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Obese Therese And The Stolen Candy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Obese Therese and the Stolen Candy by S. P., Weston, MA



We tiptoed gingerly across the bone-dry grass that crackled under our flip-flops. Pine needles clung to our feet as if warning us. The door was only steps ahead, and my heart began to jog faster than my feet. With sweaty palms and cold feet, Karen and I approached the screen door of the small brown bunk my camp little sister lived in. Suddenly I was in the middle of an adventure movie. To set the scene: a little camp in southern Maine at a time of day when all the good campers were at activities which counselors were instructing. My mission: to capture back the candy that "Obese Therese" had robbed from innocent Susie (my camp little sister) to satisfy her own needs. I had spent enough money on that candy to force me deep into business I had no right being in. Yeah, so candy wasn't allowed in camp, but that wasn't the point. The freedom of my fellow citizens at camp was at stake here and it was my job to save them. I was gonna find that candy and give it right back to its legal owner - and, of course, share it with her. I knew that if I didn't fight for my rights the whole system of democracy and freedom could deteriorate before my very eyes. Governments would fail, housing settlements would collapse ... this was too much for a child to handle. Suddenly I had a large craving for a Hershey bar.

The handle shed its cold into my hot palm and sent chills through my blood. Pulling the door open only a crack, I wrinkled my face in anxiety as it creaked out in alarm.

"Just open it!" Karen yelled in a whisper to me. Flinging it open, I marched up the steps and into the bunk. There was no sign of anyone. Whew! I raised my arm to my forehead and wiped the sweat onto the back of my hand. We advanced cautiously into the bunk, fearful of the creaking boards that might give us away.

"Now if you were Therese, where would you hide a candy bag?" I wondered.

"Look, this jacket looks big enough to be Therese's," Karen pointed toward a mango jogging suit jacket hanging over a bed. Our eyes shifted to a little blue bag hanging from a nail beside the pillow. It beckoned for us to reach in.

No, I thought. We can't go through her ... Too late! Karen had already found the missing candy. The irresistible aroma of warm chocolate spilled into the air and crawled up our nostrils. It was gold in the hands of two admiring campers, wary for signs of an approaching adult. I inhaled deeply and blew out.

"C'mon, let's get out of here now," Karen snickered.

"Karen ... do you really think we should ... you know we're not allowed to have candy and well ... we shouldn't have been looking through ... Therese's things."

"Oh, don't be scared. We'll leave it if you really want to, but ..." Karen knew I would give in.

"Fine," I said. "But if we get caught it's your fault." It was wrong. I knew that. It was wrong to go into her bunk, it was wrong to go through her things, it was wrong to steal - well, steal back. But Karen wouldn't have let me leave the candy. And anyway, I had paid for it with my own money. I kept telling myself that to make it seem all right.

"We won't get caught. Trust me." I followed her out quietly, but in an effort to be too careful I tripped on a loose board and went tumbling down the steps right into the metal garbage can outside the bunk. It was a graceful fall, but not controlled enough to avoid collision. Therese's head emerged from around the bend. It was too much to comprehend in one short moment. Everything had happened so fast.

"Run!!" Karen began to run, leaving me dazed in a bed of pine needles before I could see enough to depict a head on top of the humpty-dumpty figure of Therese in the distance. I knew I had to get out of there ... FAST! Scurrying rapidly down the dirt road to the forest made me realize how close I had come to being nailed by "O.T." It was at this point that I realized we had left the candy right outside of the bunk. So much for my adventure of glory. But even if I never got it back, at least I had tried. So, I hadn't changed the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. But maybe I had made a step in the right direction toward freedom. I could leave saving the world for another day. Cautiously I craned my neck around, only to see Therese shaking her head, laughing, and walking away.


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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