Mystery Cookie

One day you come into work and find a cookie mysteriously placed on your desk. Grateful to whoever left this anonymous cookie, you eat it. The next morning you come in and find another cookie. This continues for months until one day a different object is left–and this time there’s a note.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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179 thoughts on “Mystery Cookie

  1. LASARDaddy

    That morning I got my usual big smile from our round, pink-faced Irish security guard and a, “Hey, Kirk, how you doing today?”

    “Hey, Stan, I’m finer than frog fur! Like always, I stay that way, it makes my life easier.” And Stan laughed. It’s the same words and laugh every day, but I enjoy the patter.

    The round, lacy thin cookie stunned me. It was lying on a paper doily in the middle of the schematics for the new IFF system I’d been designing for the aging B-2 bomber. I finally sat and looked at it for minutes before picking it up. It smelled like a cookie. It felt like a cookie and I thought it was a Brussels, one I happen to really like.

    “Where’d you come from? Who put you there? If you’ve ruined my drawing it’s the trash for you.” I talk to my Siamese cat too, and her answers can prompt whole conversations. She a smart cat! When I looked there was a tiny oil spot and decided it didn’t matter, it was a Brussels and I enjoyed every bite with my coffee. I asked around, but no one had seen anyone near my office.

    The next day there was another, then a third on Friday, and a forth on Monday. Tuesday the cookie and doily were on a desert plate and a hand written note that said, “Enjoy the cookie.”

    It was the same Brussels cookie five days a week for the next four months. I came in early at different times, three hours a couple times, but time didn’t seem to matter.

    On the one-hundred twenty-fifth day it was different. A woman stood behind my desk, and there was no cookie. “Hi, Kirk, your mind is ready now.”

    A stunned minute later I said, “What?”, she was plain, no makeup or jewelry, but beautiful in a simple way. She really looked like a very well done CGI of a woman and that really confused me. “Who are you?” How did you get in here? It’s a secure facility.”

    “I’m not really ‘Here’, I’m a projected construct, an entity because so many learn to use use language correctly. You start that next week and in ninety-three years it becomes the norm.”

    “What?” It’s amazing how much your mind behaves like a scratched record when confusion is master.

    “Words! You write and say, ‘Words are our true Gods!’ They are. We can feel pain and emotion, but we can’t understand them without Words. People can Conceive of a god, but it’s all about the words they use to describe it. You start an understanding of Language that becomes a new way of thinking and I am an embodiment of that, a collective of desires. I can effect small things, like cookies, but as more complete understanding grows we’ll change the world.”

    Without bells or whistles or smoke she simply winked out.

    I think I’ll start a blog site next week!

  2. PromptResponse

    The sound of my squealing breaks echoed through the parking garage as I pulled in. Smoke billowed out the exhaust as my car coasted into my parking space and shuddered to a stop. On a normal day, I would look around, embarrassed, and hope that nobody saw me. This wasn’t just a normal day. Today was my first day in middle-management. The long hours away from my wife and kids, the missed holidays, the weekends; it all paid off.

    When I entered the building, I greeted everyone I saw, gave them a smile, and even high-fived George. I did everything but click my heels, though you better believe that I would have if I could do it without falling. I even made small talk in the elevator with Bonnie from HR. I could tell she found it a bit strange, but from up on my cloud everything was peachy.

    I made sure to be the first to arrive in my department to set a good example. When I entered my new office, I saw a still-warm chocolate chip cookie sitting on a napkin right next to my keyboard. “I guess someone came in early to welcome the new boss,” I whispered. I poked my head out of my office and scanned the cubicles to see if I could spot my new best friend and thank them, but no one else was around. Shrugging it off, I sat down at my computer and picked up the cookie.

    “Cookies: The breakfast of champions,” I muttered. Starving, I swallowed the cookie with minimal chewing and coughed a bit as some crumbs went down the wrong pipe. “Maybe once we pay off some of those hospital bills we can invest in this whole breakfast thing,” I thought to myself. My wife would kill me if she saw me eat this cookie. Still, I was riding high and nothing could bring me down.

    This went on for months. Another day, another cookie. I continued to eat each cookie in place of a balanced breakfast, but today that would change. With my extra income and health insurance covering the hospital bills, my wife and I were finally able to add “breakfast” into our budget. So today I high-fived George with a stomach full of bacon, eggs, and orange juice.

