Today’s writing prompt is borrowed from S. Page Reiring. Here it is:
Character A and Character B are best friends. A is hiding something from B that would allow B to complete their goal.
Fun, right? Now it’s time to see how ridiculous we can get with this. Onwards!
Every morning, Timmy gets on his red tricycle and wheels over to Bobby’s house down the street. He walks in the front door, and the most delicious smell fills the entire house–the smell of freshly baked cupcakes. Timmy runs into the kitchen, hugs Bobby good morning, and the two boys spend the next hour icing the cupcakes with the most beautiful designs imaginable.
Bobby bakes cupcakes every morning because he wants to be a baker like his mom. His mom leaves every morning to go work at her bakery, and she gets home so late at night that her only interaction with her son is to kiss him goodnight. Bobby has to fend for himself. But he knows that if he can present his mother with the perfect cupcake, she’ll realize how amazing a baker he is, and then she’ll let him go to the bakery with her and they can spend all day, every day together.
Timmy does not want to be a baker. He doesn’t even like cupcakes. The reason he helps his best friend decorate his cupcakes every morning is because he has a secret. There is a monster living under his bed. It’s actually the spawn of an ancient god of all-consuming hunger, but Billy doesn’t know that. He just calls it Licky, because it licks his toes when he gets out of bed. Licky has to eat exactly one dozen cupcakes every morning, or else he will double in size. Which Billy didn’t think was a big deal at first, until his brick-sized monster turned into a shoebox-sized monster. Once it got big enough to barely fit under his bed, he realized that if he didn’t do something soon, his monster could get big enough to crush an entire city under one of its scaly feet.
Which is why every morning, after Bobby finishes icing the cupcakes and runs upstairs to hop in the shower before school starts, Timmy grabs all the cupcakes, loads them onto his tricycle, and takes them down the street to feed his monster under the bed. He always gets back just in time for Bobby to walk down the stairs, go into the kitchen, and see that his cupcakes are gone. Bobby asks where his cupcakes went, and Timmy says they disappeared. Then Timmy and Bobby grab their bags and go to school.
One day, while feeding his monster a selection of red velvet cupcakes with chocolate buttercream roses, a strange thought hits Timmy. He wonders why Bobby always just accepts that his cupcakes have disappeared. Bobby never tries hiding the cupcakes while he showers, or making double the recipe and stashing half away for later. He doesn’t even suspect Timmy is the one who’s taking them. Timmy is grateful that his best friend is so gullible, but he also worries, because he knows Bobby is a smart kid. How can someone so smart be so stupid?
Timmy decides to figure out what’s going on once and for all. The next morning, when Bobby goes for his shower, Timmy runs home to feed his monster and gets back twice as fast as usual. He runs upstairs, but as he reaches the landing, he hears footsteps. Crouching down, he peers around the corner and sees four men in black suits and sunglasses standing outside the bathroom door. The shower shuts off, and after a few seconds the door to the bathroom opens in a cloud of steam. Bobby steps out, wrapped in a towel, and the four men swarm forward.
One grabs Bobby’s arms, another grabs Bobby’s head, and a third holds a little metal device up in front of the boy’s eyes. The device starts to flash a series of colored lights, and the man says in a deep voice, “When you walk downstairs, your cupcakes will be gone. You are not upset by this. Cupcakes disappear all the time. This not surprising. But you must continue to make cupcakes. You love making cupcakes. If you make enough cupcakes, your mother will love you.”
Bobby repeats the words back to the man in a flat, robotic voice. The men release him, and he walks off toward his bedroom to get dressed for school.
The men turn and head for the stairs–the stairs where Timmy is hiding. He thinks about running, but his feet won’t move. He’s too scared. The men round the corner and stop when they see Timmy lying on the stairs.
“What did you do to my friend?” Timmy asks bravely.
The men glance at each other. Then one steps forward and says, “We brainwashed him.”
“Why did you brainwash my friend?”
“Do you know what lives under your bed?”
“So do we. There are many mysterious things in this world–dangerous things–that we must keep track of, and control. When we figure out a way to contain a threat, we do whatever is necessary to make it happen. Which is why we make sure Bobby doesn’t wonder where his missing cupcakes go–if he did, he might stop making them, and then the whole world would be in danger.”
Timmy’s lip starts to wobble. “But why does it have to be Bobby who bakes the cupcakes? Couldn’t you take the monster away somewhere and feed him all the cupcakes it wants?”
“Monsters have very particular tastes,” the man says. “For whatever reason, Bobby’s cupcakes are what he craves. Bobby has to make them. That’s just the way it is.”
The man kneels down in front of Timmy and removes his sunglasses. Timmy gasps when he sees the man has no eyes–just skin stretched across his eye sockets.
“Tell me, Timmy,” the man says. “Do you want us to take your friend away somewhere where you’ll never see him again?”
“No!” Timmy shouts. “Don’t take Bobby!”
The man puts his sunglasses back on and stands up. “If you don’t want that to happen, then you have to keep helping Bobby make his cupcakes every day, and then feed them to your monster. Can you do that, Timmy?”
“I can! I promise!”
“You’re a good boy, Timmy,” the man says.
Two of the men in suits dart forward and grab Timmy by the arms and head. A third pulls out the metal device and aims it at Timmy’s face.
“You do not remember seeing us,” he says, as colored lights flash wildly.
Timmy’s eyelids start to grow heavy. “I do not remember seeing you,” he agrees.
“You must not tell Bobby about us.”
“I must not tell Bobby about you.”
“You must not tell Bobby about the monster under your bed.”
“I must not tell Bobby about the monster under my bed.”
Timmy blinks a few times, and suddenly he’s in Bobby’s kitchen, waiting for his friend to finish getting dressed so they can go to school. The cupcakes have vanished from the counter. He must have already fed them to his monster, although he doesn’t remember doing it. Bobby walks down the stairs and, seeing the vaguely confused look on his friend’s face, says, “Are you okay, Timmy?”
“Of course I am,” Timmy says.
“Where are my cupcakes?” Bobby asks.
“They must have disappeared,” Timmy says.
“Oh,” Bobby says. “Okay. Let’s go to school.”
The boys grab their backpacks, hop on their tricycles, and hurry off to school.
A few houses down the the street, the monster under Timmy’s bed chomps down on the last cupcake and belches loudly in approval. His insatiable hunger had started causing his body to swell, but now the cupcakes have made him drowsy. Instead of growing in size, he instead settles down for a nice long nap.
Outside the window, four men in suits and sunglasses watch the monster with their infrared goggles. When they see it close its eyes and fall asleep, they let out a chorus of relieved sighs.
“And so the world lives to fight another day,” one of them says.
“Call it in,” another says. “Specimen 3219391 sated and sleeping like a baby. Potential crisis with the Deliverer avoided. The Baker remains unaware. Situation under control.”
“Where to next?”
“Greenland. The living statue got loose and killed 37 people before someone managed to look it in the eyes and stop the rampage. We’re on clean-up duty.”
“Dammit. The dry cleaner charges me an arm and leg to get blood out of my suits. We should wear ponchos or something.”
The men laugh, climb into a black SUV, and drive away.
Okay, that took a weird turn a few paragraphs in, but I decided to just go with it. This story was inspired by the SCP Foundation, which is a website that lists all sorts of crazy cool stuff. Check it out! And if you feel like tackling the writing prompt yourself, write your own post about it, or paste it in the comments below!