delightful! It conjured up some vivid imagery and the voice of the piece is spot on -a grand effort; you should join in more often :)

  3. Thank you very much!

    Vinay, I'm actually working on a collection about the theater. The first draft is about 70% complete. Hopefully I'll finish by the end of this year! Till then, I'll probably just post like this every so often as I experiment with flash fiction.

    Yikici, I definitely will. It was a nice learning experience. :)

  4. The voice in this piece certainly is strong, and 'spot on'! Brings the reader right into the salon, next to the little girl, wanting to see (and feel) exactly the same wonders she sees! Makes one long for this simple, delightful imagination in today's 'over-busy' little ones - so hard to find. Splendid story, indeed! Thanks for sharing!

  5. A wonderful wonderful story, beautifully written. Must say a brilliant piece of work. When can we have a next one??

  6. This is (fantasy)tic. loved it, esp the curses which mama got in every paragraph.