Do Not Eat This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

September 16, 2013
Despite the clear warning, I had always wondered what it would be like.

“I'll be right back,” my mom said, getting out of the car. She was gone; it was now or never. There it was – the new Nike shoebox. And inside, the forbidden fare I was about to taste.

I made my decision. Picking it up, I inspected it and bold words caught my eye:


I found an edge to rip open, tearing the words of warning.


Pouring one tiny ball from the packet into my hand, I thought, This is it. Suddenly I questioned what I was about to do.


“I'm going to do it,” I said, then quickly popped the tiny ball into my mouth. I chewed it slowly. It took a lot of jaw strength to bite the ball in half.

Startled by a sudden noise, I looked over to the driver's side window and saw my mom trying to get into the car. I quickly cleaned up my mess so she couldn't see what I had eaten. Then I leaned over to open the car door, still holding the ball in my mouth.

“Ansley, what you were doing?” Mom asked.

“Nothing!” I was so sly. No one would know what I had done, what I was still doing.


• • •

I was scared, pacing in my room. Two hours ago I was in the car, debating whether to eat the ball and thinking:


I was chugging water, hoping that it would wash away the poison that lingered in my mouth. It felt like a matter of life or death, but it also seemed to me that I had already made that choice earlier.

I started to think about the words on the package.


How I could have been so stupid to ignore this warning? I knew I had to tell my mom. My mind was racing.


When I walked into the kitchen, I saw my mom making dinner. My hands were sweating, my knees were shaking, and I was almost in tears. In those few minutes I felt my life hanging in the balance. I started to think about my mom shaking me tomorrow morning and me never waking up. I thought about my will and pictured my mom and dad crying at my funeral. I knew I had to prepare my mom for my fate.

“Mom?” I began, feeling sweat drops forming on my forehead.

“I … swallowed a ball from a Do Not Eat moisture package.” As I finally got the words out, 10,000 pounds lifted from me instantly.

Without saying anything, my mom picked up the phone and dialed. I listened closely to the ringing and heard somebody pick up.

“Hello, this is Poison Control ….”

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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ROYCEPHUS This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 22, 2013 at 12:19 am
Wow! Great job! What happened next? Did you have to go to the doctor?
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