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by Merlee
Rated: E · Short Story · Comedy · #2221790
A house of numbers and desperate desire for food!

"Five stars," Five said coming home from a run that had left him feeling rather ravenous being it was well past lunch time. Those dreaded conversations with every random passerby really added up and it did nothing to help the state that his stomach was in. Speaking of which, the only thing making more sound was the beast in the kennel, or as Seven in her strange way liked to call him... Ser Schnoogums. Weird though, he sounded louder than usual.

The front door to the foyer opened and Five skipped on tippy toes to the kitchen to see if anyone had left food for him.

Nothing. Not one crumb on the counter. Had food ever been made in here before? Was this a kitchen or a museum, it was spotless.

Five bounced over to the refrigerator and popped it open to find milk and other such dairy products but no prepared meals, and he was fairly well hydrated from the public water fountains so food was the only thing he really desired at this point. The gurgling in his stomach was proof.

"I know boy, we'll find you something."

With the refrigerator coming to him as fruitless he turned to the cupboards. Spices, baking supplies and... nothing else. Nothing? Well that couldn't be right... right? This was a kitchen, its only job was to hold food so why was he finding that the shelves were empty.

"What day is it?" Five asked himself and then he paused with a cold dread washing over him. "Uh oh... I was supposed to go shopping... but I can't right now cause I'm starving, there has to be something!"

"Um," said Eight walking past the kitchen. "Are you ok?"

"Yeah, five stars man, just fine, just... hungry. Who made lunch today, and better yet, where is lunch?"

Eight paused for a moment before speaking in long melodic strides. "Nine. Yeah, he made lunch."

Five waited for him to say more and when he got nothing he pressed. "Where is it?"

"Um... I dunno, you should ask him."

Seething came from Five for a mere moment then he hopped past Eight and down the hallway to find Nine but instead found One, Two, and Four on the couch in the living room.

"You guys seen Nine?"

"Nope," blurted Two with his eyes glued to the television.

Four shook his head apologetically and One did not even acknowledge Five.

Five nodded his head and turned back to the foyer and started running up the bifurcated staircase and as he landed on each step his stomach made a squelching sound and the hunger ate even more at him like he would die if he did not get some sustenance in him pronto. He shook the idea away calling it ridiculous, but like a kid forcing himself to hang his arm off the side of the bed in hopes to prove that there are no monsters down there, the kid's heart still leaps and bounds in their chest.

The top of the stairs was carpeted and soft on Five's feet. The wall opposite the stairs had rooms with each of the resident's names on them. Zero, One, Two, all the way to Nine and then an eleventh room which was known as the zen room for those who sought that. Not Five. In any case, Nine's room was open and not occupied, but inside on Nine's desk Five spotted with all his delight a white ceramic plate with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on it. He was elated and his stomach cheered too, but a sudden guilt overcame him. What if this was Nine's sandwich? It would make sense being in his room after all.

Suddenly a tapping could be felt on Five's shoulder and he flipped around exasperated.

It was Nine.

"What are you doing?" Nine asked.

The pause that commenced should have been filled with Five trying to come up with a response but all he could do was try to keep still like Nine was a dinosaur looking for prey.


Suddenly Five snapped to. "Cah-can I have your sandwich? Seriously, I'm starving."

Nine paused for a moment in thought. "Can I have nine dollars?"

Five was appalled, but his stomached churned in desperation and he reached for a wallet that wasn't there and then dread. "Oh, can I get a rain check on that?"

"Hmph. Fine."

"Yes!" Five exclaimed and ran to the sandwich.

"You're not eating it in my room, and Zero will kill you if he finds just one crumb on this carpet. Take it to your room or the kitchen."

The kitchen was all the way downstairs and Five didn't want crumbs on his floor. There was only one thing to do, and he turned to the end of the upstairs hall to look at room eleven. With a smile on his face he walked over and found himself turning the knob and before he could brace himself the door was thrust open slamming into Five with a strength strong enough to send him flying onto his back. Shock had taken over his body and with sheer willpower he looked over at the plate he was still holding.

"How?" He asked quietly, and smiled, for the sandwich was still there on his plate. All was ok.

"Stop! Mush! Wait, I mean heel!"

It was the voice of Seven, and while Five laid there on the ground admiring the miracle that was his sandwich still on the plate, he had a front row seat to it being lifted up into the jaws of a fantastical beast that held nearly a thousand pounds over Five.

"Oh dear," Seven said, her voice almost quivering. "Was that your sandwich."

Five who was seconds away from hysteria said, "What sandwich? Do you see a sandwich? I don't see a sandwich."

"Five?" She said quietly. "You ok?"

A twisted smile grew on face and two words, not five, but two came to him.

"Five stars."

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