Strange chilli makes for a dog day.
|Note- Done for a short story contest as a slightly silly young adult story this Halloween. I have trouble keeping stories short, so not one of my most exemplary works.
Prompt: There was just something about the chilli that didn’t taste right.
Mark had insulted him for the last time. Gary’s teeth ground against one another as he thought about that time; about how uncaring and ruthless Mark had been towards him and the ones he cared about. No longer! Gary sliced the meat and added it to the pot, combining various spices as well as less palatable ingredients. The mixture reduced down into a thick glaze which Gary would allow to dry before crushing into a fine powder. Mark would finally experience helplessness like he himself had inflcted.
“Why would he just… give away something like that?” Jared asked Mark, as Mark pocketed the zip lock bag of precious spice powder he had been given. “Gary’s won so many contests and awards because of his chilli and cooking. I mean, cooking isn’t really that cool in middle school these days, but when you can make chilli that makes a teacher cry while still coming back begging to eat more… that’s pretty damn cool, isn’t it? It’s painful, yet delicious. He never gives away his ingredients. After what you did to Amelia…”
Mark shook his head, giving Jared a look with his piercing blue eyes. “Do you think I haven’t been curious too? We aren’t exactly on great terms. But… he has been nicer lately, doing a few small things to help out here or there. Maybe he’s trying to offer a truce. There really isn’t a more incredible way for him to say that things are right between us than for him to offer me something as major as this. All I have to do is add this to a basic pot of simple chilli ingredients and it will season it to taste just like Gary’s chilli. When he makes it at the school festival it’s hard to get a taste unless you wait in line for over an hour. I have only had a bite or two from someone else’s bowl, and it was incredible.”
About this point Mark was interrupted by Jared clearing his throat and pointing over Mark’s shoulder. Mark turned around to see Yumi standing there with a smile. “So Mark, are you planning to invite me over to try some of this chilli?” Yumi had pretty brown eyes with a gentle tilt to them and a twinkle of mischief lurking beneath. She came across as incredibly polite, yet she knew how to press to get what she wanted.
“Do they even have chilli in Japan?” Jared asked.
“I wasn’t old enough to remember, baka. But yes, they can- and things even spicier than that. There’s food in the East that would make your eyes fall out.” Jared squinted a little, resisting the urge to rub his eyes at the thought.
“Well then, Yumi, might as well come on over. A pretty face like yours will make the spice easier to handle.” Mark said with a smile, while Jared wrinkled his nose and frowned.
“I’ll be there, what time?”
The chilli had cooked and some was already out in bowls. The smell made the little brown Daschund wiggle her long body in anticipation. Her male canine companion, a miniature poodle, waited close by while trying to look dignified. She could tell by his scent and the tight trembling muscles under his fluffy fur that he was just as hungry as she was. She let out another yip, followed by a half-howl in hopes their pleas for food would be heard. Their female owner, the younger sister of the two pups in the human family, came in and glanced over at the bowls sitting on the table- cold, by now. Her brother was up in his room with his friends and had not come down for a while, probably forgetting the food was getting cold. His sister was in a rush and in her hurry to prepare the dog food accidentally grabbed the bowls of chilli instead of the bowls of canned mush that was already set out. Dropping them to the floor, she hurriedly made her way out of the room.
Crumbles, the female, looked over at the poodle Chibi with a look of disbelief. Their eyes met, and then with delight they dug into the chilli. Both animals smacked their tongues a little at first, because of the burning spice. That did not stop them for long. They quickly devoured half of the bowl before being forced by the heat of the spices to pause. It was Chibi who first plopped onto his hind end and made a confused half-wimper, questioning sound. Crumbles cocked her head curiously, before blinking with confusion herself. There was just something about the chilli that didn’t taste right. Her paws tingled as though she had slept on them too long and seemed to feel sore and fat. Her nose began an itch that spread first to hear snout, head, and then her entire body. Both dogs began to itch with their hind legs furiously, nipping at their sides and growling a little in frustration.
