Maria rummaged through her children’s candy while they slept soundly in their beds. Meticulously she inspected each Snicker and each peanut butter cup making sure that the wrappers weren’t opened and that the candy wasn’t filled with bits of broken glass or razor blades.
Razor blades. Who thinks of putting razor blades in candy intended for children? Maria couldn’t think of any worse offense than hurting a child deliberately. She silently cursed child abusers under her breath. It was while she was cursing that her eyes fell upon what looked like a homemade craft bag filled with candy. Purple and green script on a brown bag spelled out Jimmy Cracked Korn and then in smaller print it said, “and I do care.”
Maria was intrigued. The bag had been put together with care and she had to struggle a little in order to get it open. She peered into the bag and at once smelled the most delicious aroma she had ever smelled. She reached her hand deep inside and pulled out a handful of the candy. She inspected it and was slightly disappointed. It appeared to be nothing more than Candy Corn. She started to put a piece in her mouth to taste it, but then she paused. Something inside her told her to be careful, not to eat of this wicked treat, but the aroma of the candy was all consuming and before she knew it she was finishing off the entire bag. Greedily she devoured the contents and then inverted the bag to lick the container. She was ravenous. She had never felt this alive before or this hungry. She rifled through her sons candy to see if he had a bag of the delectable candy. To her delight he did.
“Mom, Mom wake up!” Maria opened her eyes and saw her children staring back at her. Miles was her oldest and he was 7 years old. Julia was only 4. Both of them looked scared. Maria tried to sit up but her head felt like a bowling ball. With some effort she managed finally to sit up. Her eyes burned and her face felt sticky. She reached up to wipe her eyes and felt something squishy on the side of her face. She pulled at the substance and with a slight pop it came off her face. Gummy worms. Yuck. She didn’t remember eating gummy worms. She looked down around her and half of her childrens candy had been eaten. Her stomach felt bloated and sore. Julia looked at her mother, “Mom” she said with concern, “What happened to all of our candy?” Shame was the first emotion Maria felt. The same shame she had felt when her mother had caught her giving the cat a makeover. She had known better than to put blush and mascara on the kitty, but she had done it anyway.
“Julia, mommy needs to run to the bathroom, I’ll be right back” Maria said as she raced to the bathroom. She flung herself inside the master bath and slammed the door behind her. Thump Thump. Thump Thump. Her heart beat so hard in her chest that she looked down to see if it was extruding beneath her clothes. Her stomach hurt so bad and it felt like something was alive inside her. Looking into the mirror she didn’t recognize herself. Her skin was a mottled gray. Candy wrappers were twisted in her hair. A piece of red licorce scarred the side of her neck. A thin orange outline ringed her lips. She drew closer to the mirror and inspected her lips carefully. The orange candy looked like something… what was it? Then she remembered the candy corn.
At the first thought of the candy corn Maria wanted some more. She wondered if any of the neighborhood children had any and if they did, how would she get it?
“Marge, this is Maria from next door. I’m doing fine thanks. Can you tell me if little Susie got any Jimmy Cracked Korn? Yep. It was in those little craft bags with the purple and green writing. Uh, huh. they did. That’s great! I’m glad I caught you then, that stuff seems to be contaminated. I am going to gather it all up and see about inspecting it further.”
Maria couldn’t believe that she was able to lie so convincingly. She called all of her neighbors and before the day was over she had collected 20 bags of the Jimmy Cracked Korn. Each time she received a bag she raced to her car and greedily consumed it. With each bag she felt she needed more, but each bag was less pleasing than the first bag. How could this be? The cravings wouldn’t stop. She was being consumed by the need for the Korn!!
She looked at the empty wrappers and called out to her children. “Julia, Miles! Come here a minute.” They looked all clean and scrubbed and well fed. Thank God her mother had been able to watch them all day. “Kids, do you remember where you got this Jimmy Cracked Korn?” The kids looked at the bags and both of them shook their heads “no”. “Are you sure? What neighborhood did Marge take you too?” Miles and Julia puzzled over their mother’s bizarre line of questioning, but neither of them had the answer.
“Mom” Julia spoke up. “Why is your skin turning orange?” Maria looked at her daughter completely perplexed. “What? My skin?” She got up immediately and went to the bathroom. Her skin was no longer a mottle gray, now it was a faint orange yellow color. She looked at her hands and they were white. What was happening to her?
What do you think happens to Maria?