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Chicken Fingers

by constantia

A/N:Hello! Yes, I've been absent for a ridiculously long time. I'm sorry to anyone who cares. But I'm back! least for this story. Haha I'm working on others, but for the most part I'm just trying to keep up my writing mind until I can get something out that is worth posting.

Hope you all enjoy this cute little drabble about a lovely family I've already written about ("And Then There Were Two", go read it! :D).

Btw, mia uccellinois Italian formy little bird.

Now, onward!

The large apartment was quiet and seemingly empty. But she knew better. Mommy was in the restroom running the bath while Daddy sat in his ginormous leather chair “watching” the basketball game. Or football game. Some kind of game.

Anyway, Leah knew better than to stay a sitting duck.

And so here she was, peering out from behind the heavy, rosewood-red curtains of the large window in Mommy and Daddy’s room.

“They’ll never find me here,” Leah whispered as though she had an accomplice in this game of hide-when-it’s-bath-time.

It had been almost ten minutes since either of her parents last called for her. She’d heard Daddy check her room and then sigh when he didn’t find her there. Admittedly, it was hard for Leah to withhold an amused snicker when he came into the master bedroom afterward, walking obliviously past her. Leah saw Mommy watching him as he rounded the bed. She didn’t look mad; she actually looked like she wanted to laugh.

What was so funny?

Leah got so caught up in the moment that she almost asked Mommy what the joke was, but remembered just in time that she was hiding for a reason.

“No bathtime!” Leah exclaimed defiantly once her parents had vanished from her view of the door. This little hide-and-seek game they sorta had going was really fun. Suddenly, she heard footsteps again, and she quickly clapped a hand over her mouth as though she could push the sound of her words back into her mouth.

“Leah, honey. Dinner’s ready!”

Not what she had been expecting Mommy to say—Leah always got bathtime before dinner.

“Maybe she’s giving into my ‘Dinner and No Bathtime’ rule,” Leah speculated. “No tricks. Mommy doesn’t trick. Daddy does.”

“It’s chicken fingers!” Mommy added.

Leah’s eyes widened to a comically large size in her excitement as all thoughts of that evil bathtime completely fled her mind.


Leah violently swept the curtains to the side, nearly tearing them down in the process. She made a bee line for the kitchen, bypassing the open bathroom door without a second thought, a grin spreading widely across her face. But just as she slid to a stop at the edge of the kitchen, huge, strong arms snatched her up by the stomach.

“Daddy noooo!” Leah whines, throwing in some squeals for good measure. “It’s chicken fingers time, Daddy! Let goooooo!”

Daddy chuckled as she tried and failed to wriggle her way out of his tight grip. He blew raspberry kisses into her neck and cheeks, just to further annoy her.

“No, it’s eat-Leah time!” he answered in playfully thundering voice.

She started squealing some more when Daddy began his biting raid on her shoulder, her arm, the top of her head—

“James Fischer.”


He froze as the woman who made his name sound like an admonition strode into the kitchen.

“Just what sir, do you think you’re doing?”

Abigail half-glared at her husband and plucked a surrendering, though giggling Leah out of his arms. “There are chicken fingers on the table. Eat those; not my little girl.”

James leaned in to a lay a sloppy kiss on his daughter’s cheek, eliciting another shrieking giggle from the girl.

“Yeah, Daddy!” Leah chirped in agreement, sticking her tongue out in true Leah fashion.

He grinned, glancing amusedly at his wife before replying.

“I’m sorry, my little bird. I’ll try to remember that you’re not food.”

Leah beamed as though she had just won a life-changing argument, and her mother smiled at the exchange.

“Okay. Mia uccellino, it’s bath time,” her mother announced after a beat, breaking the father-daughter staring contest.

“Momma, noooo!” Leah’s face scrunched up into an expression of defiance as she began wriggling wildly. She almost fell from her mother’s arms because of it, but James’ hands were at her back in an instant, keeping her upright. “Momma, please! I don’t wanna!”

James glanced to his wife over his daughter’s shoulder and caught the wince on her face when Leah unintentionally elbowed her in the chest.

Mia uccellino, please. Calm down, my little bird,” Abigail cooed against her daughter’s ear, holding a hand to the back of the girl’s head to keep her still enough to do so. But as tears began to spring from Leah’s eyes, she made work of wiping each as they fell. Tear after tear.

“Shh… calm down now uccellino.” She bounced her daughter up and down, all the while keeping the girl’s head pressed against her shoulder, her teary face wet against her neck. The wailing didn’t let up.

James sighed.

“Leah, sweet girl,” he prompted. She didn’t turn. “Hey, baby bird. Look at me.”

His voice was soft and gentle, but unquestionably firm and certain. It was that tone in his voice that always got his daughter’s attention. When Leah uncurled herself from her mother, placing her chin on Abigail’s shoulder, James removed his black wire-frame glasses and moved to press his forehead to his little girl’s.

As he spoke, Leah’s bright, glistening hazel eyes gazed right back into his own of muted, calming forest green. She was hiccupping from the aftereffects of tears still drying on her cheeks, so Abigail began running nimble fingers through the ends of the girl’s hair, knowing it was something that soothed her.

“Baby bird, we can’t keep doing this,” James spoke softly to his daughter. “You’re five-years-old now. A big girl.”

Leah’s bottom lip began to quiver, her eyes brimming with tears. Both of her parents watched as she fought the urge to cry; it broke their hearts. No little girl should feel the need to hide tears. Where had she even picked that up? She was barely five, for goodness’ sake.