    “Damn! You been working out?” George yelled down the hall while he grabbed his hand.

    “Nope, just eating,” I replied as I entered the elevator.

    I hung up my jacket upon entering my office and turned towards my desk, expecting to see another cookie taunting me. This time, instead of a cookie, I was greeted by a specimen cup and a note that read:

    “Dear sir,

    You took the job that my dad promised me. You must give me what is rightfully mine. The cookies you’ve been eating have been laced with just enough pot for you to produce a positive drug test.”

    My hands began to shake. Then, there was a knock on the door.

  3. larnzlive

    Damien threw his coat on the back of his chair and slumped into it, exhausted from his day at work. He opened his laptop and begun typing in his password. In the corner of his eye, he noticed a small cookie placed on his planner. He stopped typing and looked around the room. He was alone; who would have put this here? Julie hardly had time for him anymore – divided between the children and her classes, Damien barely heard a hello from her. It must have been Margot. He had been sure she had fancied him since she started working for the family, and this proved it. As far as nannies go, Margot had been exceptional. She was great at keeping house and she kept the kids quiet. But her body. She hadn’t made a move on him until now, and he longed for her.
    He ate the cookie and smiled to himself, typed in the rest of the password and checked his emails.
    For the next two months, Damien would come into his office either after work or in the evening when his family had gone to bed to find a cookie sitting on top of his planner. Today was no different. Damien smiled and brushed his hair back with his hand. Without eating it, he left the office and walked into the kitchen where he could hear Margot doing the washing up.
    ____________
    Julie couldn’t sleep. The room was too cool and being alone in bed only made her feel colder. Where was Damien? Although she loved his dedication to his work, she longed to have her husband back. Rising from the bed, she put on her dressing gown, covering her newly bought lingerie. Her back ached as she stretched – the children had been running rings around her lately and her body was exhausted. She left the bedroom and began walking downstairs. She heard voices in the kitchen, followed by a scream from Margot. Julie rushed down the stairs and ran into the kitchen. There stood Damien, looking furious and holding his cheek. Margot stood pressed against the bench and, terrified, moved toward Julie.
    “What is going on, Margot?”
    She spoke fast. “He grabbed me. I was busy cleaning up when he touched me and kissed me. I am so sorry. I don’t.. I don’t know what I did.”
    Damien, eyes wide and teeth clenched, said, “You liar. You’ve been leading me on for months with you sneaking into my office and leaving things on my desk. What did you expect!”
    Julie looked at her husband, with tears in her eyes. “No, darling. That was me.”
    She took Margot by the hand and left Damien standing alone.
    His jaw relaxed and his eyes grew wide with fear. He turned to the bench and leant on it with both hands.
    ____________
    The next evening, Damien walks into his office and finds, placed on his planner, her wedding ring and a note. “I want a divorce.”

  4. larnzlive

    Damien threw his coat on the back of his chair and slumped into it, exhausted from his day at work. He opened his laptop and begun typing in his password. In the corner of his eye, he noticed a small cookie placed on his planner. He stopped typing and looked around the room. He was alone; who would have put this here? Julie hardly had time for him anymore – divided between the children and her classes, Damien barely heard a hello from her. It must have been Margot. He had been sure she had fancied him since she started working for the family, and this proved it. As far as nannies go, Margot had been exceptional. She was great at keeping house and she kept the kids quiet. But her body. She hadn’t made a move on him until now, and he longed for her.
    He ate the cookie and smiled to himself, typed in the rest of the password and checked his emails.
    For the next two months, Damien would come into his office either after work or in the evening when his family had gone to bed to find a cookie sitting on top of his planner. Today was no different. Damien smiled and brushed his hair back with his hand. Without eating it, he left the office and walked into the kitchen where he could hear Margot doing the washing up.
    ____________
    Julie couldn’t sleep. The room was too cool and being alone in bed only made her feel colder. Where was Damien? Although she loved his dedication to his work, she longed to have her husband back. Rising from the bed, she put on her dressing gown, covering her newly bought lingerie. Her back ached as she stretched – the children had been running rings around her lately and her body was exhausted. She left the bedroom and began walking downstairs. She heard voices in the kitchen, followed by a scream from Margot. Julie rushed down the stairs and ran into the kitchen. There stood Damien, looking furious and holding his cheek. Margot stood pressed against the bench and, terrified, moved toward Julie.
    “What is going on, Margot?”
    She spoke fast. “He grabbed me. I was busy cleaning up when he touched me and kissed me. I am so sorry. I don’t.. I don’t know what I did.”
    Damien, eyes wide and teeth clenched, said, “You lying little bitch. You’ve been leading me on for months with you sneaking into my office and leaving shit on my desk. What the fuck did you expect!”
    Julie looked at her husband, with tears in her eyes. “No, darling. That was me.”
    She took Margot by the hand and left Damien standing alone.
    His jaw relaxed and his eyes grew wide with fear. He turned to the bench and leant on it with both hands.
    ____________
    The next evening, Damien walks into his office and finds, placed on his planner, her wedding ring and a note. “I want a divorce.”

