I placed the turkey on the table then grabbed two plates. I set them side by side when the doorbell rang. ”Damn!” I muttered. Good enough. I sighed then called out, “COMING!” I raced to the door and opened it.
“Hey, happy Valentine’s Day!” Maya gave me a huge teddy bear.
“Woah! I haven't been that good of a boyfriend, have I?” I said and kissed her.
”No, but it's good enough." She kissed me back. I grabbed her hand and led her into the dining room.
She gasped. “You did this?"
“Yep, I slaved hours in the kitchen just for you."
“But, you hate cooking."
“Yeah. It was either this or McDonalds."
”Then, I’m glad you cooked,” she said and sat by the window.
I plopped down next to her and scooted my chair forward. “Thanks."
She looked at her turkey and mac and cheese. “Looks delicious."
“Well, it'd better be. I slaved all morning on it."
She knifed a piece and took a bite. “Moist."
“Is it OK?"
“Yeah, it’s great."
She sipped her sparkling cider.
“So, how’s class?"
“OK. I’m getting good grades so that's good.”
“I wish the class was better."
“I gotta go to the bathroom; be right back.” She stood up and walked into the hall.
I sighed and looked at my Power Rangers on the shelf.
I jumped. "What was that?” I asked and looked around.
“You two love birds make me want to puke!”
“Under the table, stupid!"
My stomach tensed. Slowly, I lifted the cloth and screamed.
A creature the color of pea soup stared at me with bright red eyes.
“Name’s Larry and I'm bored."
“Ya heard me. I’m bored… listening to you two yap about… moist food!”
“Why are you here then… and what are you?"
"I'm a magical imp.” He reached in his pocket and pulled a lighter and cigar out.
“What are you doing?"
“Smoking… Genus!” He stuck the cigar in his mouth, and I yanked the lighter out of his hand. “Hey!”
“What the Hell is—” Maya poked her head under the table and shrieked.
“Jesus Christ, bitch!”
“Hey! You called my girlfriend a… that was uncalled for!” I said.
"No, that was totally called for!”
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
He puffed on his cigar. “I just freakin' told you. I’m bored."
"OK, what do you want?”
“What? Do I got to spell it out for you?”
"I want chili.” The creature crawled out. He stood up. Toddler-sized, he waddled. His pointy nose had a blue bump the size of a strawberry. His lips were black like he wore lipstick .and he had no ears.
He wore a purple shirt and cut-off jeans that came up to his chubby, green thighs.
“Sorry, I don’t have any chili,” I said, holding back a laugh.
“That’s not my freakin' problem, is it?"
“Please go. I’m sure you can find some chili," Maya said.
“Look, bitch, I want chili now and you and your boy-toy are gonna get me some!”
“If you haven't noticed, I’m bigger than you!"
He jumped up and burped in my face.
I gagged as the stench of rotten meat barged up my nose.
“You like them apples?”
I dashed into the living room to get away from the smell.
Maya ran to a shelf, snatched the Fabreeze, and sprayed.
“Oh! it ain't that bad, Ya pansies!” The imp waddled to the Lazy Boy and sat down. He leaned over and pulled the lever, making the chair recline. He removed his jean shorts and said, “So, uh, are you gonna get me some chili?”
“No, I want you to get the hell out of my house NOW!” I said, pointing to the door.
“Ain’t going to happen, ya moron!”
“Fine!” I grabbed for him but jumped down. I tried again, but he somersaulted away. “Why you…”
“I could do this all day long or you could go get me some chili."
“Fine! I'll go get…CHILI!” I swiped for him, but he jumped.
“That was a nasty trick. I’m afraid I’m going to do something to your girlfriend… "Shamalama moo!” He flicked his hands out and a yellow light shot out and hit her.
“NOOOO!” I screamed as the light covered her body. The light faded and I gasped. “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!”
“Turned her into a cow.” He puffed his cigarette. “Now, go get me some chili."
"I will turn her back if you do.”
“Fine, I’ll be back with chili.”
“Take your cow with you,” he said, puffing his cigarette.
“I ain't watchin' over her."
“I can't take her! How's she gonna fit in my car?”
“You could ride her."
“Take her or she’ll be turned into a juicy steak."
Before I could stop myself, I swatted at the little bastard.
“Tsk-tsk… I’m hankering for some barbeque!”
“Alright. Alright. I'll take her."
“ROPEALOO!" he shouted and wiggled his fingers. A rope appeared tied to her.
“Gee, thanks." I pulled her towards the door to the backyard. I slid it open and led her out. The sun beamed down on us. I walked out in the front yard and then the street.
"Damn him,” I murmured under my breath.
