“Lenten Restrictions” — Laura Eppinger


I was an ascetic at ten.
For Lent I forsook chocolate, my favorite.
I made it four weeks. My mother watched me pass on sister’s birthday cake—March 13. (I think Easter was in August that year.)
Mom had an errand at the mall and nowhere to stash me. I followed her, quietly, a good monastic in Catholic school plaid and pleats. She was impressed at my reserve throughout the trip then led me to Mrs. Fields for a reward. How about a green clover cookie? After all it was the 17th.
I took one bite and below the thick frosting—chocolate chips! Forbidden!
She said that since it was a gift, I could accept, could savor.
Chocolate never tasted as sweet again.





Laura Eppinger is a Pushcart-nominated writer of fiction, poetry, and essay. She graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA in 2008 with a degree in Journalism, and she’s been writing creatively ever since. She’s the blog editor at Newfound Journal. Her publications list lives here.