A Miniature Reverie

Submitted into Contest #100 in response to: Write a story where a meal or dinner goes horribly wrong.... view prompt

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Fiction Mystery Adventure

Robert braced himself for the delicious prepared meal, cooked impeccably by his wife Helen. She was a sauté chef at a high end restaurant in the city which Robert reaped the benefits from as her eager taste-tester. Robert's lack of critical critique was irrelevant as Helen enjoyed watching him rejoice in her many cuisine creations. Today she melded together a home made version of Mongolian beef with brown sticky rice and steamed broccoli. He eagerly sets the table and places the utensils and napkins on the table besides two bowls of food and his own, one for him and their introverted son Justin who spent most of his days playing on his computer or reading books about History. Helen worked on grilling the last batch of beef while it simmered on a pan. She urges Robert to call their son whose still in his bedroom.

"Justin, foods ready!". Robert yells lifting the plate up to his nose to take in the aromatic smells of vinegar drenched green onions and grilled beef salted in paprika and red pepper flakes, he sneaks a small bite to savor it. Helen catches him as his mischievous smile turns into a guilty one, he salivates from his lips.

"Okay I can't make out the last ingredients... " he smiles, "anyways I guess I'll be enjoying an extra portion all to myself!" he yells towards the hallway leading to Justin's bedroom to entice him. Helen is standing by the gas range stove preparing two cups with lemon and honey for the both of them. The water boils in the tea kettle as Robert squeezes the lemon peels and draws the honey from its jar onto the mugs. Helen chops strawberries on a cutting board as she is simultaneously creating a fruit salad filled with blue berries, strawberries and kiwi slices and cream.

"Grab that tray for me won't you honey" says Helen, Robert reaches over across the table and grabs it, he turns his gaze back to hand it to her and stops his eyes widen. Helen is now vanished almost in an instant from his sight soon after hearing her voice and notices the sound of it grew fainter. He watches a large plate of a fruit salad instead hovering over the kitchen crashing in an instant down onto the wooden chair and the green tiles of the kitchen floor. It shatters bursts of porcelain and blueberries in every direction in a loud deafening clash that sounds like a car collision. His own body falls onto a pool landing on a cushioned surface. He quickly realizes he is a fraction of his normal size and has fallen into his plate of Mongolian beef rice plate. A large green bulbous grape ricochets down across Robert's peripheral sight, his eyes try to follow it, but it bounces down into the floor in an instant leaving a trail of mucus-like juices in its path. The kitchen floor is full of splatters of thick white cream at every direction, pieces of large fruits several dozen feet below the kitchen floor. He stands and watches in awe of the kitchen items that are now bloated to gargantuan proportions, his attention quickly taken over by the sudden irritating buzz of giant flies that grow closer.

"What the hell..." he jumps, looking for something to swat them. The insect is more interested in the giant pool of unattended warm beef and rice on the plate that it hovers around it. It gets closer to Robert and lands in the bowl he is standing inside of. He's startled by it's large red compound eyes that look like a hundred little pores inside, the thick hairs protruding from his body inching closer, it snaps open his mouthparts towards Robert. Robert kicks frantically towards his eyes and legs but one blow lands in success and the giant fly retreats away to another area in the room.

"Helen!" he yells exasperatedly his voice drowned in the sudden cacophony of the room's ambient noises. Loud barking sounds of their pet Luna amplified barking nearby, more buzzing sounds from flying insects hovering and crashing into windows and the boiling bubbles constructing into steam from the kettle.

Robert is covered in the sticky brown rice and the residue of the grilled beef stench on his clothing, he tries to brush off bits of food from his hair and clothes but the earthy smells of the spices remain. He stumbles out of what looks like a pool filled with food and walks over to the wooden platform beneath him of the table. He runs to the edge to where the dish fell and broke, and finds Helen who is laying on the floor unconscious.

"What just happened." he says.

"This can't be real, I can't believe this is happening." 

"Helen!" he yells repeatedly.

Helen slowly opens her eyes and gains consciousness, she starts to cry in the lingering pain of her shoulder caused from falling from such great heights and sees Robert from a distance, at least a hundred feet away now on the other end of the kitchen. Robert is pacing around looking at the chairs trying to find a safe landing point to jump down onto. 

Their dog Luna starts to moan loudly as her head pokes out from the pet gate on their door and sees Helen on the floor. She yelps and barks loudly again.

"I'm right here, Robert!" she yells over to him.

The top of the table to the ground appear to be about five stories high akin to their size. She is bewildered at the towering sight of her furniture. She continues clutching her sprained arm.

"Oh my god Robert, what is this?!" she says. "What the hell is this?"

