Short Story Chapter 1: A Rude Awakening

I had to write a short story for my creative writing class. I had written a vignette not too long ago and I used the same character, but I didn’t have enough space to do anything too major, so I just saved it for the short story assignment. I hate authors that leave you hanging and dying until the next book comes out. It’s just plain mean, but for once I now have that power. My chapter endings aren’t that much of cliff hanger, but I’ll only be posting one chapter a day cause I can. Anyways, enjoy.

Chapter 1: A Rude Awakening

Hello, my name is Dixie and I’m a white plastic spoon. About two months ago, I was waiting in a bag on the shelves of a giant store with my 99 siblings. There were thousands of families like ours and we were waiting to be adopted out. A nice young family with a mom and dad, a baby girl and school-aged son came and looked at all of us.

“Hey! Hey! Pick me, pick me,” all of us would cry as people came down our aisle.

My family and I had been waiting for months, but now finally our time was here.

“They picked us. We can finally be loved and fulfill our purpose! We can live happily ever after,” we cried in excitement.

Little did we know that our dreams would become our nightmare. It was an ordinary Friday night and my siblings and I were just laying on the cupboard shelf like we normally we do when all of a sudden the door to the cupboard was opened and a blinding light came flooding in. One might have been angered by the startling sight, but we knew it could only mean one thing…we were going to be used! We started cheering as the man whose apartment we were staying in picked us up.

Party decorations were strewn about. It was obviously a child’s birthday. A dash of bright blue with a splash of yellow, the sight of Wolverine and the smell of pizza were so strong they could have made one hazy. The party had yet to start and the apartment was empty besides the four family members, so one could easily hear the busy streets, honking horns below on the New York streets.

The man, who the lady usually called Mark, grabbed a handful of us and tossed us in a cup. There we would wait to finally fulfill our destiny. One by one my siblings were picked out, used, but they never came back. Finally it got down to just a couple of us. We all stood tall and smiled as big as we could, trying to be that perfect pick. But the music stopped and so did deafening sound of kids yelling. The apartment emptied just as it was about to be my turn. I yelled for people to come back, but no one listened. Another day maybe.

Mark called out, “Hey, Lucy, what do you want me to do with these leftover spoons? Keep them for another time or just throw them away?”

Our ears perked up and our handles straightened so much we thought we might snap.

Lucy peered around the corner and replied, “Just throw them away. It’s too much space taken up and hassle for just a couple of spoons.”

Mark picked us up and threw us into another bag filled with dirty plates, half eaten pizza slices and melted ice cream. I was appeased by the taste of ice cream. I love ice cream, but then the bag got dark and the sounds of the street got louder. It was earsplitting.

“Where are we going?” I cried. I tried to cower in the bag, blend in with my surroundings, anything that I could do to delay my untimely demise. It was too late; there was no one there to care or to save me. They threw me into the dumpster. It stunk like rotting food, dirty diapers, beer, and cigarettes. It was the most disgusting combination of smells; it was worse than anything, anyone could have ever imagined.

“What’s happening?” I asked slightly taken aback by the smell.

“Welcome to the dumpster. It’s where you go when you outlive your usefulness and no one wants you anymore,” said a mope piece of lettuce.

The smell was so awful that it was making me dizzy, so I couldn’t focus on what he was saying.

“What’s happening?” I asked again.

“You’ve been thrown away. Get used to it, it’s only going to get worse from here,” said a symphony of beef cuts still perfectly wrapped.

‘This must be a dream,’ I thought.

I closed my eyes for several seconds, hoping that when I opened them I would be back safe in the cupboard. When I opened my eyes, it was a rude awakening. The smell was there, the hopeless faces were still there, and I was still there.

They look perfectly useful to me, so why were they in the trash, I wondered.

“Why are you guys here? You don’t look useless?” I asked.

“We’re past our expiration date. No one will even consider us if we’re expired even if we’re still perfectly fine. The store owners threw us out. We’re hoping to get rescued though. There is a group of people called the freegans or people who limit their participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. They usually bargain, trade or extreme cases, dumpster dive for what they want. They embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, conformity, and greed. We hear about freegans who dumpster dive for food all the time and we’re hoping they’ll see how useful we really are.”

“Is there any hope for me?” I asked.

“Not unless, a group comes around that is into upcycling,” they replied in harmony.

“What’s upcycling,” I asked.

“Upcycling or giving everyday products a new life and purpose. I’ve heard of people who fold wrappers into a certain way that make them into a chain and eventually it makes a purse. Or people who take wine corks and make corkboards. Different things like that,” they replied.

“So what’s your name?” I asked.

“Our name is Angus,” they replied.

So that’s how we got here and that’s what has happened up until this moment. It’s the morning after I was thrown away. We’re still waiting and I have a tortuous headache. But, oh, oh no I hear a trash truck. Beeping, oh that horrid beeping.

We cry, “Some of are still good. Donate us, recycle us, repurpose us!” No one is listening, they’re taking us anyway, but we don’t stop crying. Our cries hovered in the city.  The people of this country seem to be too lazy to save us or don’t care enough to see our worth.

We’re not giving up until we draw our last breath. For some that will be thousands of years, for some just a few months, but we can’t give up. The trash truck dumps into the landfill. It smells worse than the dumpster; almost 1000 times worse. Most of the new trash and I land with our faces down in the goop. We turn around and look up. All that surrounds us is mountains, valleys, oceans of hopelessness.

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2 responses to “Short Story Chapter 1: A Rude Awakening

  1. Pingback: Chapter 2: Cause and Effect « serendipitousscavenger

  2. Pingback: Chapter 3: Walking the Walk « serendipitousscavenger

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