And The Winner Is… Orange Bubble Power!

The Short Story Competition 2 has finally come to an end. The voting session last week was pretty interesting, with different stories taking the lead in different days, and in the end Orange Bubble Power won. Congratulations to Violet Toler!

Both Violet and Easton Miller, the runner up, will get a free license to the executive edition of the WhiteSmoke writing software, which costs $310. Thanks WhiteSmoke for sponsoring the event as well.

Finally, a big thank you to all the readers who supported the competition with their votes and comments. Below you will find the winning story once again.

Orange Bubble Power by Violet Toler

I love to write. I hate housework. However, some mundane chores just won’t wait. One look at the bathroom sink caused me to grab my trusty Orange Bubble Power Wipes dispenser. Too bad those cute little scrubbing bubbles from the commercial aren’t real. I’d love to let them do the job while I compose the next NY Times best seller.

Might as well get it over, I thought, as I hurriedly opened the lid and snatched at the wipe. The tip tore off in my hand. Irritated, I pulled on the stub more forcefully this time. It ripped again. Grabbing the last smidgen that barely peeked through the slit, I yanked hard. Out came the rest of the wipe–unattached from the rest of the roll.

The second wipe should have fed through the X-shaped cut in the plastic top. It didn’t. Impatiently I jerked the lid off to feed the darn wipe through from the underside. The orange lid was stiff and unyielding.

“I don’t have time for this!” I grumbled. Accentuating my words with action, I vigorously crammed the wipe out the other side. That’s when my troubles began.

One-half inch of my index finger now protruded through the hole with half a wipe. A stream of Orange Bubble Power Wipes drooped between my hand and the open container on the hamper.

Try as I might, I couldn’t get free. I tugged and the blasted lid worked like Chinese handcuffs. The harder I pulled, the tighter it stuck. I twisted and turned, but remained trapped. Every movement sucked my fingertip in tighter still. Within minutes, sharp V-shaped points were digging into my flesh cutting off circulation.

How humiliating. This situation was far beneath my dignity. After all, I was a professional woman. I couldn’t allow anyone to see me like this, especially Stephen, my proper gentleman husband.

I was determined to solve this problem by myself in privacy. God knows I tried. I lathered my finger with soap. I pried. I twisted. I pulled. Nothing helped.

Oh, gosh durn, I thought, this hideous contraption is going to eat me alive! Orange Bubble Power indeed! I wondered if my finger was only an appetizer for this plastic vampire. It appeared voracious. Panicked, I swallowed my pride and called for help.

My urgent tone brought Stephen down the stairs two at a time. He burst through the bathroom door, out of breath. When I saw his concerned expression, I regretted frightening him. However, as he surveyed the situation, worry fell off his face so fast, I swear I heard it hit the floor.

His dignified manner disappeared as his lips twitched, then his whole face rippled as he broke into laughter. This was no mere grin or snicker, but was a total knee-slapping belly laugh. I stood there, annoyed, humiliated, and in pain. He finally regained his composure, held my finger tight, and tried to unscrew the lid, so to speak. His plan went awry. So did my usually mild demeanor as I told him what I thought of his attempt.

He poured half a bottle of liquid soap and some cooking oil over my finger. It added goop to the mess, but didn’t penetrate the orange grip of death. Imagining the worst, it dawned on me that my finger could die without blood. For all I knew, I could be facing amputation!

Panicked, I ran through the house for my sewing shears. Ten feet of Bubble Power Wipes streamed behind like crepe paper from a Main Street parade. The empty container rolled onto the floor with a thump. With my left hand, I grabbed the scissors and tried to cut myself free. No luck. Stephen took over, but my scissors couldn’t grip the slimy lid. We tried again after rinsing, but the rigid material was unrelenting. So was the pain!

Stephen headed for his basement workshop for tin snips leaving me helpless and alone for what seemed an eternity. By this point, I was ready to stoop to just about anything. I seriously considered dialing 911 with my good hand, all the while picturing the Jaws-of-Life rushing to my rescue.

Stephen finally returned. I wailed shamelessly as he snipped at the blasted lid. Jagged points bit deeper with every clip. After several distressing snips, he pried the plastic apart and set me free. My poor finger had four pointed indentations that resembled tooth marks and a bloodlessly white tip. Other than that, I had escaped the Orange demon.

My hero tried to manage a straight face. “What on God’s green earth were you trying to do?”

