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Showcasing creative writing by university students around the world.

Illustration by Rebecca Banks

Illustration by Rebecca Banks

Published Sunday, June 15th, 2014

Words by

Juice

It’s one of those memories from childhood – I was three or four, I think – which has a certain clarity, but which is still dominated by brief flashes: the walls papered with gaudy flowers, the mauve countertops – it was the 90’s, after all. It must have been a Saturday or Sunday, because we were having an extravagant breakfast, a routine that occurred exclusively on the weekends. Cheerios took his place on the weekdays.

It’s one of those memories from childhood – I was three or four, I think – which has a certain clarity, but which is still dominated by brief flashes: the walls papered with gaudy flowers, the mauve countertops – it was the 90’s, after all. It must have been a Saturday or Sunday, because we were having an extravagant breakfast, a routine that occurred exclusively on the weekends. Cheerios took his place on the weekdays.
 
I was absorbed in steaming, flaky biscuits loaded high with butter and jelly (grape being the obvious choice, since it was his favorite), eggs sprinkled with cheese, and a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. He had fresh squeezed orange juice every morning, and insisted that it was the main factor in his unflagging good health. The oranges were from Springville – only Springville oranges would do. They were unequalled, unparalleled.
 
I was absorbed in an idyllic family routine, but my body betrayed me. My elbow bumped into my glass of juice. Time slowed down; the glass teetered back and forth, back and forth – it crashed over, a dull thud. The juice drew my eyes towards it. The irreversibility of acts dawned on me: it would never again be encased. It fled across the table. Eager after its long imprisonment, it snaked towards everything but me to begin its god-given mission to encompass everything within reach. Its sweet golden nectar bubbled over the edge of the table, a vivid, pulp-clogged waterfall, and I tried to catch it with my hands, tried to scoop it all up and replace it, tried to erase and ease my elbow’s accident. But the juice merely slipped through canadian pharmacy meds my undersized fingers.
 
He altered in an instant. The kindly father, comic with a floured nose, bustling about kneading biscuits and beating eggs – he was gone. In his place, a murderous black shape loomed, a shape that lacked confines and boundaries: it bled into corners, seeped into the spaces between cialis eyesight one’s toes, blew its caustic breath on your neck. Eyes run red through, pointed teeth, gaping maw, clenching mechanical hands.
 
As a child, I had a recurring nightmare: dim, flickering light, lengthening shadows, and waxy skin. He was holding an enormous box over the three of us, the vulnerable three quarters of my family. The box was simply made– brown, cardboard, cialisonlinepharmacy-norx.com the edges a bit frayed – but it held the unknown. He dwarfed us as we cowered underneath him, holding it in a state of eternal suspension. He could release it at any moment, and it would separate us, crush us – but instead, he just held it above us. To release it would be to deliver long swollen suffering, an almost irresistibly tempting idea. But fear, nearly as gratifying as pain, was already present in a steady and reliable stream.
 
He altered in seconds; his fury overwhelmed him. It would be considered a loss of control in an imperfect human being, but it was naturally excusable in him. What a waste, a waste of time, of money, didn’t I understand value? He worked hard, didn’t I know? Did I think orange juice just grew on trees? He grabbed my arm, tiny and pale, and fingerprint cialis generic online flowers blossomed there, purple, green, blue, yellow.
 
I was cowering. It was an accident, I was sorry, I hadn’t meant to spill it, and there was hot salty liquid spilling out of my eyes and down my cheeks, entering my terrified mouth, mingling with the slowly drying juice, and I wanted to push it away but my arm was encased in an immovable clamping vice.
 
He was a tower; he towered, meticulously hewed from granite and grey. His strength was overwhelming, and vulnerability and terror took on an intense and all-encompassing realism. The mauve countertops morphed into a sickly yellowgreen, the flowers sprouted yawning orifices fringed with venom-soaked needles, and my tears poured unceasingly from eyes wide with gaping fear.
 
He shook me. How could I be so stupid, so idiotic? How could I be so clumsy, so foolish? It was embarrassing; it was disgusting, unacceptable behavior. It would have to be cleaned up immediately, or it would dry and become impossible to remove. I should know better. His disappointment was palpable, impenetrable in the air. I had canadian pharmacy affiliate program let him down. Didn’t I know, didn’t I know –
 
I was sorry, I told him. I was so sorry, an accident, sorry –
 
A fork clattered on a plate, and that merry, tinkling sound halted the surreal vision; it froze. Acidglow colors retreated; his dark ambiguity regained human proportions; flowers retracted their needleteeth, but the delicate floral pattern on my arm still pulsed with a solemn drumbeat. The fork rattling on her canadian journal hospital pharmacy impact factor plate was accompanied by a sharp intake of breath, and the mingling of the two sounds accomplished its unintended effect.
 
He released me, unsteady. Her mouth was open, and a hard fury burned somewhere cialis 40 mg tablets in her eyes; a spark that would later grow to an unparalleled quiet strength. Nearby, another pair of tiny hands was frozen, clenched, and another pair of tiny eyes were downcast (if he didn’t look, it wasn’t real). He mumbled, awkward – what was that strange emotion written in his inhuman eyes? Shame? Embarrassment? Surely not – and we finished our breakfast. All disappeared in the midst of delicious, flaky biscuits, eggs over easy, and that sweet, fresh-squeezed orange juice. Springville orange juice, for unflagging good health.

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