Sweet but Scary

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The children screamed in unison, “Ah, come on mommy, tell us a story, pleeeeeze!”

They all were gathered around the table, pumpkin guts piled in a bowl with a pumpkin glowing right beside it.

“Well,” she said in her most hoarse growl, ‘it was a long long time ago on Halloween night, when the drought of Hagen Moore had hung precariously in the skies for months, leaving the land withered and brown.”

She paused, all eyes were on her, their big orbs lit only by the flickering light from the pumpkin and taking a deep breath she continued, “Wicked was the witch’s trail as she ambled through the dark and haunting forest, her throaty cackle piercing the night. Above, glowing eyes peered out of the blackness, green and menacing they watched the witch wander forward in a peculiar gait, the moon’s midnight presence obscured by the tall crooked trees with long craggy branches holding tightly to their dead leaves.

“A howl sounded in the distance and the witch stopped. The glowing eyes continued to gaze at her long wrinkled face that displayed years of nightly wantonness, her mouth putrid with crooked decayed teeth. Her pustule skin sagged on either side of her broken nose that shot out of her face like a rickety roller-coaster ready to collapse.

“Another howl echoed through the darkness and she nodded her head in a certain knowing that foretold of some un-worldly occurrence ready to unfold. She greedily continued on down the path certain that prevalent evil was hers at last.

“The eyes watching blinked then launched out of the tree, wings stealthily gliding its body past the old woman only to land on another limb and become witness to the malevolence below. He hooted his presence and settled precariously into his silent watch.

“At last she approached her big black cauldron sitting ominously with filthy spider webs and gruesome bones littered around it. It was then her knarled hands curled around a fairly large bag filled with a granular substance. She held it up and her curdled laugh rang loud and long. Her hunchbacked figure blinked in and out as lightening danced its frenetic mayhem and thunder exploded all around in rolling octaves.

“‘Fiddledee fife and gargly goop’ the loathsome witch cried out. ‘This substance is no better than panther poop.’

“Skeletal fingers slowly pulled the string that tied the bag.

“‘It bombards the cells and increases the insulin; the kids go crazy with this stuff all inside ‘em.’

“The cauldron bubbled with intensity, its yellow thickness giving way to tiny screams with each burst. Slowly she tilted the bag and poured the white stuff into the mix chanting in an evil lilt, ‘Bartalee beez, rippity ride, this stuff keeps the mold off a Twinkee’s hide … while immunity’s lost and on come the colds, it can even give teeth its cavity holes!’

“She shook out the last of its contents and then whispered into the pot, ‘Put it in cereal, sauces and soups; then dump it in candies to make sparkling loot.’

“Lightening flashed and revealed the garrulous mixture boiling up over the pot. An explosion burst forth, thunder cracked and then …”

“And then what, Mommy!” cried the kids, deliciously enraptured and equally scared.

“And then,” the mom paused to look into each of their eyes, “and then the wicked old hag threw her wrinkly arms up and declared, ‘This innocent sweetness so many find addictive, let them eat it with pleasure and bring them much sickness! Obesity, diabetes, and heart disease I call, this white stuff named “sugar” holds danger for all!’

The kids squealed as the mom jumped up and twisted up her face into a contorted lop-sided grimace. The kids scattered across the room giggling and laughing and rolling about. “What’s sugar, Mommy?” one of the kids soon asked.

The mom sat back down and said, “A long time ago it used to be put into many types of food to make people like the food and eat more of it so the companies who sold the food could sell even more. But finally people got smart and realized eating lots of food with lots of sugar can cause bad things to happen to the body, and they demanded healthier treats. Sugar was just not a good thing.”

“Oooh,” they all said in unison.

“Mom?” another one asked.

“Yes?”

“What’s a Twinke\ie?”

“Ah, well that’s another story for another time. Off to bed with you my little ghoulies – and Happy Halloween.”

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