40 minutes stories

Floofy Puffs – M. (40 minute story)

Note: This story was created in 40 minutes in one of our writing sessions. The story is based on the following writing prompt (taken from Reddit’s /r/ExplainAFilmPlotBadly but the writers were not told that their prompts were movie plots): “A son and father are caught in a riot. The father is murdered. The son is adopted by a gay couple and years later he returns home to kill his uncle.” (Yes this is the plot for ‘The Lion King’) 

Floofy Puffs – M.

They never should have come for the Floofy Puffs. But MAS, Mothers Against Sugar, the grassroots movement composed largely of suburban moms who could no longer afford the dentists’ bills incurred by their children’s sugar addiction, had swelled across the country and found support in the key demographics of women who have a child and women who have children.

The took to the streets in droves, made signs and waved them, threatened senators, boycotted businesses, and bombed post offices when they got overexcited. Ultimately, congress caved. First it was the Tootsie Rolls, then marshmallow Peeps, then Lucky Charms and finally, when we thought they’d had enough, they came for the Floofy Puffs.

The mothers rejoiced. The nefarious cereal that gummed their children’s jaws together while eroding their enamel was gone from supermarket shelves. They no longer had to bat away their pestering little brats who preferred gingivitis to the meal their mothers had slaved all day over a hot stove making.

All across America, suburban dads reached their hands into the back of the pantry to find nothing but the ingredients for overnight oats.

And they took to the streets.

My father, American through and through, would protest anything. And that’s what it was at first, a peaceful exercise of the First Amendment, men and boys peacefully demanding the return of their gum-rotting breakfast treat.

No one knows how it changed. A ringer, most likely, an MAS agent in a fake beard hurling a rock through a storefront. Then the riots began.  It turns out that adult males with low blood sugar turn to violence very quickly. What started as a procession of beer bellies turned into a stampede of bloodthirsty suburbanites who had had it up to here with eating whole-grain fucking toast. I remember, we were there, marching down P street in Washington, D.C., when the horde came round the bend. Savages. They quickly turned on each other. Blood was everywhere. There no Floofy Puffs that day. And when the crowd cleared, there my father lay, bloodied and broken and not a breath left in his body.

Strange, that a 9-year-old could wander so far without a single adult stopping to check if they’re alright. And wander I did. Down to the bus station, where I took the one that left soonest. It didn’t go far. Baltimore. Charm City, they call it. Not for me. My mind was filled with nothing but the cereal-inspired carnage that had robbed me of my father and my childhood.

I became an urchin. I had a knack, it turned out, for pickpocketing. A complicated business, nowadays; whatever you’re trying to get, you wind up with an iPhone, which they can track so you have to disable the blah blah blah. You know what it’s like.

I was working down at the harbor when I met Steven and Stephane. Well, they met me. I’d finally pinched something good – an Hublot watch, right off some rich idiot’s wrist, and was quietly slinking away when he put it together that the little boy who’d hugged him and called him daddy “by mistake” might be the reason his watch was gone. And god, could he run. And shout at the same time “thief, thief”, “stop him”, “little fucker”, the usual. Normally not a problem for me. I’m small, I’m quick, I blend in, I disappear. But he was gaining. He was fast. He probably did CrossFit. And he was just about to nag me when I crashed into another man.

-Thanks! That little fucker has my watch!

-Excuse me, sir. This little fucker is a child. Watch your mouth. Is that true? Do you have this man’s watch?

I shook my head.

-He says he doesn’t. I would ask you to leave my son alone.

He said it with such confidence I almost believed him myself. And then he took pity on me and took me home and introduced me to his husband. We say in the living room for a while, saying nothing. I put the watch on the table and Steven just nodded.

That quiet complicity was the beginning of something gorgeous. I had lost 1 dad, but gained 2. And they’d wanted a child but were sick of the adoption agency’s skittishness towards them.

I didn’t know how much of this to explain to Rosa Lee when I met her. I told her all of it, in stages, while we were getting to know each other after I’d caught her trying to steal my watched (Same one, actually, good brand Hublot, I can recommend it and I do).

How much of yourself do you reveal, and how quickly? When you tell someone how your father died, do you mention that at the time of his death he was protesting a government ban on his favorite cereal?

Her father was a gruff man who did not approve of me or my fathers. He firmly believed that his 16-year-old daughter’s 16-year-old boyfriend was much too old for her. But he did tell me something that changed by life – or set it back on course.

An FBI man, Rosa Lee’s father. All he talked about was work, work, work. It bored us to death, but he insisted on chaperoning all our dates, sitting stonily between us and recounting classified details of classified investigations.

But it was one of these details that set me on a course towards my destiny. GoodLoaf, a multinational conglomerate whose whole-wheat bread was perfect for making the kind of toast that’s perfect for spreading jelly on – nooks and crannies – had organized a group of thugs to go undercover among the Floofy Puffs protestors and make them look like animals by inciting violence. The name of the man who organized the undercover Floofy Puff disruptors was one I recognized. It was my uncle.

Uncle Brad. So smug. Always gabbing on and on about how whole wheat was the bread of the future. The best loaf in town. No better way to start the day.

So one night, after Rosa Lee’s father collapsed in a pile of snores, having bored himself to sleep, I told Rosa Lee that the time had come for me to kill my uncle. So I did. And then we got married.

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