Probably Abigail’s cop genes.

James’ lips quirked into a nearly imperceptible smile before he schooled his features—now was not the time to be thinking such random thoughts.

Mia uccellino.” Leah’s mother pressed her lips close to her ear, whispering Italian words of love. James watched as Leah’s whole being fell to peace. It was amazing to him to watch the effects of his wife’s home language in their little girl’s ear, making her feel better without excessively babying her.

Before he knew it, his wife was pulling back and placing the girl on the floor, reaching a hand out for her to take.

“Leah, you are getting too big for me.” Abigail chuckled. “Now, bath time? Chicken fingers afterward. That okay with you?”

Leah looked up at her parents as if she was determining the wisdom of another tantrum. But her eyes cleared, and her lips curved into a shy smile before she gave them a softly-spoken, “Okay.”

“And James, honey. Do you mind putting the chicken fingers back into the oven just to keep them warm?”

The man in question was so lost in awe at the always heartwarming, intimate moments of love between mother and daughter, that the words of his wife barely reached his brain.

“Now, James!” The woman yelled from behind the closing bathroom door.

A hint of the authoritative cop in her colored her voice, jolting him into action.

James used a potholder to grab the still-warm tray of chicken fingers from the table and brought them back to the oven, putting the heat on low. He shook his head in spite of himself.

“Never gonna get used to that.”

I hope you all enjoyed it!(: Please, please, PLEASE leave me some sort of feedback!

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616 Reviews

Points: 70264
Reviews: 616

Thu Sep 29, 2022 7:45 am
RandomTalks wrote a review...


RandomTalks here with a short review!

This was such a heart-warming and wholesome story! The intimacy of the scene made me feel as though I was glimpsing into something very private and very sacred something that is not supposed to be touched by the rest of the world, lest it shatters the peace of the moment. I am so glad that its the first thing I read in the morning. You put such a huge smile on my face that I have a feeling its going to last till midnight!

I loved the way you have framed the story. Its a simple, sweet story and the shortness of it only highlights the importance of completely immersing oneself in the moment before it is over. In fact, the end was lie snapping back to reality for me because of the perfect picture you have created. It definitely was a harsh journey back, but it was worth the experience!

Something I really enjoyed is the narration. I thought you have perfectly captured the voice of a five year old in Leah's narration. The exaggerations, the dramatic tendencies, the simplistic take on the world and the abundance of excited emotions reflected in her words and actions made me truly feel as though I was viewing the world through the lens of a five year old. On the other hand, James's narration was strong and adult-like but it was extraordinary because of the love that it so completely reflected. I could feel his admiration, his contentment, the pure happiness and joy that his little family brought him. For some reason, the fact that you chose to end the story with his narration made it feel all the more genuine to me.

Just one nitpick:

She started squealing some more when Daddy began his biting raid on her shoulder, her arm, the top of her head—

I think I have an idea of what you were trying to imply here, but the idea just comes out wrong and the image presented is a little disturbing, if not hard to imagine. I would suggest reframing the sentence so the meaning comes across a little more clearly.

That's all!

Thank you very much for sharing this sweet and perfect story!

Keep writing and have a great day!

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187 Reviews

Points: 350
Reviews: 187

Sat Mar 24, 2012 2:32 pm
ChocoCookie wrote a review...

Gummiebears! :)

Cookie here. ^.^ I loved this story! :D It was touching, loving and cute. And I just realized true family love. :") The way you described Leah, James and Abigail was perfect and the image of a child really came up in my mind. This is a type of story I was wanting to see for a long time. Well done!

Now, to the nitpicky part: xP

gummiebears wrote: She started squealing some more when Daddy began his biting raid on her shoulder, her arm, the top of her head—

This part was too weird. O.O Maybe a little disgusting. What father would do that to a little girl. I think you should change that. Its gives the wrong idea.

gummiebears wrote:James used a potholder to grab the still-warm tray of chicken fingers from the table and brought them back to the oven, putting the heat on low. He shook his head in spite of himself.
“Never gonna get used to that.”

Okay, so I sort of confused here. Why is he never going to use it anymore? The answers not really clear and I don't think oven's can be a real burden. Its not really hard to use. Maybe elaborate that part a little more.

gummiebears wrote:Anyway, Leah knew better than to stay a sitting duck.

A sitting duck? Does she mean her father? Confusing. :S

Overall: This was a nice story and had a good meaning. :) I would rate this a 8/10. ^o^ You have good skills to improve. Just keep trying. x)

Keep Writing, mate! 8D

Cookie <3'

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304 Reviews

Points: 22897
Reviews: 304

Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:26 am
barefootrunner wrote a review...

Hi there, gummiebaerrs!

Feedback coming up. This is an utterly beguiling insight into a family's life. It's as though you have hidden me in the laundry basket and I'm peeping through the gap under the lid. The small, intimate scene is beautifully detailed and so sweet, it's really too short for me. I'd love to know more of the family, especially how her parents met and who they are.

I got confused at just one point. When Leah hears her mother calling "chicken fingers", was her mother tricking her or not? Did her father ask her mother to call so that he could catch her? Or did her mother not trick her, and her father merely took advantage of the situation? I'd love to have that subtly explained somewhere in the text, though I think I might be missing something because of the "joke" her mother was having? Possibly it's just me being slow.

The gentle humour and soft homely touches really draw the reader into the story and make them feel part of it. Beautiful! Love it.

The poetry of the earth is never dead.
— John Keats