Oops Brief: Caught in the Act

Candace pops in a coffee pod in the single-cup coffee maker. While waiting for her coffee, she looks around and sees two co-workers talking and laughing. Snatches of their conversation float her way, with the words “donuts” and “reception area” catching her attention. It’s customary at work for leftover food from a meeting to be set out by the lobby for anyone to partake. She thinks how timely to grab some donuts to drink along with her freshly brewed beverage. She ventures over to the waiting area and greets Inez, the receptionist, with a smile.

“Ooh, I see a big box of donuts,” Candace says, as she walks toward the food and lifts open the donut box.  She picks the only Boston Creme donut in the bunch, bites into it and places it on a paper plate. She decides to take two more donuts, a glazed one and a coconut-flaked beauty. As she polishes off one of them and starts on another, she sees a group of senior buyers filing in the reception area with Lauren, a marketing executive, speaking loudly, “Welcome to our office. I’m glad you enjoyed the quick tour. We have breakfast for you here . . .”

While swallowing, Candace realizes the donuts were not officially leftovers yet. Her eagerness to dunk a donut in her coffee had blinded her from noticing the overall untouched state of the spread. Suddenly, she wishes she would disappear like the donuts she just downed.

The Tattooed Tree

Naked and trembling, Trevor stops to catch his breath. Already he feels the curse cast upon him. The tattoos on his stiffening torso become more pronounced, resembling wall-sized etchings.

His arms shoot upward, branching outward, simultaneously dividing into limbs of various density. Immobile, his legs fuse together, while his feet extend out all around him. His toes multiply, scattering and digging deep below the earth at the same time.

Moisture penetrates throughout his whole being, or whatever self-awareness is left. The last thought as he can describe it as such is that he wishes, out of all the tattoos he has, he had avoided the heart with Her name carved on it. He didn’t know she would take it to heart and act as if she owned him.