“Believe me,” I pronounced grimly, “Those Scrubbing Bubbles may look cute on TV, singing their little high-pitched song, but don’t let them fool you. Those sweet grins hide sharp, powerful, orange teeth that are just waiting to attack! Lucky for me, you were here. They would have done their dirty deed, wiped up the mess, and you’d have never known what became of me.”

He left the room muttering something about finding a support group for husbands of imaginative writers. Me? I headed for the computer to write this story one-handed.

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9 thoughts on “And The Winner Is… Orange Bubble Power!”

  1. I love this story! I laughed so hard. This happened to me, except I think I have Violet beat. It happened to me with a container of baby wipes. So, there I was with a squirming, wiggling baby on a couch beside me, and that thing was stuck on my hand! I just had to snatch it off. I’m sweating now thinking of how bad that hurt. Kudos to Violet for telling that fabulous story only the way that ‘imaginative writers’ can.

  2. Trina, Thanks for your compliment. Yes, I now confess this was a true story! It wasn’t fun as it was happening, but was hilarious after it was over.

  3. I love this story! I heartily approve of how you described certain aspects in the story;

    “However, as he surveyed the situation, worry fell off his face so fast, I swear I heard it hit the floor.”

    genius! a true spark of imagination.

  4. Thanks for your comments, Minerva! We laughed about the incident after I got my finger free, but while it was happening, he was the only one appreciating the humor of the situation. And I definitely wasn’t appreciating his laughter.

  5. hey – my name is Violet, too! I love your lively adjectives, especially the bit about plastic vampires. This is my favorite part of the story:

    “Believe me,” I pronounced grimly, “Those Scrubbing Bubbles may look cute on TV, singing their little high-pitched song, but don’t let them fool you. Those sweet grins hide sharp, powerful, orange teeth that are just waiting to attack! Lucky for me, you were here. They would have done their dirty deed, wiped up the mess, and you’d have never known what became of me.”

  6. Great story! A fun read that just about anyone can relate to in their real-life world. A suggestion (maybe a caution?) for anyone who find themself in the jaws of a similar “plastic vampire” — an easy way to be set free is with any piece of thin, rigid material (playing card, cardboard, piece cut from plastic soda bottle, etc.). Wrap the rigid material around the trapped finger, between your hand and the jaws of the “vampire,” then slide it forward until it insinuates itself between your finger and the teeth. That should form a barrier between your skin and the teeth, allowing you to withdraw your digit without injury.

    You’re welcome. (grins)

  7. Hey, thanks Stephen. That is good to know. However, I don’t think I’ll ever do that again! Sorry I was so long in noticing there was another post on here.

    Glad you liked the story.

  8. Amazing. Outstanding job. You truly deserve first place. I was captivated imediately. You sucked me in and I was there along side you the entire way. I completely last track of time and all my surroundings while your story stole my attention. Ha I loved it!
    I came across this by accident, my intention was just to look up poetry and writing tips to better my writing skill, then I saw there was a contest so I decided to rake a brief look with no real intention on actually reading through an entire one. I opened the page to the top 11 and started just skimming over the first paragraph of each, little did I know your story would entrap me and devour me such as your orange bubble monster did to your finger. I truly loved it. Do you have other writings posted?
    Do you have other writings posted somewhere?

  9. I definitely think this story is sweet and endearing, but I’m not so sure…To be perfectly frank, I was bored. I was also thoroughly confused, as your writing is creative and descriptive, but not enough to put a clear visual in my mind.
    And while I have no doubt that this story is true, it did seem a bit overly dramatic. Maybe when it was actually taking place you were quite overwhelmed after trying to get your finger out, but sometimes it’s hard to portray fear and panic in a story of this style. Even if it’s realistic and we can all relate about odd places to find extreme pain.
    However, your writing did portray character; you used some good adjectives; and obviously you won with this story, so it doesn’t really matter what some punk-assed kid thinks of it.
    I am by no means a professional, nor do I go around trying to bust people’s chops and point out their flaws so that I can get my sick kicks. Please don’t see this as an offense or an act of pity. Or an act of revenge, for that matter: I did not enter anything into this contest, and even if I had, I wouldn’t stoop that low to try to get my ego back to normal.
    Obviously a lot of people loved your writing. Maybe something didn’t sit right with me–didn’t digest well–and that is why I am writing this. You can take it however you want to.
    Keep writing and best of wishes to you and your bestseller.

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