Prompt 160-Broken

Write about a time you broke something.

The stepstool teetered precariously as Nicholas stretched his arms over his head toward the cupboard. The glassware within chittered as he succeeded in pulling open the white doors, the legs of the stool settling on the linoleum with a firm clack.

The maw of the dishwasher gaped with fresh, sparkling dishes. The boy worked the cutlery first. They were the first items coughed up by the metal monstrosity and the easiest to sort. Their home was a drawer accessible to someone of his stature. He took special care with the knives. Momma didn’t like him touching the knives, but he forged ahead imagining how happy she would be when she woke from her nap.

Spoons and forks and knives were easy enough. The pots were big and clunky, though. Luckily, they sat nicely inside each other, just like Momma’s nesting dolls. And their cupboard was under the counter. No climbing to put them away. He grinned to himself. The dishwasher would be empty in no time.

One by one, he stacked the plates on the counter next to his stepstool. That way he wouldn’t have to climb down after each plate. Momma could put them away in a stack, but Nicholas wasn’t as strong as Momma. He climbed his stool to the counter and added the plates to the stacks already in the cupboard. He repeated his task with the bowls.

The lower jaw of the dishwasher had been picked clean. Now it was time to put away all the cups from the upper jaw. Nicholas moved his stepstool to the cup cupboard and gained entry the same way he had for the dinnerware.

The cups would not stack as neatly as the plates or the bowls had but he still didn’t want to climb up and down his stepstool any more than he had to. He carefully arranged the glasses and cups and mugs on the counter underneath the cup cupboard. It was just like the plates, only spread out more.

Nicholas put them away one by one. Momma’s cupboard was neat and organized. The cups were grouped together and spaced evenly. He made sure to follow the pattern already in place. Every cup would fit just so.

There were only a few left now. Nicholas welled with pride in his work. Momma would be so happy! His hands were damp. Not all of the cups had been completely dry. Two more to go. He was so excited. He had done it all by himself. One more!

The last cup slipped from his wet, trembling hands. He cried out as the limited edition color changing Star Wars coffee mug crashed to the floor. It was Momma’s favorite.

She must have sensed a disturbance in the force at its breaking. She appeared in the kitchen doorway in a panic. “Nicholas? What happened!”

He hung his head over the shattered mug and cried. “I’m sorry, Momma! I di- didn’t mean to! It just- it just slipped! I’m sorry!” he sobbed.

Momma was at his side, hands roaming his face and hands. “Are you hurt? Did you cut yourself?”

He shook his head and sniffled. “Your Star Wars cup. It fell. I was just trying to help. I didn’t mean to break it.”

She glanced down to the floor, seeing the remains of her favorite coffee mug resembling Alderaan. Then she smiled. “It’s just a cup Nicky.” She hugged him tight to her chest, smoothing his hair and whispering gentle assurances. When he had slowed his crying, she pulled away and looked him square in the face. “Did you put all those dishes away all by yourself?” He nodded sheepishly and her smile banished the last of his tears. “What a great job! You are such a good helper.”

“You’re not mad?” he asked.

“Mad? No, of course not,” Momma said. “I’m sad that my mug is broken, but I am very happy you worked so hard!” She hugged him again. When she pulled away this time, her eyes danced mischievously. “Now Papa will have to buy me a new coffee mug.”

Nicholas giggled. The broken mug was nothing to be ashamed of.

Notes: Eh, kinda rushed the ending cause I’m tired but oh well. I’m sure we all broke a dish or two when we were kids. This seemed like a logical story to tell for the prompt. It didn’t have to be a tangible thing though. I could have written about breaking the news about something, or breaking a heart, or breaking a habit. Broken toys and broken bones also crossed my mind as potential plots.

What about you? What’s something you’ve broken? Was it intentional? How did it feel? Were there consequences? These are things you can use in your stories so make sure to jot them down!

Happy hump day! I hope you’re having a great week! I shall return on Friday with the final prompt for the week. See you then!

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