She looks around the room exploring her surroundings and sees a giant rat trap under her stove she placed it several days ago. The fruit salad remains allover the ground, she looks up towards the ceiling and it looks like a giant industrial warehouse.

"Never mind this, we need to make sure you're okay" says Robert trying desperately to find a way down. "Don't move your arm".

"I think I broke my arm" she cries.

"Don't move it honey, don't move, I'll find a way down there soon, just need to find a soft landing spot".

There is a chair on the other end with a cushioned pillow. Before diving down to it, he grabs an arm full of sticky rice and drops it down gently towards the tiles of the kitchen floor. Luna's barking grows more excessively.

"Luna, be quiet!" yells Robert, which triggers her barking to stop, he jumps down towards the cushioned seat and once more hesitantly onto the pile of rice he threw on the floor to soften his fall. He runs towards Helen and kisses her forehead, holding her hand and kneeling down to her, he analyzes her injured arm.

"You're going to be okay, honey, how do you feel?"

"I hit my head pretty hard, but I feel a little better now, my arm is in a lot of pain though".

"Okay just try not to move it too much, we need to get you somewhere-"

"Where's Justin!?" she interrupts, exasperated at the thought he may be in afraid.

"He's got to still be in his room" says Robert. "If we can find a way to get to the couch, I can look for him". he says "But we have a problem Helen, the tea kettle and the meat you were grilling, the stove is still on..."

Robert helps Helen up carefully and they walk over to the living room next door, there Luna is peaking through from the outside of the house, she moans loudly.

"It's okay girl, we're still the same"

"Luna, baby don't you worry" Helen comforts her, she reaches over to her face pouting and staring. A once medium sized curly-haired retriever now the size of a grey whale towering over them, her warm breath hits them when she pants.

"What was that!" yells Robert seeing a large black silhouetted figure from the side of his eyes running towards the creamy spill on the floor. They're followed by a repetition of footsteps nearby getting closer and closer.

"Run" yells Robert pulling Helen as she jumps limping towards the center of the living room. While several feet away he watches a large grey bull-sized rat grinding its teeth running into his line of sight, it is quicker than they expect. Robert carries Helen over and places her into his tennis shoe, he closes the shoe tongue to conceal her. The rat runs closer to them and stops toward where Helen hides in the shoe and sniffs it, Robert meanwhile has made it around the coffee table, he leads the rat towards the Kitchen. The giant rat squeaks and runs after him, Luna watching closely letting out sporadic nervous barks.

"Try me, you big scary son of a Bitch!"

Robert is wielding a large sharp piece of porcelain from a plate and waves it around towards the rat. It gets closer and he jabs it on the side, it hisses before running away towards under an opening through the kitchen cabinets, smacking Robert across with its large pink tail as it turns. He runs back towards Helen hiding in his shoe.

"What happened, Robert" she says holding her nose.

"That bad huh?" he smiles.

"Are you okay" she says worriedly.

"I stabbed the freaking thing" Robert says a slight grin on his face.

"He knew me too, the son of a bitch, as if he knows we've been trying to get him for weeks".

"Robert..." Helen sighs.

"Yes honey?"

"This is a dream" she whispers softly, she prods herself up by holding onto the ropes of the shoe laces. "This is unreal" she continues.

"Look I can't explain this either, but right now I need to make sure you're both okay, I'm going to check on our son, he's got to be scared out of his mind".

Robert runs over towards the hallways looking around and crawls under the shut door of his son's bedroom.

"Justin?" he calls over.

"Are you there?"

"Dad..." Justin says, sitting on the edge of the bed, his legs crossed.

"It's the abundance of oxygen levels like the ones that created the oversized mammals about eight million years ago" he rants nervously "Do you think this is from a result of low oxygen levels?" he says taking deep breaths.

"Justin, you may be onto something there, but right now we need to keep our theories to ourselves, our family pet is the size of a house and your mother needs our help, we need to find a way to get you down here. I know this is crazy what's going on, but we need to stick together, so focus for me".

"Okay dad..."

Justin stands up and looks around his room for a safe landing area.

"How about if I jump on my record player there and then over towards my clothes over there" he says pointing to his pile of clothing several feet away from the edge.

"I never thought I'd say this but I wish you were a messier kid" Robert says.

"It's too risky"

"How about jumping onto your swivel chair over here, I can pull this shirt closer and I can try and catch you to soften the fall" Robert suggests "Let's try this". 

Justin dives onto his computer chair pass his monitor displaying a large image of rock climbing videos that appear actual size to his proportions. He loses his balance from the unbalanced seat cushion and tips over around the edge nearly falling over but clings into the fabric with both hands gripping tightly.

"You're okay, you can let go" Robert reassures him pulling over a large pair of his shorts and drags it closer to Justin whose hanging over them. He extends his foot out and lets go of his grip landing onto the cushioned clothing.

