So I have decided to share a very old short story that I wrote when I was 12… yes TWELVE. Please note, this does not show my current writing style… at least, I hope it doesn’t!
Hope you have a good laugh!
(If this has any spelling and grammar mistakes, twelve-year-old me is responsible, I am not!) 🙂
“When life gives you lemons, you squeeze them to make lemonade or if your feeling annoyed squeeze them in someone’s face.” That’s what Julie Danish was always told by her grandfather before he would head off to the family bakery. Rumour had it that he used an extra spice in his cinnamon buns: Chilli flakes just to give it a bit of a kick, but even in her thirties Julie thought that it was a bit adventurous, the family business was everything to her and her grandfather.
But as most popular places do well, there is always another place trailing loosely behind always trying to get the high end of the stick on their competition.
But where other people hated the shift on their own, Julie loved the solitude and how her grandfather would leave her be. Although she loved him dearly, he would not leave her alone. Always being the neurotic man he had been, talking about the end of his world if his secret was stolen.
“Grandpappy, the secret is locked up in my brain, it’s not like someone can just steal it from there. Just go home and rest your back.” Julie would always say as he left her alone. Then he would totter on home and occasionally call the bakery “neurotic man.” She would mutter as she went in the back to get fresh cinnamon buns to form the stove.
“Hello?” A voice called from outside the room. “Anyone here, I’d like to order some goods!”
“What can I get you?” Julie asked, waddling to the counter. The man was tall and light-skinned. He wore a black leather jacket, a biker maybe.
“A cinnamon bun and one secret to go.” He smirked at Julie, who just gulped in reply.
“What secret?” She lied. Fear nesting itself in her brain “I have no clue what you are talking about.”
“I think you do, miss.” He said as he began to walk behind the counter, Julie backed up against the wall she stood in front of trying to hide her face from the man who stools his face in hers. Blowing cold, musky air around her. Smoke evident in his breath. “You will need to come with me, you will be safe, don’t worry about that.” Julie just nodded and reached behind her to grab a bottle of cinnamon on the counter. She had learned that apart from lemons, cinnamon was the best thing to put into people eyes if you need help. And as there were no lemons in her reach; cinnamon had to do. “But if you do not comply, I don’t want to say what will happen.”
Julie went with the man, struggled and tugged but when they got to the car, he threw her in the back. Tried her up in rope and left her in the back of the car.
It was for hours. Or what felt like it until he started to drive. Singing a song on the radio. It was mumbled and inaudible. But although her arms were immobilised, she could still chuckle at how tone deaf her escort was.
“Where are you taking me?” Julie stuttered. She did not want to make any sudden mistakes, this guy looked dangerous.
“You don’t need to know, all you need to know is that you are safe and sound unless you do not spell what you know.” The man replied in a cold voice, making Julie want to throw the cinnamon at him already. But she knew if she did that, her plan she was thinking up, would all go to waste.
When Julie looked around the car, she noticed one tiny window by the boot of the car. But when she looked through it, she saw that much to her horror. She was in what looked to be the abandoned prison in her town.
“Why are we here?” Julie asked, fear eminent in her voice. But she did not get a reply, for either the man was not listening or had ignored her completely.
She kept watching through the tiny window as they drove into the high-security part of the prison, it was open. And could never be closed, clearly the people he was working for hadn’t figured out who to close it, it hasn’t be been closed since the prisoners were transferred somewhere else and the prison had burned down, this part was the only part that was still intact but no one had been in it, at least not after it was abandoned anyway.
“Come on Lady, you’re needed by the boss.” The man grunted heavily. One kick and he could fall over. Julie though but it quickly diminished out of her mind as she was marched towards a metal door; the one where the man or woman, the ‘boss’ hid behind like the coward they were.
“Open!” A voice called from inside. A clear male voice. But she knew that whoever it belonged to, was probably just as dangerous as the man who had his filthy hand on her right at this moment.
“Sit.” A voice sounded throughout the room. It was a man’s voice, but it’s the grainy sound made Julie feel uneasy “I said sit!”
Just them a charred chair appeared in front of her, it looked like it was going to break if she sat on it, her body would break it in an instant, even her foot would send it crumbling to the floor seconds after impact. But she did so anyway, with a rope secured to her hands, she was firmly tied to the chair, she complied to the notion, she did not want to get on the bad side of these men.
“Julie Danish!” A man chortled, his fat chops flapping as he talked and waddled about. Oh my god. The thought parachuted into Julie’s mind like an anvil. She knew who it was. The very man who had tried to buy her grandfather out of business a few years back; Mikel Zimmerman. Business owner and baker alike.
“Mikel!” Julie growled, trying to get free from the grip of the rope just to punch the man in the face. But she could not move an inch. She sighed in defeat as he knelt in front of her and caressed her face, what was he planning? “How dare you! My grandfather said no to your advances, and now you’re blackmailing him? How classy, if he said no, then what makes you think that I will, eh?” She spat towards the man, a glob of her spit landing smack dab on his cheek.
He just chuckled and wiped off the excess spit “Why do you have a rope on her? We are all friends here, and she wouldn’t try to hurt me, not in her current situation anyway.” Mikel said to his accomplices.
“She might try to hurt you, I wouldn’t put it past her, she may look innocent, but who knows what she is hiding, silence is the greatest foe here.” One man said before earning a grunt from Mikel.