  5. b.cotton1984

    My gut tightens up as I walk towards my desk. There’s a note on it. A note in bad handwriting that had to have been written by a man. The note is stuck to the wooden desk by the sharp edge of a knife with crusted crimson on the stainless steel. A bright pink hair tie, with little Anime looking ponies, stare back at me as the wind from the broken window of my office keeps it flowing up and down. My teeth clinch together and blood rushes to my forehead. How could this be? How could they have found you?

    I stepped out of my office one night a few months ago for a smoke break. There was this little girl with blonde hair I found playing by herself in a part of town that no little girl should be without parental supervision. Especially with it being dark out. The city lights do little justice to this dark alley she finds herself in. Some punk kid moves in on her, couldn’t have been older than fourteen, but he grabs her by the wrist and throws her against the weathered brick wall. He reaches up to smack her, but I move in and catch his wrist before he can deliver the blow. He turns to me, scared shitless look in his eyes. He doesn’t have long to fear me before I knock his lights out.

    I turn to the girl and ask her what she’s doing out here. She looks up at me, with a single tear flowing down her cheek, and a pink ribbon with bug eyed ponies tied to her hair blows along with the wind. She says her mom is drunk and high again and she couldn’t stand to be around her when she’s like that. I ask her how old she was. She says ten. She says her name is Susan, but just to call her Sue.
    With nowhere to go, she asks if there is a safe place that I can take her. I hesitate. My office was no place for a little girl, but I agree to take her there anyway. I take her to the door at the end of the alley with chipped orange paint and open it up to let her inside.

    She reaches into her pockets as we walk in. Wrapped in wax paper are two chocolate chip cookies. She asks if I want one and I shake my head. I didn’t want to take one of her cookies, but she insists that they are the best cookies in town. She gets them from the bakery at the corner by the Chinese restaurant. I say no again and she basically shoves it in my mouth, crying that it was a small gesture for saving her life. She leaves later on in the night, but promises me that she’ll leave me a cookie on my desk every day to let me know she’s okay.

    She delivered. The little shit even figured out how to pick my lock. Every morning I find a chocolate chip cookie on my desk. Until this morning. Where there is a note on the table from my old contacts from my old profession that I had sworn to leave behind. The little office is my base of operations where I use my acquired skills to help those who have nowhere else to turn. They’ve found me and now my hand reaches for the desk drawer where my Glock 17 rests. They’re going to use that little girl to try and draw me out. They’ve got no idea what’s coming their way.

    Sue. I’m coming.

  6. dragonchef

    Like clock-work the cookie was there wrapped in brown, waxed paper and tied with a raffia bow, and sitting on a porcelain plate – this one was blue. The plates barely extended beyond the diameter of the large cookies which made it easy for Remsin to set each down into a steel canister that he kept locked in his safe. He had six canisters now, each for its own color plate. There was one for blue, one for red, for yellow, green, purple, and orange. And each canister was one cookie short from being full.

    Remsin carefully twisted the steel cap onto the canister and placed it next to the others in the safe. He cocked his head to the side in wonder, as he had done so the previous one-hundred-eighty times he had done this, and briefly examined the small hole in each of the caps’ centers. But that was all the thought he would give it, and he closed the heavy door securing the canisters inside.

    The next day, much to his astonishment, the cookie was wrapped in grey paper, and on a grey plate. The raffia, as well, was different in that it was wrapped around the cookie several times, and then tucked into the top. Remsin eyed the cookie dubiously. He wasn’t sure what to make of it. There wasn’t a canister for grey, and he wasn’t informed there would be this kind of deviation.

