It was a chilly autumn afternoon where the smell of ripe bananas filled the air along with the faint whiff of Pine-Sol in the distance. I waited my turn to leave the coziness I had become accustomed to. My friend Pepper and I were close, talking over good times but always wondering when our last moments would be. It was too much to contemplate, so we sat patiently in the dark with our unspoken dreams laying waste in the smothering atmosphere of our home. My name’s Arnold, and here’s the story of my demise.
The door to our home opened like an unseen hand compelling Pepper and me to leave our humble dwelling. We were going together. That was a blessing… and a curse. We only knew that when one of us left our home, no one returned. Oh, well. Forward and onward. Better to be brave than … I don’t know what comes next, for we were not acquainted with the brave ones that had gone before us.
Next, we were slathered with a congealed oily lotion but only on one side. We lay there on our backs side by side with the lotion side up. I could smell fire and feel the heat from what could only be our doom. Calm down, I said to myself. You don’t know what will happen. It could be something good! Cold reason took over, and I knew I was done for.
We were joined by a soft, sleek dark golden girl. She shivered slightly then volunteered her name, Vel. We introduced ourselves and lay quietly, awaiting our fate. Vel spoke into the silence and asked if we had done this before. We told her no then asked if she had. She said she hadn’t, but a friend of hers had been brought back home once. They said it wasn’t so bad and told us not to worry. Somehow I didn’t find her words very comforting.
There was a lifting of my body, and then I felt Vel at my back. Pepper was behind her and trying to slide out of the way, but an unseen force firmly held him in place. The heat was getting more noticeable. The acrid smell of burning fat enveloped my being as I fell onto a shiny metal object. Instantly I felt my flesh burn and sizzle with the lotion that had been applied so carefully, not moments before. It was torture waiting for the heat-induced misery to end with either becoming unconscious or burnt to a cinder.
When I thought I could take no more, it happened. I was lifted once more, then flipped around so that Pepper felt the same burning agony that I had felt for what seemed an interminable amount of time. It was then I noticed that Vel was not faring well either, for she had fainted and gone soft- softer than she had been before if that was possible. The air was filled with the scorched smell of friends gone too soon. What else could happen to us?
As before, I felt a lifting of my body though this time we were one unit, fused together for all eternity- Pepper, Vel, and me. We were slowly lowered to a smooth cool surface and lay there, getting our bearings for a moment. I thought, “Is this it? All that suffering to become melded into one Being then left to harden and crust over?” But it was not to be.
I felt that lifting sensation once again. In the distance, a cavern opened and got closer and closer. Oh no! Not that! Then everything went black.
On a chilly, autumn afternoon, a mother asked her son sitting at the kitchen table if he liked his lunch. “Bobby, how was your grilled cheese sandwich today?”
~ For all my spooky-loving friends out there on the Inter-webs, Happy Halloween.
With love, Catherine Denton