Rated: ASR · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2068160
Mark would eat spaghetti for every meal twenty-six/six - if he could.
‘Just because I am using Earth character names, food names etc. doesn’t mean that it’s a story about Earth. It isn’t. I’m only using them because of the Writer’s Cramp Contest Rules.’ PureSciFi thought before he started his latest story for the Contest. Then he added, ‘There is another challenge I have with this story today. That’s what the Prompt is asking for. It’s missing a few words within it.’
It’s Spaghetti Over Everything Else
“My son, Mark, loves spaghetti. He would eat it for every meal twenty-six/six if I let him,” said Nora.
“Do you let him eat it that much?” Andrew asked.
“I do probably more than I should,” Nora said. “But it hasn’t gotten that bad – yet.”
Seated behind a small desk that barely covered his big bulk of a body Andrew sat. In front of him laid a microphone stand with a mic on it. A similar one sat on the other side of that desk in front of Nora.
“Your hour is almost up. And all you have talked about is your son Mark. You usually talk about your daughter Olivia,” Andrew commended. “Is there a reason why you have been talking about Mark for almost seventy-five minutes?”
“Olivia has been pretty good this week. Being twelve she has had some male trouble. But nothing I can’t handle,” answered Nora. “It’s Mark I am having the problem with.”
“What kind of a problem are we having with him?” Andrew asked.
“Is it normal for a male at sixteen to love spaghetti, or any food, as much as he does? He has eaten spaghetti every day this week,” Nora answered then said.
“I have heard of people who want to eat popcorn, burgers, chicken and pizza all the time. But this is the first time I have ever heard of someone who loved spaghetti that much,” said Andrew.
Nora waited for Andrew to continue. When he didn’t she said, “It doesn’t sound normal to me.”
Andrew kept one eye on the computer next to him and one eye on Nora. He had eyes that could do that. “I agree with you. It is a little weird. But I wouldn’t say it’s abnormal either. Do you do something special when you make it for him?”
“Not really. All the ingredients are from the local food bank,” responded Nora. “I have to mix them together. But I don’t think I do it any different than anyone else.”
“How long has this been going on?” Asked Andrew.
“I don’t remember exactly. But I think it was when he was about seven or eight,” answered Nora.
“Did anything unusual happen right about then?” Andrew looked at the computer with both eyes. Not only did it record what they were talking about it also recorded emotions too.
Nora had to think about that for a minute. “Yes there was. That’s the year Mark’s father died.”
The computer screen went a little crazy. Different colored lights started flashing out at Andrew. It stopped when Nora did. “And I’ll bet his father loved spaghetti. Didn’t he?”
“Patrick did like it. But he didn’t love it. At least not like Mark does,” said Nora.
“I was sure that was the reason why he started eating spaghetti,” Andrew said. “That is when he started this unusual food fetish?”
“yes it was.” Nora suddenly sat straight in her chair. The computer colors went wild. “Actually, that’s how Patrick died. He choked to death on my spaghetti. I killed him with it.”
Andrew had a shocked look on his face. “Really! I would have thought that would have turned Mark again ever want to eat that again.”
“That’s what I thought too,” said Nora. “But it’s done just the opposite.”
“I’m sorry but are time is up for today.” Andrew said that after glancing at the clock on the other side of his desk. As he escorted Nora out of his office he said, “I asked you earlier why you have been talking about Mark all hour. But you never answered me.”
“It all happened a week ago when we had that big storm,” said Nora. “I remember it because it happened the same day of our last session together.”
“I remember that storm,” said Andrew. “It was so bad already I didn’t want you driving in it. But you said you had to get home to Mark and Olivia. You said your car could handle it. Did something happen to your car – to you?”
“Nothing happened to me or the car. What almost scared me to death is what happened to Mark.”
Nora couldn’t really see as she raced down an almost deserted street. He almost lost control of her car three times before she got home. And came close to hitting four other cars too.
“I’m on my way home now,” Nora spoke into her cellphone as she drove. “I’ll be there in a minute.” She could hear him eating something. ‘What else could it be but spaghetti.’
Just as she got to her house she slammed on her brakes – and lost control of her car. He quickly knew what to do and did it. Sliding to a stop in her front yard. At least the left side of her car ended up there. The right stayed in the street.
Her eyes practically popped out of her head when she saw it. An enormous tree fell down, tortured by heavy winds and rain. And Mark did not even notice it at all, he just kept eating his spaghetti. She could see what the storm had done to her tree that used to be in the front of her house.
When that tree fell it smashed her house in half. It landed only about a foot, if that, from where Mark sat eating. That’s how she could see Mark eating his spaghetti. Only Mark no longer sat at the table. The spaghetti flew everywhere when the tree fell. And Mark was now eating it wherever he could find it.
The Word Count, including the Title and opening comment, is 996.