"See, you're okay". He pats Justin on the back.

"Thanks dad, where's mom at, is she ok?"

A sudden loud screeching sound of a whistle piercing through the walls begins. Justin and Robert run back towards the living room in search of Helen. Robert desperately searches in the shoes for her but doesn't find her. Justin looks around the room but doesn't see her either.

"I'm up here!" she yells from up top the couch, finding a way from climbing onto a boot nearby, she is covering her ears with her one hand, the other one laying limp to her side. 

"Mom, your arm, are you okay?"

"Justin I'm so glad to see you, I'm doing okay just in a little pain, nothing to worry about okay". she says, "I need you to listen to your dad and try to shut off the oven, you understand?".

She tosses over a large needle the size of a broad sword besides him. "Take this" she says, "I thought I lost it when I was sewing a few days ago".

"What's this for?" says Justin looking back at his dad.

"You remember that rat you saw last week?"

"Oh no..." says Justin drew his lower lip between his teeth.

Robert heads over to his old shoe and pulls the shoelace away from it. He drags it over along with his sharp porcelain piece of glass and now both of them are armed. They head over to the kitchen to devise a plan on shutting the blaring whistle. The smell of overcooked meat overwhelmed them soon as they walk in through the kitchen doorway. They look up towards the counter and there is smoke beginning to conjugate into clouds hovering over the ceiling from the pan and slowly dispersing into the vents.

"There he is the pesky little shit".

The giant rat is licking the cream from the end of the kitchen floor, another smaller one sniffing a piece of fruit at the other end. Justin lowers the needle he held with his two hands down to his side and looks back at his dad.

"I don't know if I could do this..."

"We have no choice, son, we need to scare them off, or they'll keep attacking". 

Robert wielding his broken porcelain piece points it outwards like a bayonet, he gives the rat a contemptuous and focused glare as he inches closer to them. Justin points his sharper needle outwards but more hesitantly. The bigger injured rat from before quickly smells Robert as it starts to walk closer then suddenly runs towards him at full speed. Both of them lunge their weapons towards the giant rat head first until the sudden impact tosses Justin across the kitchen cabinets hitting his head. He impales the rat's body with his needle until only a small glimpse of it is visible. The giant rat lays twitching besides Robert who is laying on his back with fragments of his porcelain sword few feet away from him. The smaller rat squeaks and though smaller in stature still manages to tug Robert from his shirt pinching bits of his skin in the process. It pulls him towards the opening under the cabinets. Justin is still trying to gain his balance.

"Try me you dirty rat bastard!" Robert yells while he squirms and tries to punch it away but it's tenaciously holding his clutch. Meanwhile the loud siren of the tea kettle still blares, then a loud thumping sound in the background. Luna runs towards the small rat and Robert being tugged away and begins to bark persistently. The rat lets go of Robert's shirt and runs back towards the small opening. 

"Luna!" Justin roots smiling and petting her.

"My knight in shining armor" says Robert, reaching upwards to rub her chin. Luna wags her tail uncontrollably pacing around Robert. He pulls the sticky rat trap from under the stove and places a piece of fruit in the middle. He drags it towards the small opening where the rat fled.

Regaining their composure once again, Robert and Justin look up towards the cabinets that seem at an extremely far height once again.

"Remember your top rope climbing technique, bud?"

"Yes" Justin nods.

"Time to test it out".

Robert tosses a shoelace around the knobs in the drawer and creates a harness around Justin. He pulls at the opposite direction levitating him.

"God you're so heavy". he tugs.

He pulls upwards until Justin finds a safe spot to climb onto the kitchen counter. He then hops over to the oven pass blackened charred bits of beef. The heat is unbearable and the stench is much worse, though he finds a comfortable position to twist and rotate the knobs to shut the flames of the grill not before leaving him with slight arm burn.

"We did it..." he sighs wiping the sweat from his forehead.

Justin climbs down using the rope around the knob technique to ease his descent, Robert tugging him at opposite position for balance. They make their way over to the living room with Luna following closely behind towards Helen.

"Helen, I think I know the last ingredient from your bowl" he says.

"Raw sugar cane".

Helen has a large phone laying on the floor besides her. She smiles as she sees both of them come into the room.

"I have to know if this is a stand alone freak event" she says.

She hops on the 9 dial then to the 1 and jumps again.

All three listen in attentively as it rings from what seems to be long suspenseful few minutes then the dial stops.

" All operators are handling emergency calls, Please remain on the line".


July 02, 2021 01:02

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1 comment

Annalisa D.
03:24 Jul 02, 2021

Really fun story! The food descriptions in the beginning made me hungry. Lots of great little character details.

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