The sense of smell and taste are intertwined and are the strongest senses we have connected to memory. I can reminisce through the tastes of my past from chocolate to cough medicine. However, it does come as a surprise that I have any surviving taste buds after what my brother did to me.

I was about five years old when that crisp NY Halloween came around. Pixie Stix were my favorite candy at that time, tubes of radiant fruit-flavored bliss. After the traditional safety check and trading of candy ritual between my brother and me, I distinctly remember carefully opening all the pastel-striped tubes of Pixie Stix and pouring them into a small white plastic bowl. I had planned to sip out of that glorious bowl in the next few glorious autumn mornings after I finished playing on the swing set outside.

My brother, evil incarnate, had other plans for the candy powder.  He was a full seven years older than I and was too old to go trick-or-treating in my opinion. He had a cruel streak a mile wide, and I was his convenient dupe that day.

After playing outside, I headed back in the kitchen and reached for the beautiful bowl. I noticed my brother watching me across the kitchen table, so I decided to down the delicious dust as quickly as possible. Suddenly, my eyes began to tear, my mouth was on fire, and I felt like throwing up. I cried as my eyes swelled shut with pain, and my nose squinched up in a perpetual sneeze. My brother was laughing so hard he fell off the kitchen chair but was immediately sent to his room by my mom who’d heard the commotion from the next room and discovered the sordid truth.

You see, my brother had eaten most of my beloved candy powder and replaced it with some pure black pepper, making sure to cover the top of the bowl with enough Pixie dust to hide the fire-spice. To this day, I can’t eat Pixie Stix without thinking of that bitter day and stifling a sneeze.

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
1 year ago

Welcome to Voice.club, Barb! What a fun story. Is it based on a real-life incident? If so, I hope you don’t get any Pixie Dust this Halloween. You are so right about memories being tied in to the senses of taste and smell. I enjoyed your story, and look forward… Read more »

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
1 year ago

Hi, Barb, and welcome to Voice.club. What a delectable first story. I’m so lucky to be an only child – no big brothers to switch out my candy! Good job.

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
1 year ago

Miss Barb, loved the way you cleverly crafted the senses of smell and taste through your story. Pixie Dust sounds delicious, but has a hidden connotation of naughtiness which you exploited well!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

A warm welcome to Voice club, Barb. Welcome to the family. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry, Barb. I feel the annoyance that your female protagonist feels. Her older brother was very mischievous; he didn’t even save a bit for his youngest sister. But anyway, your story… Read more »

Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
Reply to  Barb Dukeman
1 year ago

That is hilarious, Barb. Although I do think those should have been Halloween presents, so he’d be sure and make the connection. Drums and kazoos – revenge is sweet ?

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Barb Dukeman
1 year ago

You made my day, Barb. That’s too hilarious.  ? 

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 year ago

Welcome to Voice.club, Barb. I enjoyed reading about your terrible childhood memory and your reminder of how powerful and insistent experiences of smells and tastes can be. It was also fun to read about how you took “revenge” on your brother.

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 year ago

The story is an account of an amusing incident with a deft punch line. Good work!

Dipayan Chakrabarti
Dipayan Chakrabarti(@dipayan-chakrabarti)
1 year ago

A beautiful funny story, Barb. Excellent!

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