Welcome back to another Story Time With Tim! This time, I’m offering up a work that has been published exactly twice. Well, published is a generous term. It’s been published in a Turkish magazine (Askin e-Hali) with assistance from my penpal who lives in Turkey. I can’t read it, but I assume it’s fairly accurate. The second time, was an online magazine run by a random guy. It was up for maybe two weeks before he decided to move on to better pastures.
Even so, I still enjoy this story. It’s really short but rather entertaining. I remember when I first came up with the concept. I’d been playing the Elder Scrolls Oblivion almost nonstop and had fallen in love with the Argonians in the game. The voice of the female argonian in particular left a deep impression in my mind. So, when I wrote this story about a man whose girlfriend accidentally baked a wormhole into a pie and then seeks out the alien who gave her the recipe, I couldn’t help but imagine the neighbor being voiced by that actress.
There really isn’t much more to it than that. It’s just a quick, amusing tale that made me laugh. I wrote it pretty fast too, if I remember correctly. Maybe a few days at best. Just one of those stories that came right to me and I wasn’t satisfied until it was finished!
Anyhow, enough pretense. I present for your reading pleasure: ‘Fire In My Pie’ (No, not that pie… sicko!)
FIRE IN MY PIE
Written 2007 CE
There are just some things in life that defy explanation. The swirling vortex at the center of my allegedly cherry pie was one of them. I’m not entirely certain how she did it, but somehow my live-in girlfriend managed to bake a wormhole.
It looked like some maniacal whirlpool moving counter-clockwise painted in deep shades of crimson red and shooting fire across the void of its existence. I couldn’t help but to stare in horror. It’s what good boyfriends do when they don’t want to hurt their girlfriend’s feelings.
“Uh… honey?” With great effort, I cast my glance to my girlfriend standing near the kitchen sink. To her credit, the hole to oblivion seemed to have taken her just as much by surprise. Her silence and deer-caught-in-the-headlights expression was more than enough to tell me that. “What did you do?”
“I… I don’t know? I… just followed the directions on the recipe!” she said.
Actually, she seemed to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown so I felt inclined to remove myself from the table, and chair in which I sat, and slowly walk over to my darling princess. She wasn’t exactly renowned for her cooking skills, but this incident was exceptional.
“Here, why don’t we come sit in this chair, which is across the kitchen and away from the pie. How’s that sound?”
She stumbled slightly, my poor Helen, but I managed to get her into the old-fashioned kitchen chair that was wooden and engraved with stylistic swirling designs. Hopefully, I figured, this homey touch would relax her a little. If the swirl patterns didn’t remind her of the inferno pie, that was.
“Helen, now tell me, where did you go shopping?”
Duster’s was the local grocer. Massive retail chain too. Shouldn’t have been anything from there that could create flaming desserts. At least, unintentionally I didn’t think.
“Ok. What ingredients did you use? Come on, stay with me.”
She was fixated on that damn pie and it was looking more and more like I’d have to be the one to solve this little mystery. Until she looked at me and pointed at the countertop.
“I only used the ingredients listed on the recipe!”
That seemed reasonable enough. Wandering over to the countertop, I found the recipe. I never removed my eyes from the recipe and list, even when speaking to Helen.
“Where did you get this recipe?”
The only thing on the list I recognized was pie crust and black cherries. The remainder of the ingredients looked like the recipe for a science experiment. Helen sat for a few moments silently before moving her jaw to speak.
“Elimander… down the hall.”
Elimander!? Uh-oh. That woman was a unique individual. Though, I shouldn’t be surprised. She was nice enough–but her tastes were out there. But maybe they were just right for her kind.
“Helen… you wait here. I’ll be right back.”
“But… what about the pie!?”
Her finger waggled in the air indicating the glowing abomination on the kitchen table with some sort of lightning cascading out of its center and the fires within casting the room under an eerie red glow.
“It should be all right. It hasn’t devoured anything yet.”
I walked over to the pie and stared deep into its recesses. There was this tempting urge, just because you know, that caused me to place both my hands on either side of the pie walls and lower my head towards the vortex.
“Alex! What the hell are you doing!?”
I looked up at Helen, my form hovering over the pie like a lunatic guarding his precious ring. And then I smiled. It was so easy to mess with her.
“What? Aren’t you the least bit curious?”
