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Fear

My heart gallops as I consider the shiny cylinder in my left hand. Its weight is comfortable in my palm, like a smooth, mottled slate and water-tumbled rock picked up near the banks of an aspen rimmed mountain stream.

I turn it over and over and my eyes follow the spiraling seam which I know from instinct and experience is vulnerable. My fingers tentatively press along this tender underbelly. It could be over soon, if only I can bring myself to be deft and summon a bravery found on snowy Sunday mornings and Christmas-past, when my children’s inquiries and pleas nudge me forward, ever forward. I can do it.

I peel back the shiny paper skin, exposing the modest and unassuming brown shell. The feeble appearance doesn’t lull my senses to sleep. They are charged and poised, like the spoon in my right hand as I remember the words of Jonathan Swift, who said, “He was a bold man that first eat an oyster.”

I inhale and slash the air with deft authority until I feel contact. The cool spoon divides the valiant seam between two printed arrows with smirking ease. The cylinder bursts.

Dough.

Now I can make biscuits.

(I wrote this as part of Scribbit’s Write-Away Contest. The October theme is “Things That Scare Me”—but are cans of refrigerated dough scary enough? I thought I’d post it anyway.)

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