The Right Front Corner


Nick sat with his chin propped on his stacked fists in the back of Mrs. Humphrey’s home room class.  He stared at Molly.  Long, sleek black hair in a pony tail tied with a red ribbon, her back ruler straight. A construction paper heart dangled from the ceiling over her head. The white bag sat so close to the front right corner of her desk a light breeze from Mrs. Humphrey’s ample hips walking past would topple it.

The bakery was a couple blocks from his house. Nick stopped every day, leaving a nose print and chubby handprints on the window under the gold lettering. He listened to the bell ding as the door swung open, letting the sweet smells and customers out.  They carried  whitepaper bags and pink boxes. Some didn’t bother with a container, stuffing the doughnuts into their mouths as they walked down the street.

He never went in. But today was different. He pushed the heavy door.

Today, he needed a doughnut. Not just any doughnut. One that meant something. One that made a statement.  There were bear claws, cinnamon rolls, rows of chocolate covered cake doughnuts. There were powdered doughnuts and doughnut holes covered in cinnamon and sugar. There were glazed and twists.

The twists were his favorite. On Saturdays when his dad made breakfast by running to the bakery for a box of doughnuts, he always had a twist. He bit off the ends and unraveled the braid. He liked the way they stayed kinked even when apart. How you could tell they were meant to be together just by the way they looked.

But today, a twist wasn’t what Nick needed. He looked up and down the case, pushing under the bellies of the people claiming their selections by smushing their fingers against the case.  There. A doughnut covered with thick, pink frosting and bedazzled with red sprinkles and pink hearts.  It was perfect.

He pointed and the man behind the counter grabbed it with tissue paper and stuck it in a bag. Nick pulled his lunch money from his jean pocket and paid. No lunch for him today, but it didn’t matter. Today was special.

Outside on the sidewalk, Nick headed to school.  The bag crinkled as he shifted it from one hand to the other.  He stopped along the chain link fence surrounding the school and peered into the bag.   Pristine pink with no impressions, the sprinkles firmly adhered to the surface. Without thinking, he swiped his finger across the stiff frosting, pulling along a few heart sprinkles, and licked it.  He looked again, a finger trench ran down the middle of the doughnut revealing the dry, brown cake beneath.

Nick tried to cover the defect, pushing pink frosting, uncovering doughnut underneath and pushing more frosting.  It was good enough,he thought. Some of the sprinkles were buried, but it still looked okay.

He walked into Mrs. Humphrey’s class.  Molly sat at her desk, a group of girls around her.  Nick pushed through them.

“Hi, Molly.”

She looked up. “Hi.”

“I got this for you,” Nick said, placing the bag in front of her. “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

“Uh, thanks.”

Nick walked to his desk with the sound of giggling girls behind him.  He watched as they peered into the bag. Molly looked back at him then pushed the bag to the corner of the desk. There it sits, so close to the front right corner of her desk a light breeze from Mrs. Humphrey’s ample hips walking past would topple it.


This week’s prompt write a piece, fiction or non-fiction, inspired by the delicious shot. Word limit is 600. ConCrit is very much wanted and appreciated.

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20 Responses to “The Right Front Corner”

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  1. Stephanie
    Twitter: poopscoopinmama

    AWww!! I love this! Nothing like a little school crush. I love that he licked it, then tried to fix it. I love the way you mentioned how easily the wind from hips moving could topple the bag. It flows so smoothly, and it traps you from the first sentence. You bring it full circle at the end too. LOVE IT.

    More Nick and Molly please?

  2. Ratz says:

    AWwww. This is just cute… there could indeed be nothing like a crush in school… and I enjoyed how you have brought it together with the prompt this week. I loved imagining the events as you continued to tell me the story, it looked good- the imaginary… Let Molly and Nick grow and let them get married please.
    Ratz´s last post ..Continue

  3. Galit Breen
    Twitter: galitbreen

    I loved the way this started and ended the same way. Your descriptions really drew me in. Words like “unraveled” “kinked” and “crinkled” were perfect.

    I thought it was endearing that he couldn’t resist one lick of frosting and then tried to fix it. Sweet and awkward, the epitome of school crushes!

  4. Moomser
    Twitter: moomser

    But wait, was she happy she got it? Is it pushed out to the corner of the desk because she wanted to keep it safe, or was she being mean, like I don’t care about your stupid, wonky doughnut? I want to read the rest of the story! God, I hate 600 word limitations!
    Moomser´s last post ..Virtual Coffee – II

  5. Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli
    Twitter: kristinglas

    So cute! But I can’t take anymore donut stories. Such a tempting prompt.

  6. Andrea
    Twitter: goodgirlgonered

    This was so great. Such a cute character he is. I want to hug the poor guy. How old are they? I thought young from the chubby handprints, but it felt almost like a junior high school setting to me. The whole homeroom part. I liked the end and beginning tied together like that. I love to write that way. It just seems to complete the scene, ya know? So perfect.

    The part about untying the twisted doughnut? The kinks and stuff, my favorite part. So well captured and I could totally see it. Makes me want to go get one and try it, see if it really DOES break apart and stay still at the same time.

    If you wanted to tighten it a bit you could remove a few lines before he gets the doughnut. I’d drop this sentence to flow right into the importance of today – He pushed the heavy door.

    This sentence confused me a little bit: “On Saturdays when his dad made breakfast by running to the bakery ”
    Did his dad make breakfast? Or get it at the bakery? The word made throws me off.

    And one more thing, I don’t want to know about anyone else in there when he’s picking his doughnut, so I think you could also remove the part about their bellies/smushed fingers. I missed that line the first time since I totally wanted to know about Nick’s experience. I’d go w. him looking up and down the case and then … There.

    Hope it’s okay to give you my take on tightening. It’s always an iffy thing to do … and scary! I loved this piece so much. I felt like I was the girl version of him as a child. With my unrequited crushes and all.
    Andrea´s last post ..Walking away

    • Jessica Anne says:

      Yes, yes, yes! Thank you sooo much for the concrit! That’s exactly what I need and want to hear, especially confusing bits and things that aren’t necessary/working. It’s hard to tell on my own sometimes. Although, everything you said, were places I was wondering if they were working. So the concrit not only helps me see what other people think, but reinforces learning to trust my own instincts. :)

      With the dad I was trying to be funny, him making breakfast meant buying doughnuts, not actual cooking. :)

      Thanks so much for giving me some concrit. I really, really appreciate it!

  7. Nichole
    Twitter: ITSMoments

    I love that you tackled not only the male voice, but the male voice of a child! Opening and closing with the the same thought reflected that child train of thought.
    Your descriptions are excellent. I loved your word choices, especially those that described sound…the ding of the bell, the crinkle of the bag, the giggles of the girls.
    Great job, Jessica Anne.
    Nichole´s last post ..Vulnerability and Connection

  8. Mandyland
    Twitter: in_mandyland

    What a sweet story, but I’m so worried he’s going to get his heart broken. I loved the little details you included: him watching people walk out of the shop eating, the kinks in the twist donut, the long glossy ponytail, the bag on the edge of her desk. Nice piece of writing!
    Mandyland´s last post ..The Storm – Part 3

  9. CDG
    Twitter: MoveOverMaryP

    I get the impression the raven haired, excellent postured Molly wasn’t so impressed.
    We are cruel, aren’t we?

    I love your characters, relatable and real, and the story is very tender and earnest.

    My one concrit is this: in the third paragraph, three out of six sentences have the same structure. I caught myself starting to skim there. A little structural variation would solve that.

    I want to hug poor, dear chubby Nick.
    CDG´s last post ..One Could Do Worse