Milk Wars

July 7, 2010
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They glared at each other.

Never had two people felt so much negative energy towards each other. Both were in need of something, but only one of them could have it. But who? Who wanted it more? Who deserved it more? Who was going to fight for it like their life depended on it?

The opponents were evenly matched. The older one was a young woman, hardened from years of experience. The other was younger, a boy, but he had raw skills and energy that were equal to his older sister’s practiced technique.

Milk. There was only enough left for exactly one bowl of cereal. Just one. The two contenders realized this the second they stepped into the kitchen—and they also realized that the other knew. Both stared at the refrigerator, the sacred, perfectly chilled treasure chest containing the pristine white liquid without which breakfast would simply cease to exist.

It was not often that the family ran out of milk. Not often at all. In fact, no one could remember the last time the house was not fully stocked with the proper quantity of milk. But somehow, the limited quantity of milk in the house that day gave the two children an alertness and fear that they had never felt before at breakfast time.

Despite the children’s mutual desire for the perfect bowl of cereal, there was little else in common for them. For the older sister, breakfast was never a good time of day, especially on a school day, where there was no time for one to make another breakfast dish, such as pancakes or French toast. She had just woken up at a ridiculously early hour due to her bus’s early route. Her hair was not yet straightened and her face was not yet covered in the proper amount of concealer to hide the zit she had caught on her face the night before. Furthermore, she had to spend the entire meal looking at him. For her brother, breakfast was not such a bad time. After all, any mealtime was a good time. He took a deep breath of the fresh morning air, content with the fact that he had accomplished absolutely no homework last night, but instead beaten his high score on his new favorite video game in the earlier hours of that morning. He was not particularly tired, and he could feel that he was perfectly disheveled, such that the girls at school would think was cute. And finally, breakfast time was the kickoff in the day-long marathon known as bothering his older sister.

Today would be different. The girl could feel that she could not sleep her way through breakfast; she must be on full alert right away. Meanwhile, the boy sensed that if only he could get to the milk before his sister, she would hate him for a long, long time. And that, of course, was exactly what he wanted.

Two pairs of feet, one slippered and the other bare, ran across the kitchen. The refrigerator was conveniently placed directly opposite the kitchen door. One could reach it in five second by walking. Running occurred so rarely in the kitchen that it had never been timed. Regardless, time slowed down for the two desperate children running across the wooden kitchen floor. The gleaming stainless steel door handles beckoned. Only one lucky child would have a normal breakfast that day, while the other would be forced to eat dry flakes. On this day, breakfast would be for one a glorious feast, while for the other it would be a meager and resentful meal.

The fridge trembled as the two children pounded towards it. Screaming and shoving, they flung the door open and searched fanatically for the carton of milk, which they knew was located on the far right of the bottom-most shelf.

But the milk was gone…

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mudpuppy said...
Aug. 12, 2010 at 10:16 pm
Comical. Very comical.
babigerl1194 said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 10:36 am
the beggiing drew me in quickly then i after i was told it was about milk i admit i was a little off balance. ike wtf?! lol anywayy i love how in the end its gone anywayy. idk if it were meant to be a metaphor but it sure seemed that.
babigerl1194 replied...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 10:37 am
oh. ooops.  5/5 stars. i tried but i accidentaly got stuck on the one. but yea 5/5
Esther V. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 6:31 pm
oh man definitely wasn't supposed to be a metaphor :) but thanks!
partlycloudyholiday This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 4:34 am
I would like to begin with that I love this story. After reading the first two paragraphs, I gave it five stars. It begins perfectly, in the middle of the action, characters staring each other down. The imagery is beautiful and, so powerful for such a simple event. That creates a humor in it without being silly. It made me laugh. I would suggest not to say "older sister" more than once, perhaps say "elder sister" or "elder sibling". Also, "ridiculously" doesn't give an impact that a word related... (more »)
Esther V. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 25, 2010 at 8:27 am

wow thank you so much!! this is probably the best feedback i've ever gotten; thanks so much!!! :)


yeah, "ridiculously" is a word i've got to try to stop using; i've been using it a lot lately in my writing and regular talking.

thanks especially for the comment about the humor in the story, that's exactly what i was aiming for!!

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