Monday, April 20, 2015

It's Not Me!

The Easter Bunny and I never did get along. He was always too assertive in his cheer, too bold in his chipperness. Every time I met with him, he smiled and laughed and hopped around like a demented kindergartner. It was all I could do not to punch him in his fluffy face.

Still, I never wanted him to turn up dead. I'm just not that kind of person. Err... Pumpkin. Myth. Whatever.

The Bunny, who went by the improbable name of Benny, and I belonged to a select group of holiday workers. His day was in the spring, mine the autumn, so maybe it was inevitable that we would have conflicting personalities despite our similar jobs of giving things to small children who don't really need them.

Maybe when the investigators came to call, I should have acted more appalled. Or maybe I should have acted more worried that the homicide was part of a bigger picture, that someone had it out for the holiday crowd. As it was, I just sort of stared at them like I couldn't figure out why they were telling me about it. Which I honestly couldn't until we got to the part where they told me not to leave Mythtown and I realized they suspected me.

It was stupid of them to think I could have done it. Even if anyone had ever heard of a murderous pumpkin, I was too obvious a culprit. I would need to be a complete moron to think I could get away with it after that argument we had in front of everyone at Uncle Sam's "I Survived Another Fourth of July!" bash. Or the argument I had. He mostly stood there grinning at me like I was hilarious as I ranted about the fur he was shedding in the pool and the paw prints he'd left in the banana pudding I brought for the potluck.

Everyone knew we weren't friends. But murder? They had the wrong myth!

Turns out it wasn't a myth at all, but we never would have known that if the guy hadn't gone after Santa Claus. Big mistake, taking on the strongest of us like that. Still, it's a good thing he got cocky. If he'd followed a rational plan, he probably would have gone after the Saint Patrick's Day Leprechaun next and I would have been in jail faster than you can say, "It's the Great Pumpkin!" because if there was anyone I hated more than Benny, it was that freak.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Tale from the Life of Candace Sweetly

I keep my head down as I approach Dad's house, hoping no one sees me going there. It's not that I'm embarrassed by my dad. Not exactly. I'm not even that embarrassed to by his house. I mean, it was a seriously cool place to invite friends to when I was a little kid. It's just that now I'm a teenager, my friends find the place less cool and more weird.

This shift in attitude isn't entirely unfair as the house certainly does have problems. On rainy days, or warm summer days, it will start to melt a little. The constant ant problem is annoying to say the least. And the stickiness that gets all over everything you take into the place is truly cringe-worthy. Still, my dad loves it.

It's a blessedly cool day in late February when I walk up the front path for the first time in weeks. I haven't been avoiding my dad for anything specific this year, it's just that I generally give him a wide berth in the lead up to Valentine's Day, which is even worse than the weeks before Halloween. Both holidays come with an increase in workload that makes what accountants face in tax season look like a vacation, but at least Halloween is accompanied by fewer tirades against my mother.

My boots slide on a patch of ice, but I catch myself on one of the lollipops lining the way. A few hairs pull from my gloves as I remove them from the candied surface, but it's cold enough that my gloves don't seem to have pulled away much sugar.

I make my way carefully up the gumdrop steps to knock on the graham cracker door. There used to be a doorbell, but someone ate it, leaving only a hole and an exposed wire.

One of the tourist buses rambles up the road behind me and I pull my hood up to hide myself from their cameras. Last time I didn't do that, pictures of me wound up all over the tabloids with various claims that I was anerexic, overeating, or pregnant. Being the child of celebrities has downsides.

The bus loadspeaker shouts as the vehichle draws closer. "And this, if you haven't guessed, is the home of the one and only Candy Man! Note the gingerbread siding and treacle roof. And who's that at the front door? Is it a new girlfriend? Or maybe his daughter, Candace?"

Ugh. Why is Dad taking so long to open the door?

The latch turns and I shove foward, bumping straight into a woman I've never met before.

"Or maybe," the announcer on the bus goes on, "it's both!"

The woman slams the door shut and we stare at each other.

"I'm the daughter," I say.

"I'm the girlfriend," she says. She smiles and holds out a hand as her wings beat quietly behind her. "Call me Sugarplum."

Sugarplam. And, yes, now I recognize her from the same papers that I've been in. Dad is dating the Sugarplum Fairy.

My mom, the Tooth Fairy, is going to throw a fit.

This story brought to you via a prompt from my son, who told me before leaving me alone to write that if I got stuck in my novel, I should write something about a man who lives in a candy house and does candy things. I think he meant something more Adventure Time!-ly, but this is what he's getting. :)