    Was it a test—a test to see how resourceful he could be? Or perhaps it was a test to determine how he would compensate for the deviation, or conclude what it was and conduct corrective counter-measures. Or simply, go with it.

    Remsin decided to wait for the next five installments to take action, and placed the grey wrapped cookie on a shelf by itself in the safe. As it happened, each of the next five was grey as well.

    A note was attached to the final installment that read, “You know what to do.”

    Remsin looked at the six grey cookies with their longer than usual raffia ties. He looked at the canisters with caps that had holes drilled into their centers. And he knew what to do.

    Opening each canister, Remsin carefully unraveled the raffia around the greys and noticed that one end was inserted into the center of the cookie. He nodded to the affirmation of his suspicion and threaded the other end through the hole on the inside of the cap. He did this for all six, and made certain each cap was sealed tight. He then placed all six canisters in his backpack and left the office.

    The night air was crisp and cool, and a welcome reprieve from his duty. Remsin found six more canisters on the roof of his building, all slightly larger in diameter than those containing the cookies. He opened his backpack and, one by one, carefully slid each cookie canister into the empty ones on the roof—raffia thread first. He tied the six threads together at the end and then lit the bundle.

    And the night sky came to life with the most beautiful firework display he had ever seen.

    “Happy Thanksgiving!”

  7. cjmurphy1982

    OOoohhh, now its a cupcake. I hope I get one of these every day from now on….wait what is this piece of paper here. ‘The way to a man’s heart is through the stomach, isn’t it?’ Yes indeedy, my secret feeder, it certainly is!

    I just wish whoever it was would come and let me know. I mean, there are over 500 staff in this building and all of them have access to my desk, everyone knows that I’m allowed to arrive late due to the wheelchair. After 6 months of smiling hopefully at people in the canteen and break room I’ve got of given up on stumbling across my benefactor. Cupcakes though, what a treat. I’m wondering if I should tell my wife about this thing but its so obscure, how would I explain it.

    Another four weeks before the next note, the cupcakes have been here every morning and I’ve eaten everyone (even the savoury numbers always saved for Thursdays which I don’t really like). So what does this note say ‘aren’t you going to say thank you ;-)’. I look round quickly, like a did during the first week. Trying to see if anyone is prepared to make eye contact with the cripple. No-one is paying any attention though. You can adjust to being ostracised, socially but occassionally it’d be nice to be able to share these little things with other people.

    After a year my wife puts me on a diet, the cupcakes progressed up to donuts and I really am starting to put on some weight. For the first time I don’t eat the gift on my desk. I can’t quite bring myself to throw it in the garbage (I mean, it is a gift after all). I place it in the kitchen, attaching my own note ‘thank you but I really can’t, not anymore. I’m on a diet you see’. Hopefully that was polite and gentle and couldn’t possibly cause offence.

    That night in the car park Alice from HR approaches me. ‘Hi Daniel, so you’re on a diet’. At first I’m completely staggered, after all this time she simply strolls up to me and starts discussing it like, like its normal! Then I remember that anyone could have seen my note. ‘Yes, that’s right…’ I’m cut off abruptly as three other colleague come towards us and Alice doesn’t want to be seen talking to me, I understand.

    No more cookies, cakes or donuts. It’s all stopped. Odd but now I feel so lonely. Maybe I should have just pretended to eat them but what if the feeder was somehow watching? Oh, I don’t know this really is all too much. I had to start the diet, my wife was very insistent and quite frankly I’m scared of her. I feel very, very sad now.

    1. Observer Tim

      This speaks to the brutal loneliness of those who are different, and to the quiet ostracism that is a part of business culture. I wonder if Daniel’s co-workers blame him for not reaching out to them – probably. This story also made me very sad in sympathy. Wonderfully written, CJMurphy.

    2. dragonchef

      I’m gonna go out on a limb here and risk becoming a pariah . . . (Sorry, was there a pun in there somewhere?)

      Ostracized because he was in a wheelchair? Or did he have an attitude of entitlement that wasn’t portrayed–except for here: “. . . everyone knows that I’m allowed to arrive late due to the wheelchair.” Yeah – not a good attitude. Most handicapped usually desire to prove themselves as equals-not that they need to, because they already are.

