"Candy Shop" (: Formerly Published)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Alice is a woman of 25 or so, and she has forgotten a large part of her childhood. There may be a reason for this ...

Submitted: September 26, 2009

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Submitted: September 26, 2009

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Alice saw the girl walk past the candy store without even glancing at it.
- Strange, she thought to herself, usually she is so very much into all those sweets. Later on when she heard the news she remembered what she had seen, but didn't tell anybody about it, because WHAT exactly had she witnessed, a girl with a tummy ache, someone that full of sweets that she hadn't room for any more or simply a child not wanting candy at that moment?
Later that day her Mom reminded her of the incident when she told her that this particular girl, Anne, had gone missing. The child's parents were frantic with worry, especially her mother, crying on TV when she told of her daughter being so very good and obedient. "She wanted to become a vet," she wept.
Later on, when the mutilated and violated body of the child was found, Alice decided to tell about the incident of the candy store. She talked to a fat, young police officer who looked at her with listless, blue eyes, until she said: "I'm here on holiday with my mother who lives right across the street to the candy store and I've seen the girl there every day after school. She and a girl friend used to go inside from the back yard ..."
"A girl friend?" He asked and all of a sudden he looked very alert.
"Yes," she said, "A rather big, blonde girl - must be older than Anne ..."
"Well," he said putting a stack of photos in front of her, "Any of these?"
Her forefinger found the blonde girl at once. "This one," she said.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, absolutely."
He sat motionless for a while then he slammed the photos inside a cover with a lot of other photos. "Hmmm," he mumbled, looking at her with a pensive eye. "Well, I may as well tell you, that the blonde girl, Carol, has gone missing too ..."
She stared at him in disbelief. "More kids?"
"No-no, more GIRLS - only GIRLS, no boys ..."
"Oh," she said, all of a sudden very pensive. "Do you have any ideas of who the killer of Anne might be?"
"Not yet," he said, his face suddenly closing in on itself.
Never mind, she thought, I don't even want to know about it. At that moment she realized that yes, she did want to know what had become of Anne. Having seen her that day made her feel that she had an obligation toward the child.

A couple of days later the situation was blown open in the medias. All in all three girls had been found dead, and two were still missing. The dead ones had been ravished and then strangled with their own clothes. The two that were still missing were one girl of five and another of seven, Linda and Vicky. She searched her memory for faces of children she knew, but none presented themselves to her. Nonetheless, she knew that she must have seen them pass by on their way to the candy store. Not that she was all that crazy about children that she paid much attention to them, but still, it had amused her that these kids were as crazy about candy as she had been herself when she was a stocky, candy fed dumpling, migrating to the candy store with other uncharming, fatty, little kids.
Those were the days, she thought, almost spitting with a sudden rage at the memory of that lonely time period of her life. - I sure got candy ... sure thing, candy all the time ...
The memory made her think of the candy shop as she had known it, but she couldn't recall much about it. Her memory stopped at the door and the bell ringing when it opened. She had no memory at all of the candy shop owner. A man? A woman? She didn't know.
- Very strange, she thought and the same day she asked her Mom, but she didn't even remember her going to the candy shop. "No," she said, "you never went there. You were such a good girl, pretty and obedient. Didn't eat candy."
Alice was surprised, but not more than usual when her Mom didn't remember the same as she did. For instance, the big boys harassing her, the drunkard on fourth floor chasing her, and the teacher so cruel to her. All that she remembered, but her mother's only memories of her only child's childhood were sunny and pleasant. A fairy tale childhood.
However, when she asked the next door neighbour, Rita, what she remembered from her childhood visits to the candy store she had information that brought back her memory. She had known Rita for ages although she was a few years older, and at one point they had been close friends.
"Of course, I remember what it was like," Rita said. "That pig ..."
"What do you mean?"
"Now, don't try that one on me, you did as much as I did."
Alice looked at her with a blank and uncomprehensive face. "Yes, you even led him on, to have more candies. You were insatiable ... I got candy at home when I wanted it ..."
Slowly there arose an image of endless heaps of candies in the mind of Alice. - No, she thought, I had no candy at home. I never did, because Mom didn't have the money for it. She needed it for something else ... something to make her feel good. Even today, she was unable to form the word in her mind, but it was there. That part of it she remembered full well.
"But what became of the candy man?"
"Candy Lady, you mean, it wasn't a man."
"What?! No, I remember a man."
"Her son ... She made him do it. Found it funny that small, nice and well dressed girls let that monster as much as look at them. Well, she is dead now."
"And him?"
"He is the candyman now, selling solace, love and friendship like his Mom used to do."
Alice was shocked, but not surprised. After this conversation with her childhood friend she decided to pay the candy shop a visit. She put on her Mom's headscarf although it was a bit too warm and hoped it would disguise her so that he wouldn't recognize her.
When she stepped over the threshold to the shop she realized that he remembered her very well, just like she now remembered the looks and the somewhat murky smell of the store. That lewd smile, the twinkling eyes, oh yes, he knew whom she was.
"May I help you, dear?" he smirked.
She didn't let him see that she had any idea of whom he was. "Yes, please, a box of chocolate."
"For you, anything," he went on. "You've always been such a sweet girl, never any problems with you."
She stood quite still, motionless, then she said: "Not like with kids these days, right?"
He winced, but only for a second, then he smiled his sugary smile again. "Little rascals, but still so sweet ... Always so sweet."
"It's difficult to keep away from the sweets, isn't it?"
"One shall savour whatever sweet comes one's way. It's good for one. The soul laughs when it has sweets. But that you know ... eh, Alice, right?" He presented four boxes of candy for her and all of a sudden she felt the surge of hunger, deep-seated hunger, from her childhood that claimed one thing, and one alone: Sugar. She hadn't had any candy for years, and she had lost so much weight that there was no surplus fat on her anywhere. Not like in her childhood, and still he recognized her. That made her feel that she was much less smart than him and she decided to buy one of the boxes and then leave.
At home in her mother's apartment she took out the candy and flushed it in the toilet. Then she sat down to think. No ideas came to her mind, no brave solutions popped up. No, nothing like that, only a feeling of blankness. And a surge of hunger for the candy she had flushed.

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved

© EC


© Copyright 2020 ECEC333. All rights reserved.

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