The Race This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   "Time to eat!" Mom shouted from the back porch. Her voice was carried by the wind and our ears perked up at the sound. My sister, older by one year, and I swung our wet heads toward the house.

"Let's go!" Mom yelled, then disappeared into the house. Jenny and I climbed out of the cool water of our above-ground pool, still giggling from the tube fight that we were having. We ran to the house, and up the deck stairs, flinging droplets of chlorinated water everywhere.

The hot summer air was already drying our damp bodies, the sun set low in the deep blue sky. I heard Billy Joel's singing about his "Uptown Girl" from the radio in the kitchen. The music and the aroma of supper wafted outside along with Mom's annoyed voice.

"Come on, hurry up, before it gets cold." She opened the screen door and we came in with our 101 Dalmatians towels wrapped around us. The cool air made my skin pop out in goose bumps. My stomach growled as my eyes looked over the steaming steaks, mashed potatoes with butter slowly dripping, and sweet kernels of corn. I flopped down in a chair, diagonally across from Jenny and we all dug into our food.

"Let's see who can go through dinner without drinking their milk," Dad suggested, his eyes twinkling.

Ah, Yes! Good! A competition! My gaze locked with Jenny's and we smiled, evilly. The steak burned my throat and I strained to keep my eyes away from the tall glass of ice-cold milk. It was calling to me.

"Drink me ... drink me," it whispered.

"Now you have to eat five Saltine crackers," Dad exclaimed, jumping up and pouring the salted squares onto the table.

"Come now, dear. Knock it off," Mom scolded, impatience lining her voice. But Dad was having too much fun.

"Go on, hurry up! It's a race now!"

At the mention of the word "race," Jenny and I dove into the crackers. We shoved them into our mouths, coughing and sputtering on the crumbs as we tried to swallow two at a time. That's when the attack of the giggles came that soon developed into unstoppable laughter.

"Oh my gosh," I yelled, laughing. Dad dumped six cheeseballs in front of us.

"Now these," he shouted, his face beet-red from laughing. I honestly never saw him laugh so hard. He was perched on the edge of his seat, slapping his knee, repeatedly. With cracker crumbs covering our lips, we wolfed down the cheeseballs.

"Oh forget this," Mom said, leaving the table. She stalked outside to take the clothes off the line. I looked after her, trying to plead with her to come back, but I was laughing so much that I could barely utter a word, my mouth packed with food.

"The milk! Drink the milk!" Dad heaved between breaths, ready to keel off his chair.

"I ... I can't," I gasped, trying to calm down. Tears rolled down my face and my stomach was ready to explode. Jenny fumbled for her glass, laughing as loudly as me. I got through half my glass when everything came hurling out of my mouth.

The milk, the crackers, the cheeseballs, everything! Jenny almost spit hers out when she saw me, but she held on. Dad was ready to just pass out and Mom fumed when she saw the beautiful mess I had made. Jenny slammed her empty glass down on the table and threw her arms up in victory. 1


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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LastChapter said...
Dec. 12, 2010 at 5:25 pm
this was good, but you didn't really focus on the kid throwing up. if the mother was so upset by it, you should've included some dialogue of her yelling, scolding, etc. also, the mother's disapproval foreshadows something that's going to go wrong. you did a very good job with that and it kept a nice air of suspense. just make your ending a little clearer. 
 
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