The Challenge: Write a story where one or more characters is/are put into a seemingly innocent situation, that could end up bringing some well-kept secrets out into the open. Do the secrets stay hidden or come out in the open? Your story must also incorporate the following five words: JURY, LOUD, FIFTH, DUTY, FEAR.

TITLE: Marshmallows

Author: Charlie

Takes place before "The First Time"

"Phillip and Jamie King, what are you doing?" Amanda came running into the kitchen, her heart pounding in fear. A loud crash had just resounded through the house followed by cries of pain. She expected to see blood, broken bones...Skidding to a halt, she surveyed the scene before her.

The door to the kitchen cupboard was open and the upper shelf was hanging crookedly inside the casing. A variety of tin cans were scattered across the countertop and floor while a few stalwart ones precariously teetered on the edge of the second shelf. Even as she stood there, the chicken noodle soup lost its battle with gravity and fell, first banging onto the counter and then rolling on to the floor.

Jamie leapt aside at the last second and managed to avoid having the can land on his foot. Instead it rolled across the room and came to a stop in front of Amanda. Jamie looked at his mother and gave a sheepish smile, while rubbing his elbow.

Phillip was sitting on the floor holding his head, sniffling, the tracks of tears evident on his face.

"Well?" Amanda folded her arms and tapped her foot impatiently. "Explain to me how this happened."

The boys cast guilty looks at each other and Phillip slowly got to his feet. Jamie nudged him.

"You tell her. You're the oldest," her youngest son said.

"It was your idea." Phillip sullenly responded.

"Was not!"

"Was so!"

""Was not!"

"Was so!"

"Boys!" Amanda's voice reflected her rapidly diminishing patience. " I don't care who had the idea. I just want to know what possible reason there could be for destroying my kitchen cupboard and scattering all of our canned goods across the floor."

The boys were quiet but Amanda knew how to break them. She stood staring silently. The only sound in the room was the ticking of the clock. Jamie shifted uneasily and she smiled inwardly. She knew her son. Just a few more seconds and he'd cave...

"I just wanted some marshmallows" Jamie blurted out. "You never tell us where you keep them and I thought I'd figured out the secret hiding place..."

"So I said I'd help him climb up on the counter and hold his legs while he looked at the very back of the top shelf behind the peaches..." Phillip added.

"And then I just touched the edge of the shelf and it started to wobble and the cans started to fall..."

"And they started to land on my head...".

"And then I fell off the counter." Jamie finished the tale, looking woefully up at his mother.

"Boys, this must be at least the fifth time I've had to speak to you about getting into the marshmallows. They are full of sugar and will wreck your teeth. You get them as a treat when I, your mother, say it's appropriate, not whenever you choose."

"We're sorry." They chorused. "We promise we won't do it again."

"Huh! The jury is out on that one!" Amanda rolled her eyes, knowing the boys penchant for getting into trouble. "Phillip let me see your head. Jaime, show me your elbow." Amanda checked out her oldest son's head and quickly determined that no permanent damage had been done. Likewise, Jamie's elbow seemed fine. "Okay It's kitchen duty for both of you now. Get this mess cleaned up!"

The two guilty parties slowly began to gather the tins under Amanda's supervision. She shook her head and suppressed a smile. The marshmallow location was still her best kept secret!