“Untie her.” he said in a patronising tone, not wanting to repeat what he said again “Now.”
Almost immediately the restraints were removed, ‘Big mistake. For a big businessman, your quite stupid.’ She thought rather devilishly, keeping the same blank expression on her face to mask her intentions now her arms were free. As the man and Mikel were talking, the man earning a substantial amount of hate towards him for what he had done to me, clearly, Mikel didn’t like being disobeyed. And this man had not listened to instructions. She reached into her pocket and procured the bottle of cinnamon she would always keep on her person when in the store just in case a customer needed extra, she opened the bottle and began to cough.
Mikel noticed her coughing and walked over to her to ask if she needed a drink of water, the perfect question and one she had been anticipating, although he had kidnapped her, Mikel was not a man to hurt and had a soft voice and demeanour, as he stood close to her she stood up and on a whim threw the cinnamon from the bottle in his face.
She did not see him fall or scream out in pain. She was escorted out do the room way before that had happened. But she could hear him from outside, a grin of victory playing upon her face as the door closed behind her.
It was the silence that was sending Julie to madness. After a few hours of being trapped inside a room with restraints laid upon her arms, alone. She had begun to dislike the idea she had when she lunged the cinnamon into his face, but on the third or fourth hour, she had honestly lost count, Julie finally heard movement.
A man walked into the room, he had the same attire and haircut as all the men in the facility they were in, and he held a gun in his right hand, Julie knew what he was going to do with it. “You come to kill me now?” Julie shouted to the person, as she sat in the corner of the room.”Do it, you’ll never get the secret out of me!”
“Which is why you need to go.” The man said, much to her surprise. He started to walk up to her, but she tensed up. “I’m here to help.” He said as he untied her restraints.
She was free. Or somewhat anyway. “Why free me when I could strangle you?” She spat, sensing a new side of herself in her voice
“Because, I know you wouldn’t do that, Julie.” He said that in a tone that made Julie tense up again, how did he know her name?
“You may be right.” She said looking around the room for an exit, one that would not be detected. “You’ve freed me, but how do I get out. And what is your name?”
“Watch and learn cinnamon woman.” He smirked in a devilish way “They trust me, but maybe they shouldn’t.” He looked back at her before revealing who he was “my name is Joel.”
“Okay, tough guy, show me the way.” She laughed as she followed him, always looking out for people just in case they were caught trying it escape. She had no cinnamon on her anymore.
“Almost there!” She smiled at the man who had helped her, but their journey was ur short. Oh, so much like the films Julie thought to herself. But this was real. She and Joel would have to fight them off.
“Julie.” He whispered to her from a short distance “Reach into my pocket, and get the thing that there.”
She did as she was told, and to her surprise, it was chilli flakes and cinnamon. Yeah! She thought to try to contain her excitement. As she handed Joel the chilli flakes.
Anyone must have thought the two were completely mad to use spices against people, but in desperate times, use what you have. And as the two men who were coming closer started to wield batons. These were desperate times, and Julie had just had enough.
“Joel!” She called “Throw!” Then out of nowhere, the two men fell to the floor in a fit of pain. Cinnamon and chilli flakes covering their bodies and eyes, it gave them just enough time to get away.
“Let’s go, let’s both get out of this place.” Then they ran, and although Julie had known Joel for only a few minutes, she knew that the gratitude was he held for him was strong. And nothing could ever compare.
In a matter of minutes they were outside, starting the car Julie had come in and driven away, getting as much distance from the place and away from those people as possible. “We did it.” Joel smiled behind the wheel.
“Why did you help me back there?” Julie asked, curiousness covering her face.
“You didn’t deserve what you got, and that stunt you pulled against Zimmerman was amazing, it was wrong for him to kidnap you. So I saved you from your torture. He was planning to kill you for your incompetence. I couldn’t let him do that.”
The journey from the prison to her house was silence from then on. But when she got to her house. She knew that she would have to explain to the neurotic man behind the door what had happened. “Do you want to come in?” Julie asked Joel.
But all her grandfather wanted was to see her safe. He thanked Joel for his help. His advice about the lemon and cinnamon was of help. And that night, he added chilli flakes of the list of things to throw at people if he ever needed to do so.
So neurotic. Joel and Julie though to themselves.
It was three weeks before they had got any news about Mikel Zimmerman and his kidnappings. It was said that he had been arrested, apparently not only had he kidnapped Julie he had lots of people hostage, or had been in hostage before ever but had never spoke up about it. Julie’s story was their salvation. And finally after three months of his trail after the news, he was arrested.
His henchmen were given a few months, but Joel was set free, although he had helped the hostage. These judges saw it that he has also helped and because of that, he’s was free of any charges.
Joel became helpful around the bakery. And he had even suggested adding new things to the recipes. Lemon zest to give it zing. And although Julie’s grandfather was sceptical at first. He added it, funnily enough, it made it sweeter.
Although in their happiness of freedom. The words Zimmerman said before he went down, still rung in the back of their heads “I will find a way.” At first, they thought it was just a stupid statement. But the thought was always in there. Searing the back of their brains.
Joel and Julie felt safe in the bakery now, but they always had lemons in arms reach if they needed to squeeze in people’s eyes.