[While Kirizar is gallivanting in the back of beyond reveling in freedom…enjoy this rare glimpse of short fiction written for a contest that never wrote back to offer praise or accolades. The bastards.]
I was supposed to write it down. She told me to write it down…
“I’ve got it,” I protest. “Eggs, half and half and ham. I can remember three items.”
“There are four items! You forgot the shredded cheese. Cheddar…not American. So write it down or you’ll forget.”
She repeats the list while I scribble on the back of the junk mail I’d grabbed. I have half an eye on the Greenbay game while she’s nattering about the block association meeting.
“I’ve promised to bring quiche tomorrow. We have got to do something about the insect infestation…and who knows what kind of toxic spill cause the red fungus…”
Suddenly, she’s snapping her fingers in front of my eyes.
“Hurry, Fritz, or I won’t have time to make them tonight. Go!”
And then she’s shoving me out the door.
I’m halfway to my car when I glance down and see what I added beneath the word ‘Ham’:
‘Be Warned. It is coming. Prepare for midnight.’
The foreteller signed it with a cat’s paw. I don’t know why. Maybe the cats dictate to her? Why she can’t be bothered to get a cell phone like normal people…
But then, she isn’t normal people.
These thoughts chase me all the way to her bungalow on the fringe of a suburb suffering urban blight.
I climb out of my Ford Fiesta, which looks like a drunken frat party held a kegger in it, and march up the steps to the door with a gargoyle knocker. I nearly trip on the ubiquitous cats; the striped tom stares at me out of his one good eye and growls a warning. I repress the urge to snarl back.
The door opens.
I don’t even have a chance to speak before my mistress yanks me in. I have just enough time to scoot through before she slams the door shut in the tom cat’s face. And then she’s barking instructions while I’m still scrambling for a quill and parchment.
“Get the moss from a dead oak and circle the graveyard twice before returning.” She shakes a finger at me. “And don’t forget the toadstools. The prophylactic potion of the apocalypse is quite specific. You don’t want the world to end because you forgot!”
I am half-bit by bugs when I finally leave the swamp. The graveyard is not far from the Stop-n-Go. The augured apocalypse isn’t for three more hours; I can spare fifteen minutes to run in. No problem!
After delivering the spell supplies, I race home to watch the post-game highlights. I’m just getting comfortable when I hear the shriek from the kitchen and a loud thump.
What now? I know I got everything on the list!
It’s only when I find my wife collapsed beside a pile of entrails that I realize my mistake.
Oh well…maybe there’s such a thing as a quiche of the apocalypse?