      Some folks, handicapped or not, have an air of entitlement because of the minority box they place themselves in, which usually leads to ostracism within a community except by other like-minded people – birds of a feather. But, an entire 500+ strong company excluding poor Danial from all the reindeer games because he’s in a wheel chair? . . . Unlikely. For a company that large there would be an HR Department with strict protocols in place to protect the handicapped from such practices.

      Oh, look – you’ve got me monologuing! (Yes, I stole that from the Incredibles – best line ever!)

      Part of me feels empathy for Daniel because I don’t really know how you were trying to portray him; and, I know first hand what it’s like to be lonely in a room full of people. Another part finds contempt along with his co-workers.

      Oh, geez – I’m conflicted.

  8. Observer Tim

    PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS LOG FROM MAJOR NEIL CARPENTER, NASA

    Day 1

    Acceleration is complete; there’s no turning back now. I’m on my way to Jupiter. Three years is a long time, but it’ll be over before you know it. I’ll call home every day, though there’ll be a lot of time lag as I get closer to Jupiter. There’s going to be a lot to catch up on when I get back from three years in space, but it’ll be over in no time. Tina, be a big girl and take care of Mommy for me, okay?

    Day 2

    There was a cookie floating in the cabin when I woke up today. I’m not sure how it got here; I don’t think there are any cookies in the ship’s food stores. Definitely no Mallomars. I asked Mission Control but they denied responsibility. Nice treat, though. It was delicious.

    Day 3

    Another cookie today, chocolate chip this time. Nobody at Mission Control, ‘fessed up to sending them; I know they’re messing with me, but I’m not sure how. There’s probably a dispenser hidden somewhere.

    Day 9

    Shortbread today. If this keeps up I won’t fit in my space suit. Finally checked the food stores; the only cookies are arrowroot and the box hasn’t been opened. Mission Control started a pool to see what shows up next.

    Day 24

    Almond praline. Nick won forty-five bucks; he was the first to guess one right. I still can’t tell where the things are coming from. I’ve opened every accessible panel and there’s no clue how they’re getting in. Emma, maybe you can get Tina to come up with something. It’ll stop her from missing Daddy.

    Day 37

    Strawberry ice wafer. Mission Control has okayed a spacewalk; I’ll look over the hull and see if there’s a cookie stash outside the cabin.

    Day 38

    M&M cookie. Nothing on the outside of the ship. I’m totally baffled. If the cookies weren’t physically here I’d say I was hallucinating. I think Psych Evaluation did this to prevent me from going space crazy.

    Day 54

    It’s a big day; I crossed the orbit of Mars. More importantly, there’s a dainty lace cookie, like the ones we had on our honeymoon. Happy anniversary, Emma; miss you terribly.

    Day 91

    Just like I expected: an Oreo with a bite taken out. You always do that before you give me one. Happy birthday, Tina. Do you have any idea where they’re coming from, Munchkin?

    Day 133

    Animal cracker, specifically a tiger; my favourite. I think I’m going to have to admit defeat and leave this mystery unsolved. At least the cookies are good.

    Day 177

    Houston, we have a problem: no cookie today. But how the heck did you get a fresh-baked birthday cake out here, with the candles lit?

    –transmission break–

    Now I know; I read the card. Thank you, Emma, it’s wonderful. Tell Tina when she delivers the next one, however she’s doing it, she has to stay for a hug from Daddy.

      1. Observer Tim

        Sorry to hear that, PV. It’s a little allusion to the fact that Tina can’t carry an Oreo even to the next room without taking a bite out of it. By that point he’s beginning to suspect who’s delivering the sweets.

    1. jhowe

      He crossed the orbit of Mars, but more importantly… the cookie.
      Were there actually cookies? That’s the question. During the transmission break, I think Houston is doing some serious evaluation of the mental health of their astronaut. Very enjoyable.

    2. dragonchef

      I almost jumped on the teleportation device train, but then we came to this: A birthday cake . . . With lit candles . . . On a space shuttle filled with oxygen? Yep – Maj. Carpenter has some serious space sickness.

      This is Ground Control to Major Tom. Your circuit’s dead. There’s something wrong.

      Fun read, OT! Happy! Thank you.

      1. Observer Tim

        I had considered the “it’s all in his mind” option, but I am ethically opposed to doing readers over that way without telling them they’ve been done, so you would have been told.

