Our very own Kelvin Beriguete shared his original story, “Just Desserts” with us at the last meeting. Here it is now:
One late summer evening, a cook was busy preparing dinner for a wealthy family. While buttering a pan for a pie, she was visited by the family’s youngest son. The boy was a quiet child, who would often drift into the kitchen and silently watch the cook do her work. Though usually a surprise, this evening the cook managed to catch a glimpse of the child as he entered the kitchen. He climbed atop a stool by the kitchen table.
The cook smiled to herself. “I was once friends with a girl like you.”
The boy said nothing, but stared in silence.
“She wouldn’t talk either. Not to anyone, though sometimes she did speak to me. But only sometimes. I always wondered why she didn’t speak. Never asked her, but I always figured it was her teeth. They weren’t the prettiest things, but she still had the most beautiful smile.”
The cook shot a glance at the boy, who merely continued to stare. She laughed.
“I do wonder what she’s up to these days. Haven’t seen that girl in years.”
“…Do you miss her?”
Stunned but delighted, The cook set her pan down and grinned at the small child. “I do.”
She waited for the boy to speak again, but he didn’t. The cook shrugged and picked up a rolling pin. As she began rolling dough, she started to hear a sound from below the table. It was the young boy, humming as he sat holding a pumpkin on his lap. The cook raised a finger, preparing to investigate the boy’s behavior, but before she could utter a word, the boy’s mother began to call him from the other room. The child scurried out of the kitchen, leaving the pumpkin on the floor.
The cook sighed then set the pumpkin on the table. She turned to the cupboard, pulled out a knife and bowl, turned back towards the table, before freezing in place. She saw a faint glow emanating from the pumpkin. Concerned, yet intrigued, the cook walked over to the vegetable. It’s light brightened as she neared. The cook left her bowl on the table and squinted in awe at the vegetable’s luminescence. She touched the pumpkin and found it to be warm, like a bulb taken from a lamp. She nudged it with her knife. It’s light pulsed brighter. She cut the vegetable open, and from the incision burst a light so bright that the cook was briefly blinded.
Once her vision un-blurred, the cook found herself no longer in the kitchen, but in a barren field of rock and tundra. The air was warm and windy; the sky starry through patches of clouds, with an aurora of shifting colors lying just over the horizon. The cook saw none of this. Her attention was on a little girl standing a few feet from her, gazing gleefully through violet eyes. The cook’s own eyes widened with recognition. The girl said nothing, but grinned widely, revealing two rows of sharp jagged teeth. They exchanged stares for a moment, just long enough for the girl to wave good-bye.
The cook opened her eyes. She found herself lying on the kitchen floor. Besides her was the young boy, sitting with a piece of the once shining pumpkin.
“I’m sorry,” He muttered.
Mystified yet grateful, the cook smiled. “It’s ok.”