First Sprinkles Friday!

Hello all! Today is the first day of Sprinkles Friday! Every Friday, from here on out, I will post an original short story of whatever genre or style I’m diggin’ at the moment. You can find the Sprinkle on the Home page and a link to all of my Sprinkles on the Sprinkle page. Sprinkle. Sprinkle. Sprinkle. If you type it, read it, and say it enough, it sounds almost as fake as Jimmies.

Speaking of which, I have my first of many confessions to make. Jimmies exist. The only reason why I titled the page Sprinkles is because the term is more socially acceptable than jimmies.  But that is neither here nor there. Enter: my first Sprinkle!

Poppy Fields

(an excerpt)

by Rachel Yecco

At four years old I got married for the first time to Kenny. He had a mullet and one of those hip, at least for 1993, blue, red, and yellow geometric sweaters. Super dreamy.

My friend Kayla told me that he was going to give me a ring with a blue heart on it the next day so I was sure to wear my pink and yellow flower dress with my white cowboy boots.

The next day he gave me the ring. It was a heart shaped faux sapphire ring that, to this day, is the only piece of jewelry a man has ever given me. We got married at recess and ate peanut butter sandwiches and drank punch- flavored mondo. He told me he loved me because I smelled like chocolate chip cookies. He had a way with words that none of the other kids in pre-school did.

We got divorced when the bell rang. Turns out, he stole the ring from his sister and when she found out she demanded she have it back. I wore black for the rest of the week.

I wished my first marriage were more romantic than that.

A week later, Kenny married Kayla. But instead of stealing his sisters blue heart shaped ring again, he spent a whole quarter on one for her at one of the vending machines at the Pathmart supermarket. It was Valentine’s Day and was the first time I had my heart broken.

Poppy picked my sister, Allie, and I up from school that day.  “He married Kayla!” I shouted as I ran towards him. “He married Kayla and bought her a ring. Her’s was bigger than mine. And then he took mine!”

He handed me a tiny heart shaped box filled with chocolates and picked me up. “It’s okay Poppy. Boys are bad. It’s better you learn at four than at twenty-four.”

“I’m sad.” I said, trying to release the box of chocolates from his plastic wrapped cocoon. “That sounds about right,” he responded

We loaded up into his red truck. Allie sat in the other passenger seat and I sat in the middle. “Don’t tell you’re mother that I’m not putting you in your car seats. If you don’t we’ll go see the ducks on the way back.” Allie and I looked at each other with wide-eyes. “Can we feed them chocolate?” Allie asked waving her box in the air. “Poppy, what the hell kind of question is that? Of course not. You want to kill the ducks?” Allie laughed and Poppy clicked us into the seatbelts. “I brought bread to feed them, Jesus Christ, you’re going to kill a bunch of ducks today.”

Before we went to the lake, he took us to the cemetery to visit Grandma Rita. He placed a dozen roses by her grave and opened up the tiny picture frame at the top, she smiled in the faded, once black and white photo that was now an historic shade of blue. As he stared at her picture, Poppy’s eyes glossed over in a way I hadn’t seen it before. I grabbed his hand and looked at the picture. “Is that your wife?” I asked. He nodded and looked down, not smiling, not saying anything, just looking.

Allie and I stood at the grave until he was done. He finally said,  “You girls would have loved her.”

“Did you bring her chocolates too?” I asked

“No, I only buy my baby girls chocolate.”

“I am not a baby,” Allie said, wiping dirt off her white stockings, “I am six years and one month old on Tuesday.”

“I’ll have you’re chocolate then.” I grabbed her box, “Ha!” She pushed me down and grabbed it back, “That’s mine.”

“All right, no ducks, “ Poppy said, heading back to the car. “That’s not fair!”  I said. We pleaded to see the ducks and though Poppy acted as if he didn’t hear us, we knew at every cry, we were one tear away from seeing them. “You girls going to behave and stop pushing each other down onto graves.”

Allie and I nodded together and Poppy held each of our hands as we walked to the car. “You keep fighting on graves they’re going to haunt you in the middle of the night.” He said, “Do you want that?”

We went to Strawbridge Lake and watched the ducks. Poppy ripped off small pieces of bread to feed. He watched Allie and I run around as I tried to feed them and Allie tried to hold them. “But I’m your mom!” Allie kept saying as she held her arms out.

I jumped up and down by Poppy’s feet, “More, I need more!” He handed me more bread, “I need to make sure all of them ate dinner,” I said. I went to every duck and individually fed them two pieces of bread each, and yelled any duck that stole another duck’s bread.

When we finished feeding the ducks we sat down beside the lake and Poppy opened our boxes of chocolate. “Don’t eat too much. If you don’t eat dinner, your mother’s going to holler.”

The edges of the lake were iced over fine like skin, while some miniature glaciers floated like islands in its center. We watched the ducks swim and stick their heads into the icy cold water searching for more food. Others climbed to the top of the glaciers and stood triumphantly there for a few moments. Just long enough for the other ducks to realize who’s in charge.

I bit into a chocolate, “Coconut eww! Happy Valentine’s Day” I said and I handed Poppy the half bitten piece of chocolate. He took it as if it was the best gift he’d been given in a very long time. “Happy Valentine’s Day girls” he said.

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3 Responses to First Sprinkles Friday!

  1. Maria Chalmers says:

    What a beautifully written description of what a great man Poppy was. Rachel you are truly a gifted writer. I can’t wait to read more!

  2. Craig Martin says:

    I can hardly wait to read the rest of Poppy Fields.

  3. Allie Yecco says:

    awwww poppy <3<3<3

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