Beware the Ramen

by Sarah Edwards

I was the innocent age of seven, and my life was still a simple one, but I was headed towards a traumatizing night that would leave its mark on me forever. It started with dinner. I had a T.V. stand right in front of the couch, waiting for food to be set upon it. I was fixated on the screen displaying colorful shows before my sisters and me when the soup came – it was ramen. I was fond of it then, and somehow I still am today. My mother held it out to me, warning me that it was hot, but I was a foolish child. She set it down on the plastic tray and then everything became a blur. I knocked it over, but not onto the ground. Its fuming liquid slithered down my thigh, and I cried out in pain. I was on fire! But was I? It was liquid…What could I do? Stop, drop and roll, I’d been taught, so I followed the procedure. Dropping to the floor, I writhed about, trying to extinguish the nonexistent flames I felt. The smell of packaged chicken flavoring from the ramen rose from my burnt flesh.

My mother was yelling at my eldest sister to call 911. “What’s the number to 911,” my frightened sister cried, fumbling with the phone. Tears streamed from my eyes. I was dying, I thought. My mother rushed me to the tub and tried to pour water over my blistering skin. Nine-one-one was somehow called in the midst of the chaos, and eventually, an ambulance arrived.

The next thing I can recall was being in a white room with a thin sheet spread over my body. I saw a nurse through my puffy eyes. She asked permission to see the damage, and I shook my head no. I was hideous. How could I let her see the gruesome ruin I had previously called my thigh? She laughed lightly in spite of my answer and checked it anyways. She smothered a thick gel over my burn, bandaged the wound, and then said I was fine. How could I be fine? I was in pain! My leg had burned away! I protested but the nurse said there was nothing more that could be done, and I was forced to leave. Although my leg is still usable to this day, the scar is a grave reminder to be wary of ramen.


Sarah L. Edwards

From the scalding and dry lands of Southern California, Sarah moved to Alaska looking for adventure! In her free time Sarah enjoys painting, and other various forms of art. The ability to get lost in a seemingly impossible journey, or become entranced by sly fae, make fiction her favorite genre to read. Sarah is a young soul, still learning and grasping what it truly means to be human. Social interaction isn’t her strongest point, but she more than welcomes friendly folk to strike up a conversation.


  • Dawson Sanders

    Great work! The way you embraced this child-like overdramatization was very well done. Your seemingly oxymoronic blend of comedy and horror was well put together and captured the mindset of a seven-year-old perfectly. Your title perfectly summarizes the content and theme of the essay as well. It presents a very dark, ominous mood to something that is normally quite ordinarily depicted. This was a nice short story story and I enjoyed reading it!

  • Paige Ardizzone

    Wow! This is very well written. As I first started to read this I had no idea where it was going to end. The way in which you describe your foolish seven-year-old self dropping to the floor and rolling cause thats what you were taught to do painted a very comical image in my head. I also like the way you describe the hospital room and your thigh it gives this story a little more detail. Nice job!

  • Jocelyn Waggoner

    This was yet another amazing piece that you produced. The imagery that the burning of your thigh produced was absolutely amazing. I especially enjoyed the dry humor that sprinkled this piece from forgetting the phone number of 911 to referencing an old age trick of stop drop and roll. Your persona throughout this piece is very unique and really gives an insight into the character that is being portrayed. I look forward to reading more piece that outline similar horror stories of the same nature!

  • Kayln Notti

    From reading the title, I thought you were going to go down some slippery-slope path and say that ramen causes cancer or somehting like that. But, you didn’t. The way you worded your essay and the imagery you painted was so incredible. From the way you described yourself reacting, like we were all taught, to stop drop and roll, to the hospital room. I felt like I was there with you guys and that I had experienced it all. Awesome job!

  • Ryan Terry

    I loved the vivid imagery of your burning leg and how well you described the sensations. It was cute to see your childish innocence, especially when the nurse asked to see your wound and you tried to refuse, not wanting anyone to see your maimed leg. I also found the kind of anticlimactic conclusion to make the story in a way, as you don’t even dislike ramen now. Good job! It was a fun read.

  • Samantha Kalarchik

    It’s amazing how descriptive you are in telling this story. It really gives the reader a sense of actually being with you in each moment of this accident. I can sympathize with you because I have done something very similar but I spilled scolding hot water on my feet while draining pasta.

  • Aponi Johnson

    The intensity of this essay is so fantastic. You really made a great example of how tone can affect a story. After reading this I want to go make one of my childhood memories into such an enthralling piece of writing.

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