Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2081734-Goldies-Problem-with-Porridge
by hasn_t
Rated: ASR · Short Story · Folklore · #2081734
An alternative retelling of the fairytale Goldilocks and The Three Bears
Hello everyone, please take a seat. I would like to welcome a new member to our group tonight. Would you like to speak? No pressure. If you want to share with us what brought you here, that'd be good. If you just want to listen, that's fine too. No judgements here - only support."

"Hi my name is Goldie and I am a porridge addict."
"Hello Goldie."
"I never thought that I would end up coming to a place like this and telling a bunch of strangers how messed up my life is, but today I realised that I've gone as low as it's possible for me to go.

Porridge has ruined my life. I can't get through the day without hitting the bowl maybe nine or ten times. I used to get by with maybe three hits a day - enough for that deep warm glow to keep me going at a good level. But, that hasn't been enough for about two years now. I've given everything I have just to get more porridge. My job, my savings - every penny I had - straight to those filth dealers at Tesco and Asda. I don't have a family anymore. I used up my last chance at my parents' home a couple of months back, when I last tried to quit. They caught me in their neighbours' driveway - their food recycling bin emptied onto the grass - my face covered in onion skins and orange peelings. Just that little bit of cold sticky leftover porridge sliding from my fingers into my mouth. They said I was some kind of animal.

I thought that was my lowest point. Until yesterday I didn't think that I would steal from families, but that's who I have become. I hadn't had a decent bowl of porridge for a couple of days - just some dry Readybreak to ease the cravings a little. I had been walking to go and see an old friend who used to be good for some packets of Oats on the Go when I passed a little house with the front door ajar. I'm not proud of myself - I pushed open the door and closed it behind me.

I thought maybe they might have some milk and Quaker Oats - what a find that would be. It looked like a nice family home. I was crashing hard and my eyes were lying to me about everything. They had these huge chairs in their living room, covered in some kind of dog's hair. I was freaking out. I went upstairs and I clocked their beds. Huge beds - I didn't know what kind of people lived in this house but I ran back down the stairs.

That's when I saw the dinner table. Three bowls were on it, full to the brim. Steaming, milky, soft and sloppy. It called to me and I ran straight into its embrace. The biggest bowl tasted like it was made by a stern Scotsman - salty and boiled in water. I've had it like that many times before and I could take it. Not my preference, but oh the warm gloop of it, no teeth required. It was over far too quickly. I thought I'd take the next one a bit slower - let the high last for longer.

Oh God the second bowl was sweet, I think that stuff was cut with condensed milk! It was nearly too much, but for an addict like me it just raced through my system. My heart pounded and I thought I was going to OD right there in that house. The porridge dribbled off my chin as I tipped the bowl up to my mouth. Never ever had I had such a crystal, pure high. Like I'd been searching for this feeling all my life. No porridge would ever compare to that again and I was worried that I'd never have anything in my life so good every again.

The bowl was empty, I licked it clean and let my body fall to the floor. My belly was full of porridge and I felt like I could just lie there for the rest of my life and I'd be happy. No begging for oats from strangers, no more gritty spoonfulls heated with a lighter and dirty water for just a tiny fix. I had had the best. I thought that I'd probably quit as soon as I'd tried the last bowl.

Of course I had to clean them out of all of their porridge. There were three so I had to have all three. This last bowl was the smallest of the three so I thought I'd do it slowly. Make the most of this unexpected gift from the porridge angels looking down on me. It tasted like the warmth of my mother's love and the respect of my father. Like all those innocent mornings I had spent eating breakfast with my parents before school. I had tried to recreate my mother's recipe but never got the right mix of milk, water, salt or sugar. But this was just right. I didn't think about what my life was now, a wretched addict with distended belly and pasty face. I was just a good little kid, full of innocence and warm from a bowlful of porridge. I ate all of those memories up like I was trying to eat the years between.

Full of love and warmth and porridge I staggered from the table, holding myself upright on one of the huge chairs. Walking through the front door came a huge, slobbering brown bear. It was followed by another brown bear, only slightly smaller. Pushing its way in between their bellies and legs came a baby brown bear. They all started to roar and roar at the sight of me in their house. The noise made my legs turn to liquid and I felt fear burst inside and fill every part of me. My screaming joined the bears and I ran in search of some way out. I ran straight into the kitchen table and the watching bears now saw what remained of their waiting meal. Careening off the table I found the back door and crashed through it and ran for the road and kept running until I felt safe to look back. They hadn't followed me.

So, here I am. Taking the first step away from porridge. Towards something new. I've stolen from good people and I've survived doing enough porridge to kill a bear! But, those bears in my hallucinations were the scariest things I have ever seen. I don't ever want to be in that place again. Today is the first day of the rest of my life and I can do it without porridge."

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