Two Hundred Words

I am a member of the Rotorua Writers Group, which meets monthly. The group encourages our writing by setting a homework writing task. Each month we write a maximum of two hundred words on a given topic. It is a great challenge, which makes us focus on choosing precise words to express what we want to say, and eliminating all the unnecessary words. The following story is one of my homework pieces. Read more of my stories on my ‘Flights of Fantasy’ blog page.

A Nasty Surprise

I like to think that I maintain reasonable standards of cleanliness in my home. So it was a nasty surprise to find a neglected air-tight container in the back of the fridge. I held the container up and peered through the clear plastic. Disgust mingled with awe and wonder, as I inspected the contents. What had originally been humble creamed corn had evolved into a completely new miniature ecosystem, a tiny self-contained universe. An alien forest of green, orange and fuzzy-white splotches covered the yellow surface.   Round droplets of condensation clung to the inside of the container. I marvelled and wondered. How long could such a little world sustain itself?

I was now faced with a dilemma. Should I lift the lid and risk exposure to those possibly toxic and hostile life forms? Hold my breath and try not to gag as I scrape out the contents?

Or should I forget my concern for recycling and just sacrifice my plastic container?

The prospect of a few minutes of personal discomfort warred against compromised principles.

My next nasty surprise was to discover that, in the end, I was perfectly willing to toss the whole thing in the bin.

By Vicki Arnott

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