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Cookies in Prison

Scalzi Story

Wherein I take a band name from Scalzi’s Next Band Name list, and spend no more than 20 minutes writing the story with the band name as a title.


Rick bit down on the cookie. A small moan of delight escaped his lips as he chewed. He looked forward to these cookies coming in every week. They were a small bite of heaven, a sampling of happy memories, a taste of home.

Too bad it wasn’t his home.

Rick had managed to lift the box of cookies from the mail room before any of the other guards had noticed it had arrived. This week, he was going to keep them all, just let the other guards think it had been delayed or lost before it arrived here. This week, the box was all his.

Rick and the other guards had recently begun speculating what Brown’s grandmother put into the cookies that made them so good. Several thought it was the right combination of ingredients, maybe the eggs since they knew she had her own chickens. Others thought it was the right combination of chewy inside and crisp outside.

Whatever it was that Mrs. Brown did correctly with her cookies, she completely failed at with her granola bars. Those things were saw dust laced with sand and rocks as far as Rick was concerned. They were usually burnt on one side. No one bothered to steal those, or taste them after the first batch. Brown’s grandmother had included a note with that first box, letting Brown know that she was thinking of his health, and made these with all sorts of high fiber goodness. She was delighted in subsequent notes that he loved them, and kept sending the burnt bricks every week.

Rick was sure Brown wasn’t constipated after she started sending them, but the cookies, now those were worth suffering through the granola bars for.

Rick walked down the hall, approaching the guard sitting at the gated door, laughing with him as he held up Brown’s box of granola bricks. Everyone knew about the bricks, and was in on the joke.

Rick wanted down the barred cells until he arrived at Brown’s cell. “Present for you,” he said.

“Did I get any cookies this week?” Brown asked Rick.

“Nope, none this week, either. Have a box of granola bars from your granny, though, that do?” He grinned an unpleasant smile at Brown.

“Yeah, sure. Granny never could cook very good.” Brown held his hand for the box, Rick handed it to him.

“You’re telling me,” Rick said, and walked away.

Brown watched the guard walk away, before he opened the box and pulled out the granola bars. The guy across the hall from him watched him start his routine, knew enough of it to be bored by it.

Brown took the granola bars to the toilet and dropped them in one by one. He watched them for a short bit, then reached down and swirled them around. Oh, his granny knew how to cook, all right, Brown thought, as he pulled out the small metal parts from the bottom of the toilet bowl.

As he rinsed the small nuts and granola from the metal pieces, he thought about her cookie decoys, and smiled.

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