Today my writing instructor gave us a single-word writing prompt (peppermint) and five minutes to write. I kind of like what I wrote and thought I’d share. It’s the least I could do after subjecting my readers to Max Headroom a few days ago. Enjoy!


The little round candy with its red and white pinwheeled stripes turned over and over in my mouth, knocking against my teeth. Slightly sweeter than I’d normally prefer, I resist the temptation to crush it between my teeth and then swallow it with a swig of my now-frigid hazelnut latté.

We were told that research shows peppermint helps keep kids alert during this God-awful state testing they are forced to endure. The kids see it as a candy-laden free-for-all and bring in peppermint gum and the Big Red that gives me migraines. Twenty-four smacking, cracking mouths chewing and popping trample my last auditory nerves.

This year I wised up. I bought Starlight mints, but now I know this wasn’t such a great solution, either. I gulp the last bit of my cold latté and scan the room, searching for the enthusiastic helper who will gleefully pick up all the crinkled wrappers instead of sweating it out at recess.


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