The Day of the Candy Shower

by Emily LAWTON
 

Louise woke up with a taste of the candy-fruit skittles in her mouth. The sun was streaming through her pink Hello Kitty curtains onto the brass canopy bed. Her bedcover was white with ruffles, but one of the pillowcases was stained multi-colored with a rainbow of fruit flavors. It seemed to be skittles. Wet skittles.

Louise sat up abruptly. Light twinkled around the room, glinting through the 17 prisms that hung in her two east-facing windows. How had skittles gotten in the bed? And in her mouth?

She reached a pink-nailed index finger in to explore. Yes, there were some skittles in there. Five or six, maybe. Their hard outer coating was half dissolved, leaving a rough surface. Louise ran her tongue over all of them experimentally. Spit them out, or chew and swallow? Perhaps she’d been sleepwalking. Louise could not remember there even being Skittles in the house.

She chewed them, slowly, and swallowed them. There was a red and purple trail down the front of her white lace nightgown. To the left side of the bed was a pair of pink fur slippers. Louise slipped her feet in them, and pulled a robe on over her embarrassingly stained nightgown; she gathered the lapels up towards her face to hide the stain.

Louise looked down at her bed. I like candy, but I don’t like messes! she thought. The colored spots on the pillowcase made her feel out of sorts. It would take bleach to get that out.

Louise’s kitchen was a gleaming white space. She took out her tea kettle (bulbous and painted to look like a white bunny) and put the water on to boil. She dropped a tea bag in a white china cup. She was still fretting about the sheets and the nightgown. Then her princess phone began to ring.

She ran over to it and picked up the phone, but when she opened her mouth she was unable to speak. Instead of sounds, a stream of candy corns, gum drops, M & Ms, jujyfruit, licorice bits, mini candy-bars, good & plenty, chocolate kisses, chocolate stars, red hots, ribbon candies, circus peanuts, candy necklaces, runts, jolly ranchers, junior mints, strawberry fragola, pocky sticks, sixlets, candy cigarettes, ring pops, and sundry other assorted candies (including skittles) came pouring out of her mouth. They showered down the sides of her telephone table and went bouncing or splatting (depending on consistency) onto the floor. Louise shut her mouth, and the torrent ceased. Her cheeks were bulging with candy.

She still had the receiver in hand, and she could hear the voice of her supervisor Mrs. Pitre on the other end. “Hello? Hello, Louise?” Louise tried to make some noise without opening her mouth, but the signs were as meaningless as a duck’s quack. “Louise?” Mrs. Pitre asked once more. Then she hung up the phone. Louise also placed her phone back in its ornate cradle.

Her mouth was watering, and she was desperate to get the candy out. The saliva was working on it and the various flavors were starting to blend and overwhelm her. In particular the flavors of cinnamon, chocolate, and anise were separately discernible and also combinatorally vomitous.

She opened just the left side of her lips and tried spitting the candies out one by one. They plunked onto the pile on the floor. She used her tongue to shove candies towards the front of her mouth, then eased them out through the opening.

Louise saw her reflection in the mirror. Her face was red and her eyes bulged out with strain. She could hear children playing out in the street, and felt the tickling again in the back of her throat. Her mouth started to refill. She ran over to the window, leaned out and opened her mouth. Down below, the children were initially confused; then they began to dance around in the candy shower.

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