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Liam Wood

United States

Writer, musician, reader, sailor.

Message to Readers

This is another fantasy-themed story, but I have done no editing whatsoever. My idea was to write a cute story, but Emma's solution to the problems doesn't feel quite cute to me, or very ethical. Anyway, any feedback on that in particular would be welcome, but any feedback at all, honestly, is great. Thanks for reading!

Have A Burrito

June 18, 2015

FREE WRITING

3

“Lookamee, I’m a burrito!”

Emma smiled at Damini, who had wrapped herself so tightly in a green blanket that only her dark eyes sparkled out.  The little girl pushed her chin out so she could smile back out of the opening.

“You’re my burrito,” said Emma, setting the second place at the table with Damini’s favorite fork and spoon.  Her little plate was in the shape of a happy puppy.  “But we have to eat dinner now, so you should unroll yourself.”

“Nope,” said Damini, reaching out of the blanket with a tiny hand to pull it tighter.  “I’m staying a burrito.  Burritos don’t eat dinner because they are already dinner.”

“Can I eat you, then?”

“No!” squeaked Damini.  “I’m too scrumptious to eat.”  She pronounced the P very clearly to be understood through the blanket.  Emma smiled again.  This kid had a vocabulary.

“Well, either we eat together or I eat you,” said Emma.  She kept her voice a sing-song tone even as she realized how tremendously grisly her words truly sounded.  “If you eat with me, you can go back to being a burrito later.  I’ll be a burrito too, if you wanted company.”

Damini shook her head and shrank into the blanket.  “No.  I’m a burrito.  You’re more like a potato.”

Emma sighed.  She didn’t mind her weight, but if Damini was disobeying and insulting her…  “Damini, you need to eat.  I’m not going to let you starve before your parents get home.”

“Burritos don’t starve.”

“Damini, please.”

“No.  I am a burrito.”

Emma took a step toward the girl.  “If you don’t eat, I don’t think you’ll like my reaction.”

“I’m a burrito!” shouted Damini.  The air smelled like baking bread— ozone?  Was it—

The air crackled as light shot across the room.  Emma would have raised her eyebrows, but the bolt seared them off on its way to hit the refrigerator.  Damini pulled her blanket tighter, hiding her eyes in the folds.

Lightning.  Okay.  Babysitting had just gotten much harder.  Emma tried to calm herself down— breathing was healthy, she could try that.

Another bolt hit the microwave, arcing dangerously close to the oven.  The gas oven.  If it got hit, Damini might get cooked like a burrito.

That wasn’t quite the goal of a good babysitter.

“Damini, stop,” said Emma.  “You need to come and eat, and none of… no lightning.”

“I don’t need to eat.  I’m a lightning burrito.”

“Damini,” Emma pleaded.  “Why—”

A bolt slammed into the kitchen table, making the place settings jump.  Damini’s puppy plate looked slightly concerned.

“All right, that’s it,” said Emma.  She reached for Damini.

“Don’t touch,” shouted Damini.  The air crackled.

Emma stopped three inches from the green blanket.  “Fine,” she said, and snapped her fingers dramatically.

Damini was indeed a burrito.

Emma lifted the little meal, careful to keep it from spilling any of the ground beef or ripping the spinach-green tortilla.  Neither would make Damini’s parents very happy when they got home.  Emma could only change people into objects and back if the object/person didn’t get hurt just before or after the transition.  Ripped burrito meant forever burrito.

Emma chewed on some string beans for a couple minutes, then snapped her fingers again.  Damini gasped for breath in Emma’s lap, then scrambled out of the blanket.  She sat in her seat and ate silently, avoiding Emma’s eyes.

At last, still staring at the puppy plate, she muttered, “Next time I’m gonna be a lightning dragon.”

Emma smiled.  She looked forward to it.


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2 Comments
  • Hanan Adi

    I think you portrayed both girls -- the somewhat spoilt but imaginative toddler and the responsible babysitter -- very well. I am a little confused about who is making the lightning -- is it Emma's anger assuming a material form? If it is, I think Damini ought to be more frightened. She seems maybe a little surprised but I thought she'd be screaming apologies. So what was the lighting? Otherwise, this is a really cute story, and I didn't see anything wrong with Emily's expedient, considering, as Jenneth says, the context of the story. Thanks for the story!


    over 1 year ago
  • Jenneth LeeD

    The sentence "The puppy plate looked slightly concerned" was my favorite sentence!
    If magic lightning and transfiguration is commonplace in your world (which it appears to be), then Emma's solution could also be commonplace, and as a result, your cute/ethical problem could potentially solve itself. Now, if Emma had eaten the burrito...things would be different.... Haha. Enjoyable story! I thought it was cute. :)


    about 2 years ago