By Yuliia Vereta
Five-year-old Kyle Johnson was standing in the middle of his grandmother’s living room. His attention was tied to an old-fashioned tin box, standing on the shelf. He focused his eyes on it, thinking of the propriety of the thing he was planning to do.
Earlier this morning, after having some toasts and eggs for breakfast he got a sweet treat to taste with his milk. The box was full of prunes in chocolate. His grandma gave him two at the beginning and one more later, when he started begging so hard. Those prunes seemed to be best sweets he ever tasted.
“Can I have one more, Grandma?” he asked.
“I will be too much then,” she replied.
“What if I say ‘Pleeease’?”
“Oh, Kyle, you should always say ‘please’, but still, you are not getting any of them before lunch. I don’t want your mom to think that I spoil you and give you whatever you want.”
No matter what Kyle promised to do and what things to help out, his grandma didn’t give him another candy.
It took him about an hour of waiting before he could finally sneak in the living room, while his grandma was in the garden. He hesitated for a minute, then took the chair, climbed on it and took one prune from the box. Then another. Then he put the box where it belonged and came back to the garden. Eating too many prunes could reveal him.
The moment he approached his grandma, she smelt the sweet flavor.
“Kyle, did not I tell you that I don’t want you to spoil the appetite before lunch? Your mom will not be happy at all if you don’t eat properly when she comes. She will be angry with me, not you.”
“But, it is not your fault if you didn’t know,” he smiled, “It was me myself who took it, so there is nothing wrong, -he knew that grandma never punished him.
“It is wrong, Kyle. Doing things you were prohibited from is always wrong.”
“I should have been more careful. Next time you will not guess what I did if you never see it,” Kyle smiled.
“Even if I did not see it, God still saw what you did. Remember what I told you? God is all-seeing.”
“What does that mean?”
“God can see our deeds through our eyes and through other people’s eyes too. He can see everyone, anywhere in the world.”
“How would he see if I squeezed my eyes when taking prunes?”
“Remember that icon on the wall in the living room? God can see your deeds through Saint Andrew’s eyes too, so you better not touch prunes,” Grandma was getting impatient talking so much about things he wanted to do wrong.
During the next half an hour Kyle was busy helping his grandma in the garden. She did not come back to the prune issue until he came back ‘from the bathroom’ and stepped close enough for her to be able to smell the sweet flavor of chocolate prunes.
“Kyle, did not I tell you that God will punish you if you do wrong things?-He will never know, grandma.-Because you squeezed your eyes when eating?”
“No, because I cut that Saint’s eyes out.”
About Yuliia Vereta
Yuliia is a young writer from Ukraine, traveling the world and getting inspiration from other cultures to write short stories, poetry, creative non-fiction and whatever else that can comfort the disturbed and disturb the comforted. Her works were published in 2019 in Penultimate Peanut Magazine (USA) and Litro Magazine (UK). She received the 2018 City of Rockingham Short Story Award for short fiction (Australia) and became the finalist in 2019 Poetry Matters Project (USA) as well as 2019 Hessler Poetry Contest (USA).