Inspired by a friend, I was looking through some old stories I wrote for my undergraduate degree. I came across the one below and had to laugh because of the shock that came from people when they found out I was the one who wrote it. You see, these assignments were called "Flash Fictions." The assignment was simple: write a story of any kind but it must include the keyword and it can only be one page long. Also, we were not allowed to put our real names on the assignment. The keyword for this assignment was "Juice." I decided to title it, "Skank Juice" by Bob Newhart (I always used classic television names for code names). Note: I don't find this to be one of my best pieces of work but it makes me laugh and it was voted by the class for 3rd place.
Brad came down the stairs to find Julie standing at the kitchen counter. Her hair was in a tight bun, a white apron was tied around her waist and she was squeezing orange juice into a clear glass pitcher. She had cheated on him again. He knew it. Not because she smelt like another guy and not because of a guilty look on her face. It was the juice. She always squeezed orange juice after she cheated. Brad didn’t really know why. Perhaps she thought acting like June Cleaver for a day would make up for her betrayal. Maybe she thought he wouldn’t suspect her if she acted like a good housewife for a day but the break from the norm of cereal and Sunny D had only sent up red flags the first time. The private detective had confirmed it all but Brad hadn’t confronted Julie. Instead he waited for the next time she squeezed orange juice. Sometimes it was a weeklong “treat”, as she called it, but sometimes he wouldn’t find it at the breakfast table for months. Fresh squeezed orange juice meant unfaithful. Brad hated fresh squeezed orange juice and not just because of the burning the acidy pulp left in his throat. He had acid reflux but far be it for him to interfere with Julie’s redemption juice. No, the pain that spread deep inside his heart bothered him more than his throat and all he needed was to see the juice in order to feel the pain, no drinking necessary.
He had put up with it for a year; one whole year of having his world repeatedly disturbed by glasses of orange liquid. After the first time he thought maybe it was a one-time thing, an itch that needed scratching and that would settle it for good. He thought maybe she would get it out of her system and they would be OK again and they were, for about a month. Then the orange juice was there for a week straight before disappearing for a few more weeks and returning again for one day. Brad drank the juice the first time, hoping he was wrong, but after his suspicions were confirmed he refused to drink it ever again. When it was sat in front of him he wouldn’t touch it and when Julie asked why he wasn’t drinking it he would take a sip and quickly spit it back into the cup when her back was turned.
During that year, Brad avoided the reality that his wife was cheating on him and instead focused on how much he hated that damned juice. However, slowly the reality that he couldn’t live this way began to sneak into his brain. He could leave her, he decided, but how would that punish her really? They had signed a pre-nup; she’d get half of everything that was his. No, her punishment needed to be worse. About eight months in, he decided that perhaps public humiliation would do but slowly the bitter feeling in his heart turned to resentment and resentment turned to hatred. No, public humiliation wasn’t enough for the tramp he formally referred to as his better half.
Early the next morning he was faced with orange juice again. His hopes had been answered, it wasn’t Sunny D, the orange rinds lay on the table.
“Morning sweetie!” Julie fixed a smile at her husband. “I felt like making something special again this morning. Hope you don’t mind. Oh, and the sausages are almost ready.” She turned back to the stove.
Brad walked up to the glass pitcher on the table and, watching Julie out of the corner of his eye, slipped two little white pills into the liquid and watched them dissolve. Julie would be dead by the next morning . He hoped her insides would slowly eat away at her body but didn’t really know how the poison worked. That would teach her not to be such a slut. Brad smirked as Julie put a plate of food in front of him and stated simply that he would just have water this morning.It was a good thing he didn’t dare touch the skank’s juice anymore.