“No! You’re supposed to eat the pie! Not be eaten by it!”
I waved my hand in the air letting go of the pie, “All right. All right. Sheesh. No sense of adventure. I’ll go see Elimander.”
Walking down the hall was a nice change of pace. It was darker, quieter–no whirring sound the likes of which was emanating from the pie, and it was a little cooler too, temperature wise. It didn’t take long before I was in front of Elimander’s door knocking away.
A few seconds passed and the door slid open. Standing there staring at me was Elimander. Her lizard-like face might have once been considered freaky or frightening to humanity, but her people had long since become neighbors. I never got the specifics of how they got here, I only knew that they came from Alpha Centauri or somewhere round-abouts there.
“Alex! What a pleasant surprise! And how are you young ‘uns doing?”
She smiled that strange smile of hers and I reciprocated in kind.
“Oh, pretty good. Though today’s been a little weird.”
“Is that so?”
“Well, I understand that Helen got a recipe off of you.”
“Oh yes. For cherry pie. Strange. I would have thought an earth girl would have such a thing memorized.”
“Yeah, well, not all of us can cook. And not all of us are good at it either. Especially not Helen.”
“Oh? Oh my. Did something happen?”
A short time later we were back in my apartment. Helen was nearly catatonic and Elimander was standing over the pie making some sort of clicking sound.
“Yup, I knew it,” Elimander said. “I specifically wrote only two pinches of Teritos 29. You’ve used three. What you’ve got here is element 249.”
I couldn’t help but wonder what that was. I’ve never heard of it, that’s for sure.
“Yes, element 249 is how we generate the wormholes that bring us here. This is a micro-hole.”
“Yup. You could probably use this to send a note or ship a package. Or you could keep it open to send an electronic message. I sometimes do that myself. I do miss my family back home.”
Elimander smiled gently. She was a nice old lizard-lady. Of course, something dawned on me then that just didn’t sit right.
“Wait. You mean to tell me you eat the same substance you make wormholes with!?”
“Oh, well. Yes and no. It’s not exactly the same substance in its chemical processes,” she stated walking to the nearby cabinet. “You see, the extra pinch makes it into black matter. Which is fairly similar to dark matter, but without those horrific gravitational anomalies. Oh. You know what, I forgot that you don’t have the dimples do you?”
Elimander looked at Helen who was visibly confused. Holding up her hand, Elimander flashed an apologetic grin. On each of her five long fingers was a small dimple that was concave, much like a suction cup, I suppose. Though minus the suction.
“I must sincerely apologize. My people have them naturally. So, when we pinch, we rub our fingers together like this.”
Placing her fingers into the clear jar containing the fine powdery substance of Teritos 29, Elimander gathered a bit of it between those dimples. She rubbed her fingers together allowing the excess particles to fall back into the jar. She then held out her index finger showing that, indeed, a measured pinch of dust was leveled in the dimple. Elimander sprinkled the dust on the pie and the wormhole disappeared. The dim yellow lighting we were used to returned. And Elimander stood there looking out of place in our kitchen. It wasn’t often you saw a giant lizard wearing a sweater and blue jeans with her tail jutting out through a cutout hole.
“I should have told you to also pick up an Erodian cup which would have had the single pinch measurement. I’ll make it up to you and bake you the pie the way it should be,” Elimander said. “You see, back home we have a similar type of food called Coripac. It’s made from colic fruit. But there’s no colic fruit here. So, we use black cherries. Mmmm-mm. I think it’s yummier with black cherries, to tell you the truth.”
Elimander baked us a pie and a few hours later we were sitting at the table where the wormhole had previously been. Elimander had, of course, gone home since her grandchildren were coming over for dinner. I felt kind of bad that she cooked a pie for us and then went home to cook for her family as well.
“Wow. This is really good pie,” Helen said.
I took a forkful into my mouth and let the flavor pulse across my taste-buds. Indeed. It was probably the universe’s best pie. At the very least, the galaxy’s.
“We’ll have to bake it again sometime,” Helen put in with a smile.
I looked at her and mustered the most kind smile I could.
“Yup. But next time, I’m cooking.”
Thanks for reading and come back Sunday for the next offering of Left Of Midnight! I might also have a few things I’m cooking up on the side to blog about. Read to you all soon!
~Timothy S Purvis