        The simple reasoning behind this is that kids get into the darndest places, even when it seems to be impossible for them to do so. Like sneaking into a spaceship that’s halfway to Jupiter. I know a few kids who could probably pull that off. 🙂

          1. Kerry Charlton

            It sets a strange mood with the reader, as each cookie shows up. I believe the cookies are there specifically by aliens who have arrived at his ship as soon as it hit outer space. Destination not only the stomach but complete control of the mind. They are not interested in being discovered as life on Jupitor as they consider man to be inferior to them. Therefore, drive the astronaut totally insane until he tears the ship apart looking for the source. Therefore aborting the mission entirely.

  9. Peri Winkle

    Vita eyed today’s treat with suspicion. Why a cannoli? It had been cookies every day for weeks now. But today’s offering was almost too good to resist: swirls of sweet ricotta cream studded with tiny chocolate chips and encased in a perfectly crisp shell with just a dusting of powdered sugar. And none of those pointless green sprinkles that are the hallmark of an amateur. No, whoever was leaving these anonymous sweets knew a thing or two about cannolis, about cookies, and about Vita.

    At first she had just thrown the possibly poisoned cookies away, but lately Vita had begun stashing them in a Tupperware container – for evidence, in case anything should happen to her. All the Italian bakery classics were there: rich, flaky sfogliatelle, fried struffoli drenched in honey, light, crunchy amaretti, comforting iced lemon ricotta cookies, assorted biscotti… It was as if her grandmother, Nonna Filomena herself, had returned from the dead. Vita smiled at the memory of her childhood visits to Nonna’s bakery, where she was always rewarded with a vanilla-scented hug and an angel wing, or a rainbow cookie, or best of all, a pignoli cookie.

    Too bad the cannoli would have to be thrown out. She swiveled her chair toward the trash can and was startled to find Nelson standing there.

    “Aren’t you going to eat that?” Nelson said. “Cause if you’re not, I will.”

    “Oh, you don’t want to eat that…” Vita filled him in on the mystery of the daily cookies.

    “I’d say someone is sweet on you,” Nelson said. “He certainly has good taste.”

    Vita rolled her eyes. For the longest time, Nelson had been asking her to lunch, but she was always too busy. Or more honestly, not interested. Vita was determined to avoid personal relationships at work. Raising twin boys alone had been grueling and at times scary, and she took great pains to maintain her professionalism. The stakes were too high.

    Besides, at her age, what would she want with a man anyway? She had married once, and that hadn’t worked out so well. Now that the boys were grown, the last thing she needed was to complicate her life all over again.

    “Go on, live a little,” urged Nelson.

    “And get poisoned? No thanks.”

    “Then, don’t mind if I do…” Nelson reached for the cannoli and bit into it.

    “Nelson! Are you crazy?” That was just like Nelson, Vita thought. Impulsive and oblivious. Fearless. Insanely optimistic.

    “So you DO care if I live or die,” Nelson teased.

    “Seriously, if you start to feel sick, get to an emergency room”

    “If I live, will you have lunch with me?”

    “Coffee,” conceded Vita. “If you live. Maybe.”

    * * *

    The next day’s cookie, presented on a little paper doily, was a pignoli, golden brown and encrusted with pine nuts. Vita’s favorite. And this time there was a note.

    “My darling Vita,” it began.

    “Things have not been so easy for you, cara mia. You work too hard and sacrifice too much. I worry you might forget to live.

    Your name means “life” in Italian, and life is for sharing – your joys and your sorrows, your morning espresso and your evening supper, and cookies. That’s why we have cookies – for joy and for sharing .

    Italians like to say “La vita e dolce.” Life is sweet. I wish you sweetness, my Vita bella.

    Now have a cookie already.

    -N.”

    Vita stared at the note in disbelief. Who was “N?”

    Nelson???

    No way, Vita thought. Nelson wouldn’t know the difference between a sfogliatelle and a kielbasa, and besides, he didn’t strike Vita as a stalker.

    “N” for… Nonna? Grandmother Filomena? No, that’s just crazy talk. If Italian grandmothers could send cookies from the afterlife, we’d all have diabetes.

