June/July Challenge: The Choice

So this isn’t completely suspenseful, but it is in its own way.  It’s a new blending of suspense and depressing.  It’s deprenseful.  As for my incredible lateness, I don’t have any excuses; I’ve just been lazy.  I’d like to get back to one a month though, so I’ll post a challenge for September after I post this story.

The sunlight shone down hard on the green grass at the Johnson family’s quiet suburban home.  The lawn had been mowed just a few days ago and everything looked pristine.  The Kool-aid Man looked at grass with a wistful smile on his face.  He appreciated the colors of the world much more than he had just days before.  The way the sky went from light to dark blue, the leaves changing from green to all sorts of different shades; this was his world and all he wanted to do was to drink it in.

He felt the cool autumn breeze blow around his pitcher and send a rush through his glass.  The hairline fractures even felt renewed, as though they could somehow heal themselves.  The birds chirped their messages to each other and in the distance he heard squirrels trying to accompany the birds with their chittering.  He smiled, closed his eyes, and let his mind drift back.

For the first few moments, The Kool-aid Man felt like he was back in his prime.  He was gleefully smashing down walls as though they were paper thin.  Children everywhere were excited to see him and parents were mortified at the damage he would cause.  It didn’t matter to him though, all that mattered was getting those kids their drinks.  He felt like a god.  He could go anywhere and knock down any wall.

Then his memories drifted back to the moment that still haunted him.  That time three weeks back when he smashed down a wall with his usual gusto, but walked away with a slight leak.  He had seen small leaks before, and they were usually nothing a trip to the doctor couldn’t handle, but this time it felt different.  The leak felt larger.

“Mr. Man,” Doctor Chihuly said with a slight hint of sadness in his voice, “there is no other way to say this to you; if you keep smashing walls, you will most likely die.  You have to stop right now.”  The Kool-aid Man sat there for a moment in the heavy silence, then he realized he was leaking again.  This time it was Berry Blast and the leak was coming from his eyes.

The memories snapped him back into reality as a single drop of Wild Cherry rolled down his five-foot tall face.

This is it, Kool, he thought to himself, what are you going to do?  You’ve got enough money to retire.  You could settle down and take it easy.  Hawaiian Punch hasn’t been doing much these days, you could hang out with him more.

But what would it matter?  My life has always about breaking down the barriers between children and refreshments.  That’s all I’ve ever wanted.  Besides, the doc did say there was a chance I could keep doing this for years with just this small leak.  I knew my line of work was risky when I started doing it, but that didn’t stop me back then.

The breeze blew over his body again.  Thirty to forty percent chance, he thought, thirty to forty.  What does that really mean?  What does that honestly mean in the grand scheme of “will I live or die?”

The Kool-aid Man heard noises on the other side of the wall.  Timothy Johnson shouted, “Wow!  It changes colors in water!”  Time to decide, big guy.  What are you gonna do?

One thought on “June/July Challenge: The Choice

  1. Stephen, great writing! Dude have confidence and enjoy yourself. This is a great example and we should keep doing it. I know as we get older we all feel like the Kool-Aid man… we all leak just a little more than we used to and the cracks and chips we pick up along the road of life don’t always heal ; )

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