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Fiction by hypermagical

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Submitted on
July 30, 2013
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57 (who?)
"Mama, can you eat the sun?" eight-year-old Hunter said in between his sloppy chewing of his sugary, morning breakfast cereal.

His mother, a tired woman with heavy, dark circles under her eyes, sighed and gave a tired and sad smile.

"Of course not, Hunter. That's impossible. It's so far away, honey." she tried to reason.

"And it would be really hot, wouldn't it?" he spat out bits of half-chewed cereal.

"Yes. Something so far away has to be really hot to keep us warm."

Hunter nodded. It made perfect sense, but that didn't stop him from being curious to the sun's taste.

"I bet it'll taste like soup fresh off the stove when I don't blow it cold." he tried to explain as his mother cleared the kitchen table of their breakfast.

"I don't know, baby. I never tried to eat the sun. When you get home maybe we can bake some sun cookies and you can eat those." his mother yawned. "Grandma will help."

Hunter grinned. He was happy that his mother was finally back to normal. Days of crying and sleeping was never fun. And he didn't like constantly having to spend the night at grandma's. She always made him say bedtime prayers. It was like an everyday Christmas wish except he couldn't ask for toys or pets. Instead he just asked to go home. It took a lot of asking but eventually his prayer of wanting to have a happy family with his mom was granted.

"Mama said you can't eat the sun." Hunter said to his dad as he rode in the old rusted pickup that was missing windshield wipers and had a door that couldn't be opened from the outside.

"She's right. The sun is nothin' but fire. You'd get toasted up." his father responded, the smell of cigarette smoke on his breath wafted into Hunter's nostrils and made him cough and exhale loudly through his nose to stop the uncomfortable tingling.

"What would it taste like?" Hunter asked innocently. His father was a very smart man, he would know.

"Probably like the hottest pepper you can imagine. But no milk to make the heat go away."

Hunter nodded, staring up at the sky and wincing as the light blinded him. Hunter raised his hand to shield his eyes.

The sun was about the size of his thumb. The sun: the size of a pepper and just as hot as one...

"Nuh uh! The sun probably tastes like laser beams!" Hunter's friend Carlos shouted, holding his mouth open with his head thrown back to feel the heat on the inside of his mouth.

"Superman can eat the sun!" another boy whose name Hunter could never remember shouted.

"Nuh uh! It's too big and too hot!" Hunter and Carlos argued.

"Not for Superman!"

And when Hunter asked his teacher Mrs. Louis-Watts, it only incited a class lesson on the Solar System. She didn't help him either.

"The sun is omnipotent just like God. You don't want to eat God, do you? Why would you eat the sun?"

And Hunter did not try to argue with his grandmother on that one.

Once making it home, Hunter walked into he and his mother's tiny trailer to tell his mother about how it takes eight minutes for light to make it to earth and how it's stupid to think Superman can eat the sun and to ask why it's okay to eat the body of God's son but not God Himself.

He stepped over dirty laundry that was sorted and ready for the wash. And he let his backpack fall in the hall as he hurried to his mother's room.

Mrs. Louis-Watts said the sun was made up of millions of explosions happening at once. That is how the earth stays warm. Superman can survive explosions and God was in Heaven which was close to the sun. The blood on the walls resembled an explosion, millions of them like his mother had swallowed the sun whole and become it. She had done it just for him to tell him how it tasted. It probably tasted like steel, just like the barrel that was lodged in her mouth.

And outside, the clouds blew overhead and shrouded the earth in shade.
I wrote a prosetry piece titled the same thing and I was kind of in a writing slump so I decided I liked the title so much I wanted to write something else!

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Same-side Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013   Writer
Prize for 5-Day Prompt-Play Contest

Sugary cereal, hot peppers, sun cookies, and laser beams are mixed together in this colorful masala of a story. And, like a good spice mix, there is something tasty at most every point of the plot. The juxtaposition of a child’s innocent question and an adult’s dark decision is quite successful, if not unexpected.

The overall concept is well-constructed. From conversation to conversation, Hunter seeks, and eventually finds, an answer to his question. Each voice is singularly unique and encapsulated in the tone and word choice of the dialogue (a child sounds like a child; a teacher, teacher; mother, mother).

I enjoyed, especially, the opening conversation between Hunter and his mother. Your fourth paragraph, “‘And it would be really hot, wouldn't it?’ he spat out bits of half-chewed cereal.”, really helps to capture the active and familiar mood of the scene, as well as blur the distinctions between eatingconversingloving.

In the last bit of the story, however, I ran into a bit of confusion.
And when Hunter asked his teacher Mrs. Louis-Watts, it only incited a class lesson on the Solar System. She didn't help him either.

"The sun is omnipotent just like God. You don't want to eat God, do you? Why would you eat the sun?"

And Hunter did not try to argue with his grandmother on that one.
Hunter’s chain of thought seems to drift from his teacher to his grandmother, and it was not clear to me if his grandmother was actually talking to him and answering his question, or if he was imagining having that conversation with his grandmother, or if he was (mis)remembering something his grandmother had said at an earlier time and was (mis)collaging it together in his mind.

When I first read it, I thought that his teacher was the one who said, “The sun is omnipotent just like God….” because it followed the expected pattern of the narrative (NarrationofScene1-DialoguewithinScene1-Narration2-Dialogue2…). This bit also made me half-think that Hunter’s teacher and his grandmother was the same person.

The very last line of the story – “ And outside, the clouds blew overhead and shrouded the earth in shade.” – I could live with or without. The sentence immediately preceding is pretty strong by itself. If there were some explicit mention of the sun in the last sentence, maybe that would be a bit over-the-top/heavy-handed, but it may be worth experimenting.

Good job, and I hope this helps you in your revision/future writing!
Sammur-amat Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2013   General Artist
i miss you much kalli darling <3
and of course, congratulations on the DLD :huggle:
haphazardmelody Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
That ending just punched me in the gut. I guess I assumed it wasn't going to be a happy ending, You did a great job here. You always stayed in that child's perspective that was so necessary for this piece, with just hints here and there as to what his life and his mother's life is really like. Phenomenal. I can't say enough good things. :+favlove:
CelestialMemories Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much. I am glad you thought I did a good job. I think this is so far my favorite story to write. I don't think I'll ever be able to write something like it. :star:

Thank you very, very much!
haphazardmelody Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Well don't aim to write something like it - just keep creating, and I'll bet you come up with better and better. :)
DailyLitDeviations Featured By Owner Sep 5, 2013
Your wonderful literary work has been chosen to be featured by DLD (Daily Literature Deviations) in a news article that can be found here [link]. Be sure to check out the other artists featured and show your support by :+fav:ing the News Article.

Keep writing and keep creating.
ActsofArt Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
so very well written.
you perfectly captured the personality of someone too young to understand. I love the innocent childish style of the character it really adds impact to the reality of the situation.
CelestialMemories Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much!
Natural-NW Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Student General Artist
that is so cute :D
Pen-and-mouse Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2013
You're just a wonderful writer, my dear. I've got not other words.
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