A SPOON’S WORST NIGHTMARE
By Taylor Packer
((This story is from the perspective of a spoon. Contains graphic and disturbing images, language, and mild sexuality. Definitely not suitable for children under the age of 13.))
My name is Hogarth Cumbercorn. I’m a spoon. To be more specific, I’m an Oneida Michaelangelo Flatware Spoon from the Patterns for a Lifetime series. I’m often described as curvaceous and ornate, donning 18/10 stainless steel polished to perfection. I am a mirror of the world around me. All that shines onto my concaving and convexing faces is reflected back upon it. I am a perfect spoon.
That’s probably why the human treats the others and I so well. Every morning, I wake to the sight of my human, pulling open the drawer where he lays us to rest at the end of the day. I’m his favorite spoon. I’m one of a kind among these 12/10 stainless steels and colored plastics. I was even his favorite over the baby spoon he had since he was an infant. The way I fit into his mouth is like unto a tailored glove fits around a perfect hand. I’m the perfect hand, of course. My God-given body came without fingers so that none of my human’s milk and cereal could spill away. The milk was always cool, but never frigid. And just before it got too cold, he would warm me with his tongue. He was always so gentle; so careful to keep his teeth away from my mirror-like surface. He nicked me once, but I forgave him. He couldn’t hear me, of course, but he knows.
Today, after breakfast, he washed me by hand the way he always does. He rinsed me in warm water and ran his soapy hands along my body, cleaning me, purifying me. It was like my soul was being cleansed by the ritual of baptism. After I am washed and rinsed, he lifts me out of the sink and dries me with a towel. The towel was coarse at first, but once our wet forms pressed against it, it softens; almost as soft, warm, and wet as his mouth. He set me back in my drawer and his smile reflected off of me, smiling back at him.
I thought that would be the end of it. But it wasn’t…
I was woken from my slumber by a rumble. The drawer we were lying in shook violently. Something was happening. The wall was groaning and the knives were sliding all over themselves. What was happening?
Sudden silence took hold. All of the other utensils quivered slightly, but I stayed still, trying to listen for my human. The drawer suddenly jerked open and the harsh mid-day light stung us, glinting off our bodies like fire. It was blinding so blinding that I couldn’t see who had opened the drawer. I felt a huge hand grope all of the spoons and myself into a tight fist. I was lifted out of the drawer. It was Human. What was he doing? Why was he so angry? What had I done?!
He turned to the sink and that’s when I was taken aback. In the place of one of the cupboards, there was a box. It was stainless steel, but sheered to look more industrial; soulless. I happened to catch a glance at something near the base of its opening maw. It was a metal name tag that read “May-hag” or something. It opened wide for us as would the gates of hell and I saw row upon row of wire strainers and small cages protruding from skeletal shelves. I was shoved face-down into a small crate with the others. I tried to see between the curves of the others, but their panic made it impossible to reason with them. I could only reflect their fear. I heard and felt the forks follow suit; that is, they were crammed into a tiny crate as well. Then the knives. What the hell was happening?!
Then I heard and felt loud clanks. Plates? Bowls? Human was shoving everyone in this metal box. In the panic, I hadn’t had time to notice the smell. It smelled of iron and terror. This couldn’t be happening. All of us were trapped in this box, unable to understand why this new and twisted chamber had become our resting place. I tried to stay calm. Surely this was temporary. Human wouldn’t abandon us to this crammed, cold, clammy box. He wouldn’t. He loved us. He loved me. That’s when I heard laughter.
He was laughing. Dear God, Human was laughing! It made me feel sick, like I would sprout rust just by the sound of it. He closed the box, leaving us in total darkness. I could hear the concerned mutterings of the others. Everyone was panicking. Four years of being cared for and all of a sudden, we were here, in total darkness. Had it all been a lie? Had it all been a ploy to gain our trust?
Searing hot water blasted us from out of nowhere. Everyone screamed. I screamed. Liquid fire was trying to carve away my shiny surface. My skin… My skin was burning! It was being sanded off by the pressure. I could hear the baby spoon wailing, coughing, drowning. What sick monster would do this? The water stopped spraying and we could all breathe again. I wanted to find Baby Spoon and cover him, spoon him, keep him safe from whatever might come next. I wiggled against the others, but we were too tightly packed. I could hear the knives sobbing. They were always the emotional ones, but this time I just wanted to cry with them.
I caught of a whiff of boiling soap. This wasn’t over.
Scalding lava-water exploded around us, gyrating and twirling in a dance of death, hosing us down with a foul, waxy sanitizing agents. I could feel some of the plastic spoons shudder as their skins peeled away from their gooey, plastic flesh. They were melting. They were melting against me! I would screamed, but their plastic melted over my face. What horror! What horror!!!
The soapy water was replaced with the regular magma-water. I was able to push my way through the semi-solid corpses of my fallen spoon-brothers to get to Baby Spoon, but he was gone. There was no sign of him. He must have fallen through the holes in the bottom of the grate. I couldn’t hear him cry anymore. The water stopped and left us all in a burning steam. I could hear the bowls crying, the plates whimpering. The knives had gone silent.
Light crashed into the torture chamber and I saw the human smiling. The bastard was actually smiling! I was so angry, and so afraid. All I could think to do was play dead. He reached into the grates and pulled all the spoons free. He muttered a few curse words and peeled the dead semi-solid spoons from our group. I saw him toss them in the trash as if they were nothing. True, I was the greatest of his spoons, but dammit, they were spoons too! They were spoons too, you MONSTER!
Human tossed us haphazardly into our familiar drawer, one utensil type at a time, whistling as he went. Once we were all in our proper places, he slammed the drawer closed, leaving us alone. I was finally able to cry. I wept and the other spoons did too. We held one another close and mourned our losses. Half the plastics… and even poor, sweet Baby Spoon was gone. We were betrayed by our human.
We know it’s only a matter of time before Human kills us all. The Forks are planning to take him out tonight, after he goes to sleep. We know it’s a suicide mission, but justice must be wrought. There was talk of throwing him into the death box and cooking him alive, but we voted against that. Besides…. Revenge is a dish best served cold.
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