In Search of Popcorn

Submitted into Contest #100 in response to: Write about a character preparing a meal for somebody else.... view prompt

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Horror Romance Gay

“We have chips, cookies, and a vegetable tray for when you’re sick of the other two.”

“And you have the movie?”

Malakai held up a box, it’s cover filled with contrasting blacks, reds and whites. “Yep. 1976 Slasher Revolution Quartet, just like you asked.”

“Did you make popcorn?”

He was silent for a second, “Popcorn. Did you ask me to make popcorn?”

“Seeing as we’re watching scary movies, I thought the implication was clear.” his fastidious boyfriend, Onyxian, said.

“I don’t think we have popcorn, but I’ll go check.”

The cupboard whined as it was opened. His eyes quickly passed over all the things they regularly ate and began taking them out and placing them on the counter.

If we’ve ever bought popcorn it’s probably made its way to the back.

This cupboard always bothered him, as it was inconveniently deep and items would get lost in it.

The back of the cupboard smelled of stale crackers. He saw an unfamiliar box in the shadows which never left the recesses of the cupboard. Leaning in, he reached his arm to grab it and bring it into the light.

His heart soared when he saw that it was popcorn. When did they buy it?

Turning it to the bottom he found the expiration date. Reading it brought his heart back down to Earth.

“I found some but I think it’s left behind from the previous tenants. It’s okay to eat expired popcorn, right?” he said at his return.

“Wrong. How long ago did it expire?”

“Five years ago…”

“Ugh! This will not do!” Onyxian jumped off the couch, face distorted in disgust. He walked over, grabbed his wallet and proceeded to throw it at Malakai, “Go buy some real popcorn, then we can watch these movies.”

After circling the three snack aisles like a lost shark, he gave up and approached the cash register. He handed an oil canister (for the whiny cupboard) to the cashier to be scanned.

“Did you find everything alright?” she asked as the scanner dinged across the barcode.

“Actually, I came in looking for popcorn, but it wasn’t where I thought it would be.”

Her eyes drew upward to search her memory, “I believe we were supposed to get our shipment of that today, but it never arrived. Never got any sort of notice that it would be late either.”

The wheels in Malakai’s head turned, “That’s peculiar.” he handed her a ten dollar bill, “Do you know anywhere else that sells popcorn?”

“You could check the gas station. They usually sell some.”

The gas stations sold the pre popped kind in see-through bags. Knowing Onyx, he could tell that he’d be unsatisfied with that kind. There was one last thing he could think to do.

Outside he called a taxi, “Take me to Lyndon Park, please.”

Lyndon Park was on the outskirts of town. He and Onyx had strolled through it’s serene paths many times before, but he was not there for a visit today. Lyndon Park was the closest you could get to a reclusive backroad that was mostly used by truckers. His bet was that if something happened to the truck, it would be on that road.

When he arrived at the park, the sky was warm hued as the sun made its descent. But there was a marking on the sky which stuck out sorely.

Jet black birds which looked like crows but swarmed like vultures created a dark whirlpool in the sky. They were signaling to others that they had found a meal, and these birds were infamous lovers of corn.

He set forth to see if his conclusion was correct.

The world slowly began to lose its color when day became dusk. Malakai was thankful for his proclivity to be prepared, and took a small flashlight from his pocket.

Being out in the growing night was unnerving. The sounds changed from the light chirping of birds to the guttural croak of toads. And night was when the predators roamed openly.

Malakai hadn’t researched what kind of animals prowled around these parts at night. It wasn’t the animals he was afraid of. The scariest predators were always people. He saw a shape in the distance.

The missing truck was on it’s side and the road was sprawled with seeds, or were they kernels? Malakai stepped closer to the group of grounded birds, but they made awful cawing sounds at him.

“Shoo!” he said, waving the light beam at them. They refused  to be chased away from their spoils, and would hop at him with their wings flapping in a mock gesture.

Malakai stood back and tried to evaluate his options. They weren’t leaving, but he didn’t know if bashing the creature’s heads in was legal.

Suddenly they all turned, as if a collective entity. Having heard a noise that sent them into the air. It was a low, grumbling groan.

This horrible noise was followed by crunching brush that got louder with every second.

“Hello?” Malakai called.

With a sweat soaked hand, he raised the flashlight and aimed it into the tree line.

A man in a trucker’s hat was there clutching his arm painfully. The light brought a smile to his face, “Thank goodness. I’ve been stranded out here all day with a broken arm. Can you call an ambulance for me, young man?”

Malakai gradually let out his breath to slow his racing heart, “Yeah, I’ll do that.”

Weight was lifted off him. Once the ambulance came, he could finally complete his quest for the snack and return home.

* * * * *

It was only when Onyx was asleep that he looked truly innocent. Curled up on the couch with his head lying over his hands, now bare of his many gemstone rings.

He turned in the seat, probably feeling Malakai stare at him. He stretched himself awake and groaned.

“What time is it? Did you just get back?”

“About five minutes ago. I’m sorry I took so long.”

Onyxian raised his arms over his head and yawned, “I don’t even remember why you left.”

The beeping of the microwave sounded from the kitchen and Malakai left to soon return with a large bowl of hot, freshly smelling popcorn which he placed on Onyxian’s lap. 

His eyes went wide, as did his smile, “Oh my, you never cease to impress me.”

“It’s just microwave popcorn. Nothing special about it.”

He wrapped his arms around Malakai and kissed his cheek, “I appreciate it anyways and I love you.”

Malakai smiled and grabbed the remote, “Let’s start the movie, shall we?”

July 03, 2021 02:16

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3 comments

21:09 Jul 08, 2021

Nice story!

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Raymond Ogilvie
02:10 Jul 09, 2021

Thank you! :)

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Raymond Ogilvie
02:27 Jul 03, 2021

Sorry if this one seems rushed or if there are proofreading mistakes. I was lying awake in my bed yesterday morning and was thinking of writing a tame/slice of life story with the characters in my current WIP. I was just imagining something like this. Then I decide to check out the prompts for this week to see if it would fit in and saw they were about food. That's when I decided I definitely had to write this, but I had to finish the bulk of it yesterday since I had work today. That left me with 6 hours until the deadline (and I was tired f...

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