Yumi walked ahead of the three of them down the stairs and towards the kitchen while Mark and Jared continued to talk about the new computer game Mark had shown them. Their conversation was suddenly interrupted.
The two boys raced to the kitchen as Yumi shrieked, “Who are they? WHY are they here on… on… on your kitchen floor? Are they… .well… doing... you know...”
Mark let out a gasp as he looked into the kitchen and saw two kids about thirteen or fourteen laying on the floor together… completely and utterly naked. Their arms and legs were tangled up a little, and they were of the opposite sex. The implications were obvious, except for the fact that Mark had no clue who they were or why they would be laying on his kitchen floor. There were not even any clothes to be seen. He almost opened his mouth before looking at the situation more closely. They had food around their mouths and near them were bowls of chilli. “Why were they eating our chilli… on the floor…?” Mark murmured to himself, as Jared grabbed his arm.
“Mark… Mark, they have collars on!” Jared said excitedly, for the moment forgetting their complete nudity as he ran over to tug on the collar of the unconscious female girl. He read it aloud, “Holy crap! Mark, it says ‘Crumbles’!”
Yumi had gotten over her shock enough to run over to the boy and read the collar, “He’s wearing Chibi’s collar too!”
The girl had warm red hair which flowed down past her shoulders and over her body, while the boy had short brown hair in tight curls. He was actually shorter than the girl even though he did not look particularly younger. Mark noted, before turning away with a blush, that the boy had very fair skin while the girl had white, but slightly more tan, looking skin.
“Jared! What are you doing? Stop that!” Yumi demanded as she noticed Jared trying to turn the girl over onto her back- which involved, of course, touching her completely exposed body and exposing it more. “You perv! Leave her like that, and go get something to put over her!” Jared quickly complied.
Mark, noting the newcomers showed no sign of waking up, grabbed some new bowls and dipped out some chilli. His stomach was rumbling. “Well, we might as well get something to eat while we wait for them to wake up and figure out something to do.”
Jared returned with some towls as well as random assortments of pants and t-shirts. The three ate their chilli while they quietly thought. That quiet soon ended as Yumi was the first to gulp down water and begin swallowing rapidly as she leaned over.
“Wow, Yumi, I thought you said you were used to spicey food over in J… Japa…” Jared began before stopping and taking a deep breath. There was just something about the chilli that didn’t taste right. Pretty soon they were itching their arms and sides, and Mark began to breath quicker as well- having eaten more slowly than the other two, the itching had not yet begun.
“What… what’s going on? Are you two okay? My… my hands feel asleep, and my mouth…” His words began to slur and sound awkward, as though his mouth was changing slightly in shape.
Crumbles stood up on her fours and shook herself, yawning a slow, sleepy yawn. She made an amused grunt as she felt Chibi licking her on her face. She blinked, however, when she noted it was not Chibi but… a human! Nor was it one of her masters either! She barked a little, but instead the sound of a gentle female saying “Aaaah! Aaah aah aaah!” came to her ears. The boy was on his hands and knees, and oddly enough he seemed the same height as her. She looked down at her paws.
“Aaaaah! Aaah aah AAAAAAH!” The noises turned into something of a shriek as Crumbles saw hands instead of paws, before she lost balance and fell onto the floor. Rolling onto her back, she looked down and saw human mamaries and noted that she had no fur at all. She looked over to the boy and quickly realised that this must be Chibi. He was furless as well, but he seemed to have similar hair to before on the top of his head. He looked equally surprised. Rather than shocked, however, he was making an odd open-mouthed human smile and dancing around in a circle.
“Heeeeep! Heep heep heep heep!” He yipped awkwardly, panting. Clearly he found the situation exciting, while Crumbles was not sure what to think. Crumbles looked over to notice several puppies beginning to stir on the floor, each covered by a bundle of human clothing. It did not take much of her now human brain to conclude what might have happened. She certainly hoped they liked that mush they fed them each day better than she had. From here on out for her it was steak and fish every night!