By: Emma Jean, Staff Writer
I just couldn’t eat Cadbury Mini Eggs for dinner again.
I was looking for some kind of microwaveable food that I wouldn’t have to wash down with a bottle of ginger pills to stomach. I shoved a box of Clif bars—so expired Prince Philip doesn’t look old in comparison—to the side. There really were just slim pickings in here.
Leaning sideways into the cabinet, I suddenly felt my hand hit something gooey, and a high-pitched peep escaped. What the hell? Have my Goldfish had enough of smiling back? Is this the end?
“Leave me ALONE!” the small voice said. What was in those Cadbury Mini Eggs? I cleared my throat, looking around to make sure no one was around to mock me for talking back.
“Who are you?” I asked, just far enough down the rabbit hole to engage.
“Oh, you know DAMN well who I am.” Slugging noises, not unlike the sounds a jar of grape jelly makes when a kid sticks their hand in it, echoed off my near-empty pantry. I reached out for a can of soup for self-defense, then decided against it. That was the last gourmet meal here. I couldn’t waste it.
What peered out from behind my cabinet door made me squirm. A gooey, Flubber-meets-Pillsbury-Dough-Boy monstrosity kicked aside a pasta box and slid forward, with a haunting, distraught face made out of divots in the dough.
“Oh, God!” I cried. Behind it was a vacant empty mason slapped with a piece of masking tape labeled “sourdough starter.”
“Yeah!” the creature squeaked, a doughy point outstretched angrily at me. “Remember me? Remember how you CREATED me?”
During the first weeks of COVID-19 lockdown, I had decided to make sourdough in a moment of normie weakness. I couldn’t remember what I had done with it. I looked at the angry blob. How much yeast did I put in that thing?
“Are you my sourdough starter?”
The blob scoffed, “Now, look who’s keeping up!”
“And you can talk?”
“Do you not hear me right now, jagweed? Yeast is a living thing; of course it’s gonna live and talk and grow.”
A wave of guilt and panic washed over me.
“How long have you been living like this?”
“You tell me, jagweed,” the sourdough creature gestured to the label on the mason jar. “The day you brought me into this cursed existence is written right there.”
I reached into the cabinet to grab the jar, and examined it closely. “It’s been a year. I made you one year ago today.” I looked over at the creature with its furrowed dough brows and I felt my guilt mix with sadness and an odd affection. “Happy birthday.”
The creature looked up at me with an inexplicable expression. “The fuck is a birthday?”
I looked around, trying to think of something I could do to demonstrate. I grabbed a paper towel, drew a cartoon with a little Shrek face, and tied it around the creature’s gooey neck.
“Listen, I’m sorry that I created this cursed life for you and abandoned you for your first year of life. Can I at least try to make things better for you?” In a truce offering, I stretched out my arms to my doughy, sticky yeast child.
The creature stared in awe. “Are you fucking kidding me?” the creature asked, shaking its head and storming back into the cabinet. “You left me to rot for a year and you expect me to come crawling back to you? Not a chance, jagweed.”
“Where are you getting these insults?”
“I heard all those days you spent watching 30 Rock, too.” The creature slapped its arm to the cabinet door once it was nestled inside and pulled it back, closing the door shut. I stared at the floor, heartbroken.
“Can we try this again another time?” I attempted, squeezing my eyes closed with regret. The silence filled the room.
“Get me some nice buns as company, and I’ll think about it.”