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by Riley Mackenzie (Age: 25)
copyright 10-30-2003

Age Rating: 1 +

~~This is officially my first story posted on pnp, so if you think its bad, i have an excuse ^-^~~

“Vroom! Vroom! Here comes the plane full of yummy yummy vegetables!”
“Yuck…Mom, I’m too old for that baby stuff. I’m going to be five in two weeks you know, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” The arguing words were coming out of a very decisive grin. Her eyes met her mothers while all the fingers on her left hand were proudly standing straight up, signifying her age at the end of next fortnight. She was a curious girl; but burdened with two of the most tedious habits a child could muster.
After a prolonged silence, her mother tilted a tired head, heaved a sigh and replied. “Oh Janie-Waney, how you’ve grown. Preschool today -- college tomorrow. But I’ll warn you little missy; Dad and I aren’t going to pay tuition for someone who doesn’t eat her veggies and refuses to brush her teeth. No, then we’ll get into the bad habit of not sending our children to universities, You’ll be doomed forever, to be stuck as a garbage lady.
“Or a fast food worker.”
“Or a factory manager.”
“Or a stamp licker!”
“Or a mail girl…your turn Janie.”
“Well, I can’t think of one right now so I guess you win.” Answered Jane, with a defeated stare. “Okay, my mind’s made up; if I eat one vegetable tomorrow and like it, I’ll eat more. But if I don’t…”She trailed off with a deluded face, “then you’ll have to stop bugging me until I’m five. Five year olds have to eat their vegetables.”
“Fine, it’s a done deal.”

* * * * *

“Wahla! Here’s your magic veggie little Miss Jane, fit for even you.” Her mother announced with an air of importance. Then seeing Jane’s hesitant expression she continued, making a feeble attempt to persuade the curious eyes. “I call it etsaphtoot. Even if the appearance is somewhat… dissatisfying… its taste is quite the opposite.”
Jane lifted herself up in her chair, she had been slumping to avoid the vegetable's (if that’s what you could call it) drooping figure. “Where didja get it?”
“Where'd I get it? Oh well, that I would like to be kept confidential,” declared mother, laying her hand upon her daughter’s. The latter seemed anything but interested, when inside she was hoping the answer would accidentally slip.
Her brother Adam, recognized the expression and sarcastically fulfilled Jane’s wishes by saying, “Well if you have to know, dearest sister. Mom has actually become a scientist, and she invented a vegetable that makes your teeth whiter and tastes good. Dad and I helped Mom all of last night set up the lab and know she has this wonderful plan for you to eat more vegetables. If you’re not going to eat it, by all means give it to me! It tastes delicious but it’s specially designed for kids, so I might not enjoy it as much as you.”
Jane could only stare sternly still giving a sense of, “How on earth could you get that idea?” Secretly, she thought Adam must have been taking acting classes to keep a straight face while he ate more lasagna. She hardly thought it probable and shifted her gaze to the left side of the table where a masculine professional figure was beginning to engulf his salad.
“Daddy, where were you last night? We missed you at dinner,” she asked lavish with anxiety.
“Your mother can tell you that.” Once again, the child’s impatient pupils took a turn, now to the right.
“Mommy, do you know?”
Her mother set down her fork and seemed to be taking as much time as possible before answering. “It doesn’t matter Jane, you promised to eat a vegetable and this is one because it contains the chemicals – “
“Okay, okay I know, I was just wondering.” The truth is that Adam had been telling no lies when he gave his sister an answer. He and his father had been staying up late at night at the lab, her mother had become a scientist, and she did make this placid milk warm glob, resembling glue compacted into a rubber ball.
Janie, tried to be as dainty as possible while strapped to her promise. Reluctantly, she took up the knife and she stabbed its barrier, causing the still insides to change grayish from the exposed air. She wondered how the flexible crust could retain such stability. Frightened eyes approached the mixture, half expecting a migration of bugs to cascade down the center when her mouth was closest to the substance. At once, all politeness evaporated when she plugged her nose and clenched her eyes shut. Her mother did not comment, too apprehensive of what she might think of her conspicuous concoction.
Janie hastened to close her mouth and playfully churned the etsaphtoot. Gradually, her eyes opened to their full extent with every chew.
“Mom, it tastes so good! Like… like pancakes and hot chocolate and apricots all at once! Mom it’s delicious!”
“I hoped you’d like it! I thought you would. But I admit it; I was a bit scared that you wouldn’t.”
“Please mom, can I have some more?!”
“Um… well sure, I didn’t think you’d like it this much.” She chuckled nervously as Janie took the fifth piece, never stopping between gulps. “Wow, slow down there cowboy. There’s a speed limit for one mouth.” Adam withdrew his hands from their fork-to-finger position, and mimed them into a traffic officer stance, blowing into an invisible whistle.
“But I can’t seem to stop!”
Janie’s mouth finally opened. None of her family had a chance to see it though, because her teeth had turned perfectly white. So perfect that the shine was the equivalent of the sun’s, making it almost blinding. Only their cat Friskers, caught a glimpse of the phenomenon, who yelped back in terror and raced away.
“For Pete’s sakes, close your mouth! It’s blinding us all!”
“I knew I set the hue velocity too high. I never thought it would be diffuse so quickly.”
“Nonsense, don’t worry about it dear, it worked perfectly on Adam when you experimented on him.”
“Yes, but that must have been because of his cell cycle status. He’s only ten and Janie’s almost five.”
Janie obeyed by closing her mouth, but held her hand to it while she talked to filter out the surplus light. “Mom, you’re actually a scientist?!”
“Yes and I had this brilliant idea of killing two birds with one stone – figuratively speaking – by whitening your teeth with a vegetable.”
“So Adam wasn’t lying, and that’s why you weren’t here last night?” Janie asked, putting two and two together.
“You’re right, now let’s get your teeth back to normal. According to my calculations you need to…just brush your teeth and then they’ll cancel each other out. Just be careful not to look in the mirror when you’re brushing, or else you might get blinded!” Mother added as Janie hurried off to the bathroom.
“I knew it would work! Someway or another she would end up brushing her teeth,” proclaimed father from across the table.
“And she’ll have to eat her veggies when she’s five, so that eliminates both bad habits. Five year olds have to eat their vegetables.”

* * * * *

On the morning of Janie’s fifth birthday she awoke to a wholehearted hope of a happy day, and her eyes fell on a candy bar on her lap. Her mother had finished the “Toothpaste to Etsaphtoot” project as they liked to call it, and now it didn’t give off rash side effects.
“Etsaphtoot: tastes great, while it cleans your teeth! The only candybar that can get the job done right.”
She opened and took a bite, savoring the sensation. After all, five-year-olds have to eat their vegetables.

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        07-22-2004     Paula Tsvayg        

that was really good.that was really,really good.
you were requested to me by somebody, and i see why.You have real talent.You write alittle like L.M.Montgomery.Great story

        04-24-2004     Regina S.        

        11-28-2003     hedwig        

It was good except those stars were annoying me. It was pretty cute, nice write.

        11-13-2003     Erica Scott        

Ahh, I see. LOL, I never indent my lines just because of that same problem. Although, it would be wonderful if I could, ^_^;;
Anyway, I want to offer my congrats on making it to the front page! Your story certainly deserved it!


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