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January 2, 2018

20 Days of Chill: Mac and cheese - Fiction

20 Days of Chill
Today's prompt is 'Mac and cheese.' I wrote this short fiction on a whim so it's a little incohesive and a little messy.

Alice tears into the blue box of mac and cheese and pops it into the microwave. She presses the minute buttons a few times and the machine begins to twirl the small container.

It have always been mac and cheese that was Alice's comfort food. As a child, she stood looking up at the microwave and watched the turning of the machine as the mac and cheese began to melt. But now as she stands looking down at the microwave, she begins to wonder how she came to love and hate mac and cheese. She recalls how her father, after a night of drinking and fighting with Alice's mother, he had picked up the microwave and smashed it to bits. Afterward, Alice had ate the mac and cheese sitting on the floor. She picked at it with her fingers. She was hungry and dirty mac and cheese didn't seem all that bad to her then. Later, her father would buy another microwave, one that was bigger and louder.

On days, when her father didn't come home, Alice would take a chair, stand on it, open the freezer door and take out a blue box. She would microwave it and eat the mac and cheese. On days when her father managed to be home, Alice would also eat mac and cheese but from the cafe across the street. The mac and cheese were a lot less tasty and the cheese would stick to the top of Alice's mouth. But her father was oblivious to Alice. He spoke into his mac and cheese and even sometimes cried for reasons Alice never knew. But she speculated it was because her mother had left them.

The microwave beeps and the twirling stops. Alice sighs. She opens the door and stares inside. The cheese have melted and slid over the side of the container. Alice puts a finger to the melted cheese but quickly pulls it back. She sucks on her burned finger. She turns away and begins to look for a fork. She opens and closes all the cardboards and all the drawers but finds only plastic spoons. She hates eating mac and cheese with plastic spoons. She turns about the room and then her father appears.

He is thin and pale and Alice could see through him. Not again, she thinks.

"Alice," he says in his velvety voice. "My love, here you are."

Alice backs away and then drops down into one of the leather covered chairs. "No," she says in a whisper. She covers her face with her hands. Then she peeks between her fingers. The kitchen is empty. She is alone. Alice turns to the microwave. It is silent with no overspilled mac and cheese in sight.

She walks to the fridge and pulls the freezer door open. There is a pile of blue boxes overstuffed in there. The dates on them have expired. Alice have not been eating them as she thought. She pulls them out one by one and throws them into the trashcan. She have enough of them. She needs to move on.

She have been seeing her father several times this week. He appeared right after the first anniversary of his death. In the newspaper when he died it said 'Death by Mac and Cheese,' which Alice thought it was rather stupid but her father choked on his mac and cheese because it stuck to his mouth and he could not breath. The neighbors laughed but Alice never joined them.

"Alice." Again his velvety voice makes shivers run down her back. She turns to him and shouts, "Leave me alone."

"Alice." The shivers run down her back. She throws a blue box at him. He doesn't move. She throws all the boxes from the freezer at him. Then she spots a small plastic bag tucked behind bits of frozen ice. She pulls it out. Inside the plastic bag is a black box. She opens it. It is a ring - her mother's ring. Alice have seen it once. Her mother had hid it while Alice watched. Her father had been drinking and he was begging her mother to give her the ring to pawn. They had fought and her father left the house while her mother went about cleaning the mess her father had made.

Alice puts on the ring. It is cold against her finger. She turns to her father. He smiles and then he dissipates. She sighs and hopes this is the last she will see of him.

For more 'mac and cheese,' visit A 'lil HooHaa.
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