Johnny America


The Day of the Can­dy Shower


Louise woke up with a taste of the can­dy-fruit skit­tles in her mouth. The sun was stream­ing through her pink Hel­lo Kit­ty cur­tains on­to the brass canopy bed. Her bed­cov­er was white with ruf­fles, but one of the pil­low­cas­es was stained mul­ti-col­ored with a rain­bow of fruit fla­vors. It seemed to be skit­tles. Wet skittles.

Louise sat up abrupt­ly. Light twin­kled around the room, glint­ing through the 17 prisms that hung in her two east-fac­ing win­dows. How had skit­tles got­ten in the bed? And in her mouth?

She reached a pink-nailed in­dex fin­ger in to ex­plore. Yes, there were some skit­tles in there. Five or six, maybe. Their hard out­er coat­ing was half dis­solved, leav­ing a rough sur­face. Louise ran her tongue over all of them ex­per­i­men­tal­ly. Spit them out, or chew and swal­low? Per­haps she’d been sleep­walk­ing. Louise could not re­mem­ber there even be­ing Skit­tles in the house.

She chewed them, slow­ly, and swal­lowed them. There was a red and pur­ple trail down the front of her white lace night­gown. To the left side of the bed was a pair of pink fur slip­pers. Louise slipped her feet in them, and pulled a robe on over her em­bar­rass­ing­ly stained night­gown; she gath­ered the lapels up to­wards her face to hide the stain.

Louise looked down at her bed. I like can­dy, but I don’t like mess­es! she thought. The col­ored spots on the pil­low­case made her feel out of sorts. It would take bleach to get that out.

Louise’s kitchen was a gleam­ing white space. She took out her tea ket­tle (bul­bous and paint­ed to look like a white bun­ny) and put the wa­ter on to boil. She dropped a tea bag in a white chi­na cup. She was still fret­ting about the sheets and the night­gown. Then her princess phone be­gan to ring.

She ran over to it and picked up the phone, but when she opened her mouth she was un­able to speak. In­stead of sounds, a stream of can­dy corns, gum drops, M & Ms, ju­jyfruit, licorice bits, mi­ni can­dy-bars, good & plen­ty, choco­late kiss­es, choco­late stars, red hots, rib­bon can­dies, cir­cus peanuts, can­dy neck­laces, runts, jol­ly ranch­ers, ju­nior mints, straw­ber­ry frago­la, pocky sticks, sixlets, can­dy cig­a­rettes, ring pops, and sundry oth­er as­sort­ed can­dies (in­clud­ing skit­tles) came pour­ing out of her mouth. They show­ered down the sides of her tele­phone ta­ble and went bounc­ing or splat­ting (de­pend­ing on con­sis­ten­cy) on­to the floor. Louise shut her mouth, and the tor­rent ceased. Her cheeks were bulging with candy.

She still had the re­ceiv­er in hand, and she could hear the voice of her su­per­vi­sor Mrs. Pitre on the oth­er end. “Hel­lo? Hel­lo, Louise?” Louise tried to make some noise with­out open­ing her mouth, but the signs were as mean­ing­less as a duck­’s quack. “Louise?” Mrs. Pitre asked once more. Then she hung up the phone. Louise al­so placed her phone back in its or­nate cradle.

Her mouth was wa­ter­ing, and she was des­per­ate to get the can­dy out. The sali­va was work­ing on it and the var­i­ous fla­vors were start­ing to blend and over­whelm her. In par­tic­u­lar the fla­vors of cin­na­mon, choco­late, and anise were sep­a­rate­ly dis­cernible and al­so com­bi­na­toral­ly vomitous.

She opened just the left side of her lips and tried spit­ting the can­dies out one by one. They plunked on­to the pile on the floor. She used her tongue to shove can­dies to­wards the front of her mouth, then eased them out through the opening.

Louise saw her re­flec­tion in the mir­ror. Her face was red and her eyes bulged out with strain. She could hear chil­dren play­ing out in the street, and felt the tick­ling again in the back of her throat. Her mouth start­ed to re­fill. She ran over to the win­dow, leaned out and opened her mouth. Down be­low, the chil­dren were ini­tial­ly con­fused; then they be­gan to dance around in the can­dy shower.

Filed under Fiction on December 11th, 2003

Care to Share?

Reader Comments

Janet wrote:

I so wish I still had my pow­ers! You’d nev­er see the light of day again!

Consider posting a note of comment on this item:


Previous Post


Next Post


Join our Irregular Mailing List

For very occasional ramblings, word about new print ephemera, and of course exciting investment opportunities.