‘There, that’s the one.’ Grandmother was pointing at an old building, smiling.
‘It was the largest store you’d ever seen,’ she continued, ‘in those days.’ She stared at the old black and white photograph, a newspaper clipping. ‘There used to be a whole wall full of glass jars. They were all filled with candy, in all the colours of the rainbow.’
Her eyes sparkled. Her old joints seemed a little more supple as she gestured around the living room, pointing at the jars only she could see, naming all the different sweets she remembered.
‘But of course we didn’t have the money to buy sweets. We didn’t even have enough to buy what we needed. I never wore clothes that weren’t Missy’s and Cissy’s first.’ She let out a sigh.
‘So when we were sent out stealing, we made a pact: never to rob this store. Not the one with the colourful candy jars. And we never did.’
* * *
The piece received an Honourable Mention, here's what the judges said:
The candy store that grandmother described in this story was brought to life, and while reading it, you could see the brightly colored candy and smell the sugar wafting through the air as you walked the aisles. We also felt the challenge that she and her sisters faced – living in a world where there was just never enough unless they were willing to take what belonged to others. But even in darkness, there are still the glimpses of light from the candy store, and you could feel what that meant to three little girls so long ago.