Short Story: The Donut Run

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“I replied while my grin grew from ear to ear: ‘In life, you gotta take risks.’”

Ava Schnipper

In an assignment for my English class, I was asked to answer the question, ‘To what extent are you a transcendentalist?’ by writing a short story about one of my own experiences. Transcendentalism is an American form of European romanticism that flourished in the late nineteenth century and rejected rationalist, enlightenment thinking in favor of four main concepts: emotion, individuality, the natural world, and transcendence.

“Go quickly to the platform or you’re going to miss the train,” my mother instructed as she abruptly pressed the circular silver button on the dashboard to unlock the car. Thank God I had already bought my ticket online. I quickly picked up my iPhone, with its yellow phone case and black pop socket, from my lap to check the time. 5:09. The train was scheduled to arrive at 5:14. Did I have the time to get a jelly donut from the Dunkin’ Donuts right next to the train tracks? Maybe not, but I had been craving one since noon. I swiftly pushed open the door, as if I was on a mission and getting a donut was the means of my existence. Before I stepped onto the perfectly paved concrete street, I hesitated. Was this really a good decision? The time was now 5:10, and I only had four minutes until the train would arrive. 

I took a moment to consider all of the possibilities of what could prevent me from making the train; there could be a long line, only one person working behind the counter, or the store could be out of jelly donuts and I would have to pick another flavor. I pondered the fact that I had had a long week. I had three tests within the last four days and all I wanted was a perfectly sweet powdered donut with raspberry jelly in the middle.

I checked the time again: 5:11. With only three minutes left, I knew that I had to make a decision: donut or New York City. There was no way I could have both. As I was about to step onto the concrete, my mom said, “Ava, why are you just sitting there? The train is going to be here really soon. Run!” 

My mother had no idea that I wanted to get a donut. With what little confidence I had to tell my mother about my illustrious plan, I sat up straight and put my head up as I said, “I’m going to get a jelly donut first.” 

My mother’s forehead wrinkled as she stared at me with confusion and concern. “What?” she questioned. “You’re crazy. You have three minutes, and who knows? The train might come early.” 

I replied while my grin grew from ear to ear: “In life, you gotta take risks.” My mother shook her head with both disapproval and laughter.

I stepped onto the concrete road and quickly hopped onto the sidewalk. I opened the door, with its pink D-shaped door handle, and was immediately overwhelmed by the smell of freshly baked blueberry muffins and glazed donuts. This particular Dunkin’ had a wall with a variety of donuts: chocolate frosted, glazed, Boston Kreme, and jelly. There was only one other person in line and he was already reaching into the right pocket of his navy blue shorts for cash. It was then my turn, and I asked for a raspberry jelly donut. I handed the woman behind the counter three $1 bills and I thanked her for the donuts. I realized that in the two minutes I had spent at Dunkin,’ I forgot to check the time. It was 5:14. The train had either already arrived and was stopped at the platform or passed Scarsdale and was on its way to New York. I ran out the door and saw that the train was sitting on the platform. I sprinted up the five stairs, donut in hand, and made the train by a few seconds. My mother had already begun to drive herself back home.