Wildwood would like to congratulate Yoon Carlson on her recent writing award. Her flash fiction piece, Fruit Loops, completed for the Wildwood creative writing course, was awarded a Silver Key in the 2020 Scholastic Art and Writing competition. With hundreds of thousands of entries across the nation, it is truly an honour for Yoon to be recognized as one of the standout writing entries in the West Region, which comprises the states from the West Coast all the way over to Colorado and Montana, including Hawaii. We are happy to be able to share her work so others can read it.
By Yoon Carlson
I fly down the flight of stairs, still feeling tired and lazy. I grabbed a piece of toast. Once again I had overslept after staying up late studying with my best friend AJ. Well, studying is an exaggeration. We spent the night binge watching cringey romcoms and eating Kinder chocolate. Since I’d known AJ since preschool, we found it easy to hang out together. Thinking of that reminds me that I promised AJ a Kinder Egg.
I arrive at school late. AJ should be in Chemistry already, our first period. I sprint my way down the old crowded halls to where Chemistry awaits. When I find my seat, I study AJ’s face. He’s always so hard to look at, with dark blue eyes that have a spiral and ever so olive skin. He grins, a lopsided grin that I know so well.
“Kinder Egg?” AJ says with a giddy smile. His hand extends, resting on the back of my chair. I give him a hard eye roll as he smirks.
I slip my hand into my bag, snooping around for the egg. I roll the egg into his hand. He gives me the original golden ol’ AJ smile.
After Chemistry, I don’t see AJ for the rest of the day. All of his classes are on the other side of the school, so I usually don’t see him until 3:45. When the final bell rings, I sprint out of the building.
I spot AJ at the entrance to the school, waiting for me. As we start towards home, he grabs his bike and begins to ride circles around me. I saunter down Eighth Street in the stiff October air. Yellow, red and orange leaves fall like snow from the trees. I feel like nothing could go wrong today, with the whole weekend to relax.
“So .” AJ starts. “Uhh, I was wondering if...”
“What?” I stare at him. He wasn't an awkward guy normally.
He rolls up beside me on the bike. Silence.
“Ok ok! I was wondering if you wanted to join me in going to the coast this weekend?”
“Really?” I asked him, quickly glancing away.
“It wouldn't really be fun without...”. He started to open his mouth to say something but just blushed. This situation was getting more awkward by the minute.
“I have to check with Graham but I’d love to.” Not as if it would matter - my foster dad Graham is a night doctor. I am just waiting to turn eighteen so I can be free from foster care forever.
“Great!” AJ beamed.
We turn on to 3rd Avenue, where we stop at Pop’s Candy Shop to stock up on Kinder and Hershey’s chocolate. As I strolled the aisles, I kept wondering why, after all these years, he’d invited me this year.
I throw my duffel bag into my car and it lands on the new fuzzy, black interior of what Poppy has named the Bobmobile. The old Volkswagen Bug squeaks as I shut the back hatch.
I lean back on the back of Bob, fixing my hair and trying to gel it into place again, when Poppy’s slim figure appears. Her eyes have an unrealistic blue freckled with gold that shines in the morning sunlight.
“Aah, darnit. I forgot to get something to eat.” Poppy whines. She puts a pouty lip out.
“I got you covered, look in the front.” I say closing the back.
I smile at the confused look she gives me before slipping into the front. “You got Mad Hatters!!” she squeals as I slip into the front seat. I feel hope when I see her beaming at me with a lopsided smile. This trip was going to be perfect. I pull my eyes towards the road as I stick the key in the ignition and turn the radio up. Freedom is coming.
Mad Hatters is the best bakery I know of. The beignets are heavenly. The bag AJ got me holds 3 pastry boxes. I grab the pastel blue box that sits on the top, opening the lid.
“Well, there’s only one fruit loop donut. Too bad for you.” I tease AJ.
“Ohh you have got to be kidding, you know I love fruit loop donuts .” He mumbles with a hungry, pleading look that I can’t resist.
“Open wide!” I flew the donut toward his open mouth like an airplane. Taking a huge bite he closed his eyes in bliss, just for a snap second, then opened them so he could focus back on the road.
“More pwease,” he said in a baby voice.
Laughing, I airplane the donut toward him again.
The taste of confectioners’ sugar dominates my mouth with flavor. Sweet, buttery heaven. I love these things.
“Want another bite?” Poppy asks she steers the donut toward my face. She misses and frosting gets all over my cheek. She smirks, trying not to giggle. I give her a raised eyebrow.
“What is that?” I give a very dramatic gasp as I point out Poppy’s window.
“What? she asked, swivelling her head. I reach over and smear frosting on her forehead. I chuckle as she laughs in shock.
Suddenly, the car behind me swerved ahead unexpectedly. The whole world turned. I felt the car turn over the hill but then my vision went black. All black.
It all happened so fast. I had leaned down to grab a napkin when I felt the car swerve off the interstate. I screamed as the car hit something and the last thing I remember was my airbag exploding. My head was thrown back and my legs were completely crushed.
Then my vision went black.
My head is spinning. I saw it all happen. I stopped where the car had left the road and stumbled down the hill. The sleek black Volkswagen Bug was upside down. I yanked my phone out of my shorts pocket, typing in 911.