One Word Run Amok : Muffin
Jim drove to his brown brick house after work and picked up the newspaper from the driveway. He unlocked the front door just like he had done every weekday for the last twenty two years. He had finally had enough of the sameness and had come to the conclusion that he would just have to tell Liza that he wanted a divorce. He needed to make a change or he was going to go insane.
He walked through the door and called out to Liza, noticing the enticing aroma. She had been baking. As he rounded the corner from the taupe entry hall into the living room he stopped in shock. There were muffins on every surface. Chocolate chip muffins on the grand piano. Lemon poppyseed on the entertainment center. Banana muffins were stacked two deep on the couch and recliner. He slowly wandered through to the kitchen staring as he went. He reached for one and bit into it. “Oh my, this is heavenly!” He thought. He finished it and reached for one that looked like strawberry and peeled the paper from the bottom and ate it in two bites.
The kitchen was more of the same – muffin upon muffin, every flavor you could imagine. Liza was standing in front of the stove, sweat causing little wispy curls to stick out around her flour smudged face. She was wearing a tan apron that said Kiss The Cook and fiendishly stirring something in a mixing bowl.
“Liza, what in the world?” He started to ask but his attention was diverted to a stack of lovely chocolate fudge muffins on the top of the refrigerator. His mouth full, he could only stare at her with questioning eyes.
“Did you want to say something to me Jim, darling?” She continued to stir and smile while he ate four more of the muffins. He was kind of full now but couldn’t stop himself. She placed paper liners in another muffin tin and spooned batter into the prepared cups.
“This batch will be ready in about fifteen minutes. Why don’t you have a seat there at the table.”
There were serving platters and dessert trays heaped with more and more muffins on the table. He sat down still watching her and mechanically reached for a muffin and began to eat. He continued for the next half hour as she piled more and more on the table. He stared at her pleadingly, tears running down his face as he chewed, swallowed, and reached for another and another.
“Sorry Jim, dear. You’ve been talking in your sleep. I’ve cooked and cleaned, and watched your favorite shows on television. I’ve heard you tell your friends that my cooking is to die for. Yesterday I went to pick up the dry cleaning. Your beige suit, remember? Just nod dear, I know you can’t talk with your mouth full.”
Jim nodded, grimacing in pain as he continued to chew. He was sputtering crumbs but steadily poking more muffin into his mouth.
“Anyway, there was the cutest little shop. It just opened up next to the used book store. They had a lovely window display, all these crystals and candles and stones that are supposed to have special powers? I went inside and the sweet lady behind the counter seemed so kind, we just got to talking. I was upset and confided in her about how I was so worried about losing you. She told me she had exactly what I needed.”
Liza held up a small brown bottle. The label read Queen Bee’s Irresistible Flavoring.
“Just a drop, she said. Just a drop and you would not be able to resist my cooking. Then the other night when you were asleep, you talked about how boring I was and how you hated your life. I just thought, you know? If a drop would work, how much better if I used the whole thing?”
Liza was giggling now as Jim slid to the floor, crumbs spilling out of his mouth and face turning blue. Liza took off her apron and stretched. She put her hands on her hips and looked around as if seeing the kitchen for the first time. “I have never noticed how dull this room looks before. I think I will paint it a nice shade of blue”.