Flash Fiction: Caught in the Act

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This week’s prompt is to use “he threw open the door” in the writing. Today’s story comes from Cathy MacKenzie. Cathy has recently branched out into children’s picture books and several will soon be published. Check out her website for updates!


Caught in the Act

by Cathy MacKenzie

I was caught unawares when Fred threw open the door and shrieked, “What are you doing?” I must have blushed. For sure my arms fell to my sides like limp noodles though I was unaware they had fallen until I raised my arms to protect myself. But, no, Fred was my husband. He wouldn’t hurt me.

Still, I’d been caught in the act. And by my husband, the one person I tried to impress.

“What are you doing?” he repeated.

“Nothing,” I mumbled, surprised I could even speak.

Fred glared at me for a second before disappearing down the hall to his office.

I slumped into the chair, swallowed the mush in my mouth, and licked my fingers.

I was filling in at Fred’s company while the receptionist was ill. I wasn’t doing much besides answering the phone and offering up greetings when someone entered the building. I’d much sooner be home in my own routine, but I had agreed to help in his time of need.

When Fred caught me in the act, I was devastated. I didn’t know what to do. I almost cried but then reconsidered. What good would tears accomplish, except to run my mascara and ruin my foundation? And what had I done, really? I hadn’t stolen company funds, nor was I snooping into financials. No, I had simply been caught—literally—with my hands in the cookie jar, to use a cliché.

I had been gorging on donuts—donuts Fred had brought in earlier that day for the guys in the warehouse.

But it was his fault! Despite knowing I have no willpower, he had left the box of confectionary goodness with me at the front desk. I’ve been married to him for almost forty years. Shouldn’t he have clued in to my faults by now?

Yep, you guessed it. I didn’t take those twelve luscious, mouth-watering globs of goodness out back as I had been instructed. I had stuffed my face, was on donut number ten, actually, when he unexpectedly entered the office at 10:35. He wasn’t supposed to have returned until early afternoon when he was going to take me to lunch. I had already rationalized I’d have a diet soda and salad for lunch, so I wouldn’t consume more calories.

Funny, though, after Fred disappeared to his office, I didn’t feel guilty. I had been on a diet for three weeks. I hadn’t eaten dinner the previous evening nor had I eaten breakfast that morning. I was starving; I had to eat, and there was nothing else available but those donuts. I couldn’t leave the office, not when I was manning the premises. And the boss’s wife couldn’t starve, could she?

“Help yourself,” Fred had said that morning though neglecting to remind me to take the box to the warehouse as he had done previous mornings. Of course, “help yourself” didn’t mean to scoff a dozen donuts. One morning he had even snickered when he dropped the box on my lap, tempting me. “Smell good, don’t they?” he had said before disappearing.

I looked inside the box, stunned to see two lonely donuts. Had I really eaten ten? Gah! How many calories had I consumed? No matter. I might as well put the pair out of their misery. Too late for the box to go to the warehouse. Ten hulking guys couldn’t share two.

The sweet mixture soothed my feelings of inadequacy. Gah, they were good! Lunch be damned. I’ll take donuts any day over a salad and diet pop.


The Spot Writers—Our Members:

RC Bonitz: http://www.rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie:https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Deborah Marie Dera: www.deborahdera.com

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