Janet stood across the street in her pink tank top. “Where’d you get that?”
“Oh, I'm cow-sitting for my friend."
“Yeah, they will be back hopefully later today for her."
“Where are they now?”
Of course you ask. “Um, work?"
“Where do they work?"
Jesus Christ, would you stop asking questions? “Uhh, Walmart."
“I gotta go." I started walking again, then stopped. “Um, would you watch her while I go to the store?”
“No, I hate livestock."
“Please, it's just for ten minutes."
"No… Unless you let me cook her."
I walked on.
What am I going to do? I can't just take her in.
I arrived at Walgreens and moaned. I can't tie you up; someone might steal you. And I can't just ask someone to watch you while I go in. I sighed, realizing I had no choice. “Well, here goes nothing,” I said and walked in with her. Cold air rushed through my body as I felt stupid. I sighed. “Come on, let's go get some chili."
People stared. Some smirked.
A girl in a shopping cart asked, “Mommy, what's the cow doing here?”
The mom looked up and yelped.
I went past them.
A red, curly-haired clerk plodded over. “Hey, you can't bring a cow in here. Moooove it out!”
“Please, I’ve had a weird day. I’m just going to buy a can of chili and go home.'"
“The cow can't be here."
“I know. I had to bring her with me."
“She gets lonely."
“Sorry about her abandonment issues, but she can't stay. Tie her up outside, or I’m gonna ask you to leave.”
“I promise she won't cause trouble. She’s a trained cow."
“Can she sit?" She rolled her eyes.
“Please, I'll be quick.”
“Alright, alright, but if there's trouble, out you both go."
“I know I'm gonna regret this," she muttered and walked off.
“Come on, Maya,” I said and pulled her.
People continued to stare. Some took their phones out and took pictures.
Great, I’m gonna be trending as #IdiotWithACow. I sighed as I went down the canned food aisle. Potatoes…. green beans… baked beans... Chili! I grabbed a can. %100 percent beef! I looked at my lovely Maya. Fuck this day! I took us to a check-out aisle.
“Nice cow," a guy with blond hair said, chewing gum.
I walked Maya back home, encountering more of the same: cars honking, people gawking… then, an Italian greyhound ran up and barked its head off at us.
Finally, I made it home with Maya.
”Here’s your damn chili!” I tossed the can in his lap. “Now, turn my girlfriend back, please."
“What? How am I suppose to eat this?"
He tossed it back. “You made it."
“I ain't making you it."
“Then, you'd better buy a farm and learn to milk.”
"Change her back, so we can continue celebrating Valentine’s Day."
“Change her back."
“No. You jerk!”
“Fine! Say goodbye to your chili."
I walked into the kitchen, ran the top through the can opener.
“Don't you dare!”
I poured it down the sink.
“You shouldn't have done that," Larry said in a deep voice. He rose up and flew around and ate the couch, the lamp, the TV... And then the wall. Sunlight streamed in as I shield my eyes.
“STOP!" I shouted but he devoured the hall then my room.
BRRRRRRRRP! “Ha-ha, you have no house now!” He rubbed his huge, fleshy belly. “Well… except your bathroom, but I ain't eatin’ that!”
“GO AWAY!” I screamed.
“YOU RUINED MY LIFE! I have nothing now!”
“You still have your girlfriend."
“You dare yell at me? Fine, I’ll banish you!” He shot red light at me. I screamed and shut my eyes.
I opened them and gasped.
White, yellow, pink everywhere!
“Hello?” I looked around. “Where am I?” No reply. Only the echoing of my voice into nothingness. I reached into my pocket. Empty. My phone was gone! “Hello?” I spun around. “Bring me back.”
“NO!” His voice echoed.
“Where are you? Where’s Maya? Where am I?”
“You're in the Void Dimension.”
“OK, take me back home.”
“Please, where's Maya? If you hurt her—"
“What? What will you do?”
“Take me back."
“No, I don’t think I will.”
Blue walls appeared around me and started moving,
“You will be smooshed in a matter of minutes!”
“Please let me go!” As the walls continued to move, I searched for a way out. No openings anywhere.
“It’s no use; you cannot escape!”
"I’m sorry. I should’ve not gotten angry and yelled. Please spare my life!”
“Nope,” he said. “Byeeee!” The walls closed around and squeezed the last breath out of me…
I woke up. I panted. Just a dream. I sat back in my chair in front of the lunch I made.
The doorbell rang so I walked to it and opened it.
“Hey you!” Maya said, kissed me, and scooted in.
“I just had a weird dream. You were a human. And then a cow.”
“Oh, yeah? Tell me,” she said, wrapping her tentacle around me, and looked at our wedding photo on the wall.