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Exercise #157 : The Squid, the Lampshade, and the Smell of Burning Tortillas

Write something that incorporates a squid, a lampshade and the smell of burning tortillas.

1,2,3, GO!!!

Maria flipped the flour tortilla in the skillet, it's surface barely blistering. This batch was going to be a good one. In approximately 30 seconds, she slid the fresh tortilla from the skillet onto a nearby plate which held a stack of the thin, white discs.

"Maria!" said Erika, her little sister, as she ran into the kitchen, a lampshade atop her head. "Maria, he won't stop poking me!" She was soon followed by her brother, George, an impish grin creeping across his face.

"No, I'm not, Maria!" he objected as he poked her in the side.

"George," said Maria, "leave her alone. That's not nice." Her attention mostly focused on pouring a new tortilla into the skillet, she absently clawed at her little brother's shirt.

At least ten years older than both of her siblings, Maria frequently played the role of "Mama" when their mother was out of the house. She was the product of a previous relationship, and both Erika and George were "surprise" babies (and a set of twins at that), so there were 12 years between them. Maria didn't know what her parents would do when she left for college in less than a year.

"I'm not doing anything!" he said, sticking out his lower lip as far as he could. Then, his pouting came to an abrupt end when he decided he had other more fun things to do. He disappeared from the kitchen as Erika stood up on her toes to see what her sister was cooking.

"Mayo Tortillas?" she said.

"Yep," Maria said with a smile. "Mayo Tortillas."

It was family tradition to make homemade tortillas on Cinco de Mayo, and when Erika and George were little they decided that Mayo needed to be pronounced like the condiment instead of the Spanish version of the month. From then on, it stuck.

By the time the new tortilla was finished, George had come back into the kitchen holding a stuffed squid-like animal, his plush fabric covering worn with age and playing outside.

Erika pulled frantically at her sister's pant leg.

"Maria!" she said. "George stole Mr. Sqid!" It was a purple and pink, rhinestone-embedded squid from the aquarium that Mom and Dad had bought for Erika a few months ago, and she was very protective of it. Erika began chasing her brother around the room, screaming at him to "Give it back!"

"Erika! George!" Maria attempted to break the two apart, but it was nearly impossible, given the ferocious flailing of limbs and wailing.

By the time she had pried Erika off of George, both of them squawking like little crazed chickens, the smoke detector began wailing from the ceiling above them. The children covered their ears as Maria turned to the stove where her tortilla was smoking into oblivion.

"Kids, out of the kitchen!" she said, grabbing the closest cookie sheet and waving frantically at the smoke.


I feel like I started strong with this one, but it quickly petered out into cliche and poopy writing. I mean, it's not the worst thing I've ever written, but it most definitely could have gone a lot better. Ah well. Such are the joys of being a writer, correct? Not everything you write can be literary brilliance.

What did you write today?


P.S. HAPPY JULY!!!!!!!!!!!


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