Secret unlocked

This Week’s Theme: Drinks chocolate milk when (s)he has a bad day

Joe turned the key over and over in his between his fingers, trying to drum up the courage to open the drawer. He didn’t know what made him hesitate. It certainly wasn’t fear. It was akin to what archaeologists must feel before they penetrate into the heart of some ancient shrine; a mixture of fearful reverence and excitement.

Susan had found the key in mum’s jewel box. This draw which had been the subject of so much youthful speculation. They knew it must be special for Mum had always kept it locked. Now that she was gone, was it fair to give light of day to its secrets?

He heard a noise behind him and saw Susan with the vacuum cleaner in her hand.

“There’s only here to finish now. Well, what have you found?”

“I haven’t opened it yet. I…”

“Well, what are you waiting for?” she exclaimed bending down to open the draw. She looked up at him in expectation on finding it still locked.

Joe sighed, bent down and fitted the key into the lock. Still he hesitated. It was only Susan’s impatience that gave him the necessary resolve.

They opened the draw and took out a large ring binder full to the rim with handwritten papers. It was no longer possible to close it properly, so much was crammed into it.

And then, there was a smaller notebook which they recognised immediately. It was exactly the same as the numerous other notebooks they had found on the library shelves. Ever since Dad had died, Mum had been using them to write up a daily account of her doings and feelings. Susan and Joe had spent hours the night before reading various extracts to each other, just as Mum used to do when they were still at home.

“This must be the last volume,” said Joe, tears coming to his eyes. “The last words of Mrs. Elizabeth Stanley…”

“Yes!” exclaimed Susan excitedly. “And look here! All these names – they correspond exactly. All those mysterious titles in coloured pen; they all correspond to one of the sheets in this binder. They are all recipes for some kind of chocolate drink.”

Joe glared absentmindedly at her. There had been hundreds of coloured entries in Mum’s journal. Each as cryptic as the other. At times, there were just one or two per week. Lately, there was several each day. Now he understood. How often had he seen Mum creep out of the kitchen, glass in hand.

Joe snatched the binder out of Susan’s hands. He would take care of things. He would bury the evidence deep beneath the earth where no one would ever find it. No one must discover the truth that Mum had been a chocoholic all her life.

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Uhoh...are we supposed to hide that fact that we're chocoholics? :)

Great job - I like the mystery that it leaves me with (WHY was it so bad that she liked chocolate?)

17 August 2007 at 13:42  

If we go by the theme, we can assume the mom must have had a lot of bad days. Is this why the son has to hide her chocolate addiction, because it could be a reflection of how unhappy she was despite their presence in her life? It's a sad story, still it's full of love.

17 August 2007 at 13:59  

i say bully for mother,, she had something that made her happy... i am happy for her....

17 August 2007 at 14:06  

Maybe, it's just the son who has a problem with this?

17 August 2007 at 14:35  

I love bitter chocolates and proud to admit it..:)

17 August 2007 at 18:08  

Excellently delivered!!

And I'm in concurrence with Beth...we're supposed to HIDE that fact? Oh crap...I'm in trouble.


17 August 2007 at 18:51  

A fine FF. I like the mysterious tone.

17 August 2007 at 22:43  

I agree. What's so bad about being a chocoholic. I'm sure you'll get asked the same by a lot of women who just looooovveee chocolates. It's good to know that the mother has her own comfort in that rich drink that everyone loves. I think that she might have started to use it to give her comfort when things are bad. But started to crave it more and more until it has become too difficult to resist. As it is in real life. =)

18 August 2007 at 02:42  

Smile at the end with the mystery setup and the groaner of a finish. I don't even know what to say. :-)

18 August 2007 at 06:57  

I like this FF. It worked for me if I considered the theme and assumed that all of his mothers bad days where color coded cryptic messages. What was revealed in this neww journal was how depressed his Mother had become in her final days. This maybe not your intention but it really works if I take the word chocoholic to mean suicidal. This would be a key that Joe must bury.

18 August 2007 at 17:31  

I don't need to say I am a chocoholic, after all dark chocolate is now deemed good for us. (I love surprise endings.)

21 August 2007 at 19:35  

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