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Sickly Sweets This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “Is it really? NO WAY!” was what my cousins and I found ourselves saying because of our older cousin, Tori, who would trick us into thinking that we got everything all wrong. One thing she specialized in was telling us inedible objects were actually things we loved to eat.

I remember once when my cousins Tori, Kim, Olivia, and I went to the beach. All of us were around five years old and we were pumped! We dove into the water, splish-splashed around, made sand castles and dug for crabs, things you love to do at the beach. All was going great until lunchtime. Lunch was when Tori would do her diabolical schemes. Tori was like Angelica from “Rugrats” who told her little cousin and his friends false information. That was the day I started eating sand.

Yeah, I know, it sounds ridiculous, right, but it’s true. Tori explained that sand was really crushed rock candy. “Is it really? NO WAY!” we exclaimed. The first one to try it was Olivia. She shoved a handful in her mouth, started chewing, and gave us all the thumbs up. So Kim and I ate some too. It made sense that it was crushed up rock candy because it was hard and crunchy, and we were only five. I went to the beach with Olivia often, and every time we would eat some sand. One day my Aunt Jen caught us and explained that we weren’t supposed to, telling us it wasn’t crushed rock candy at all!

Another time Tori hoodwinked us by saying everything on the ground was sweets. That day we were searching for weird bugs under rocks in the backyard of my Aunt Donna’s house when Tori called us over. She told us that the dirt was really chocolate and those squirmy things were gummy worms.

At first we didn’t completely believe her about the dirt-chocolate-gummy-worm thing. “If it’s chocolate, then why do our moms get mad when we get covered in it?” Tori simply explained that our moms didn’t like it because if you stayed covered in chocolate for too long, you’d turn into it.

“What about the gummy worms? Why are they moving?” we asked.

And again she replied with no problem. “The gummy worms are moving because the chocolate queen puts a spell on them so they can. She thinks it’s fun.” The whole thing made sense and we were all on the verge of thinking that dirt was chocolate and were about to stuff our faces with it.

Once again we had fallen for it, and, as always, we volunteered Olivia to try it out. Thank goodness Aunt Donna spotted us in the backyard, crowded in a circle waiting for Olivia to eat the pile of dirt in her hand. Aunt Donna told us none of it was true and that we shouldn’t eat dirt or worms.

This was just the beginning of the stuff we ate, or at least tried. The stories of the bacon, milk, dog poop, my neighbor ... well, those are for another day.

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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