Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Tale from the Life of Candace Sweetly

I keep my head down as I approach Dad's house, hoping no one sees me going there. It's not that I'm embarrassed by my dad. Not exactly. I'm not even that embarrassed to by his house. I mean, it was a seriously cool place to invite friends to when I was a little kid. It's just that now I'm a teenager, my friends find the place less cool and more weird.

This shift in attitude isn't entirely unfair as the house certainly does have problems. On rainy days, or warm summer days, it will start to melt a little. The constant ant problem is annoying to say the least. And the stickiness that gets all over everything you take into the place is truly cringe-worthy. Still, my dad loves it.

It's a blessedly cool day in late February when I walk up the front path for the first time in weeks. I haven't been avoiding my dad for anything specific this year, it's just that I generally give him a wide berth in the lead up to Valentine's Day, which is even worse than the weeks before Halloween. Both holidays come with an increase in workload that makes what accountants face in tax season look like a vacation, but at least Halloween is accompanied by fewer tirades against my mother.

My boots slide on a patch of ice, but I catch myself on one of the lollipops lining the way. A few hairs pull from my gloves as I remove them from the candied surface, but it's cold enough that my gloves don't seem to have pulled away much sugar.

I make my way carefully up the gumdrop steps to knock on the graham cracker door. There used to be a doorbell, but someone ate it, leaving only a hole and an exposed wire.

One of the tourist buses rambles up the road behind me and I pull my hood up to hide myself from their cameras. Last time I didn't do that, pictures of me wound up all over the tabloids with various claims that I was anerexic, overeating, or pregnant. Being the child of celebrities has downsides.

The bus loadspeaker shouts as the vehichle draws closer. "And this, if you haven't guessed, is the home of the one and only Candy Man! Note the gingerbread siding and treacle roof. And who's that at the front door? Is it a new girlfriend? Or maybe his daughter, Candace?"

Ugh. Why is Dad taking so long to open the door?

The latch turns and I shove foward, bumping straight into a woman I've never met before.

"Or maybe," the announcer on the bus goes on, "it's both!"

The woman slams the door shut and we stare at each other.

"I'm the daughter," I say.

"I'm the girlfriend," she says. She smiles and holds out a hand as her wings beat quietly behind her. "Call me Sugarplum."

Sugarplam. And, yes, now I recognize her from the same papers that I've been in. Dad is dating the Sugarplum Fairy.

My mom, the Tooth Fairy, is going to throw a fit.

This story brought to you via a prompt from my son, who told me before leaving me alone to write that if I got stuck in my novel, I should write something about a man who lives in a candy house and does candy things. I think he meant something more Adventure Time!-ly, but this is what he's getting. :)