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Sweet as Candy: A Novel in Verse

By @Madison


The next morning

I’m awoken by the smell of Izzy’s cooking

And the sound of her singing.

Not quite ready to leave the bed

I burrow my face into my pillow.

I can’t help but smile to myself

As Izzy’s mock soprano accompanies the sound of a sizzling frying pan.

I know Izzy well enough to know that homemade breakfast means she’s feeling energetic

And singing means she’s excited about something.

I continue to play possum for as long as I can

Stifling a laugh at her dramatic performance of an assortment of 90s pop.

Sadly, the show quickly comes to an end

With the sound of approaching footsteps

And a few raps on my door.

“Candace!” she calls.

“Breakfast is ready!”

“Coming!” I call back.

I reluctantly lift my head from the pillow

Trying to ignore how sore my legs are as I stand up.

By the time I make it to the kitchen

The table is set with two herb-topped omelets and a pair of coffee mugs.

Izzy is seated in the chair across from mine

A smile on her sunlit freckled face.

“Good morning,” she says.

“Morning,” I reply

Gratefully lifting the blue mug she sat out for me to my lips.

While Izzy takes her coffee black

She knows I like mine chock full of sugar and cream

Sweetened up to the point that I’m not sure it’s still considered to be coffee.

“So,” I ask, gently setting the mug back on the table

“Any plans for today?”

She sits her own coffee down

Her wide brown eyes meeting mine.

Izzy is cute

With light brown hair that hangs just past her sunkissed shoulders

A constellation of freckles spread across the apples of her cheeks and the bridge of her nose.

She’s young

Just shy of a year younger than my mother, her stepsister

Though her health consciousness gives her much more of a youthful glow.

To anyone who didn’t know us

Izzy would sooner pass for my older sister

Than my foster mom.

“I was thinking the two of us could go shopping,” she says now.

“Considering school ends this week.”

I shake my head.

Only once in a blue moon do I really care about expanding my wardrobe.

As a foster kid, self indulgence was never my thing.

(At least of the material sort.)

“I’m good,” I say.

“You sure?”


I begin cutting my omelet.

“And what about you?” I ask.

“Do you have any plans for yourself?”

The smile returns to her face

Wider this time.

“Alex may be coming over for dinner.”


There’s the reason for her good mood.

Though Alex has practically moved in with us at this point

Izzy turns into a teenager again every time he schedules a visit.

“Sounds great,” I say.

“You’ll make chigetti for him, I hope?”

Chicken spaghetti (or chigetti, as I coined it when I was little)

Is Izzy’s culinary specialty

As well as Alex’s favorite.

That works out quite well.

Izzy laughs.


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