    Vita was stumped. She held up the pignoli cookie and examined it for a long time. Finally, she took a bite. It was sweet, chewy and tender, with a distinctive nutty flavor. It was everything a cookie should be. It was everything life should be.

    Vita picked up the phone and dialed Nelson’s extension.

    “Nelson, I’m ready for that coffee.”

    1. dragonchef

      Peri – So nice to meet you. That was a really nice story. A feel-good story. And so tastefully descriptive. I have made many a cannoli in my time as a pastry chef – a past life I can now look back upon with fondness.

      I have to admit, I was almost shocked to not have Vita–after eating the pignoli–walk over to Nelson’s desk only to find him lying in a pool of his own vomit. But I am really glad I didn’t now.

      Thanks for the wonderful tour through an Italian bakery.

      Now I need to go have lunch.

      1. Peri Winkle

        Thanks for your kind words, dragonchef. It’s nice to meet you too. I hope to read and comment more, but I suspect this prompt has reached its expiration date.

        Yes, it was definitely a sugary tale. But Italian pastries hold fond memories for me so It had to be a feel good story. There’s no sense in letting a good cannoli go to waste.

    2. Observer Tim

      This is nice, Peri; it’s good to get a reminder to be human now and then. I find myself a trifle unsympathetic to Vita, mostly because I know several people who are still hiding in that hole and (more importantly) working like trapdoor spiders to drag other people in. It’s good to see her come out, though. 🙂

      Nice writing style and a great voice! 🙂

  10. cosi van tutte

    And, just because….
    ***

    Alice Lindstren considered the cookie on her desk. It was shaped like a rabbit, but someone had colored it like a cat. It didn’t look very appealing. A sign sat right next to it. “Eat me.”

    “Hardly likely. I don’t eat animal cookies. I just don’t. And it looks terribly full of treacle.”

    She dumped it in the garbage and it landed with an over-frosted splat.

    Alice sighed happily. Now that detail’s been dwelt with—-

    Another rabbit cookie appeared in its place. “Eat me!”

    “That’s highly irregular. But I’m really not interested.”

    Another cookie gone to the waste bucket.

    Another rabbit cookie. “Eat meeeee!!!!”

    “Really, I’m not interested.”

    Garbage again.

    Rabbit cookie. “eeeaaaAAATTTTT!!!!!!!!MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    “Must I take out a restraining order? The answer is NO!”

    The next one was a sad emoji face with one blue frosting tear. “Please? I’m really good. You’ll love how I taste.”

    Garbage again.

    Her entire desk turned into a dripping treacle cookie with sloppy frosting.

    She yelped and jumped away from the cookie-fied desk.

    A sign descended from the ceiling. “Please eat me. You’ll like it a lot. You’ll love it and you’ll shout Hurrah! I have eaten a wonderful cookie and I am so—-”

    “Well. I think I’ve read enough of that note.” She pulled it down and tore it into shreds.

    Her cookie-computer turned into a vortex of spiraling orange and black.

    She shook her head. “Nope. Not dealing with this.” She grabbed her purse and was all set to leave, but then a teenaged boy with spunky white hair and white rabbit ears leapt out of the vortex. “Alice. Alice. Alice.”

    “What the heck?”

    “You’ve been naughty, Alice. Terribly naughty.” He dusted cookie crumbs off his white three-piece suit. “Not eating my cookies when I put so much heart and soul into—-”

    “I repeat my question. What the heck?”

    “Hm?”

    “Why’d you send me all of those cookies? Why’d you turn my entire working space into a giant cookie? Who the heck are you?”

    “I sent you all of those cookies because well.” He sniffed pathetically. “No one else wanted them and I worked so hard on making them.” He sniffled a couple more times. “I turned your desk and such into a cookie, because you threw out my other cookies.” He offered her the cookie-fied computer mouse. “You really should have a bite.”

    She gaped at him, completely appalled. “I am not eating my mouse.”

    “Oh, well. Fine. I’ll save it for the cat. He’ll eat it.” He sniffled again. “If I tell him it’s a mouse.”

    “It isn’t that kind of a mouse.”

    “The cat won’t know that.”

    “Who are you? What do you even want?”

    “Alice. Alice. Alice. I’m sorely disappointed in you. I’m the White Rabbit, as if that weren’t obvious, and I’ve come to take you to Wonderland.”

    “Ehh, no. Not really no.”

    He widened his pink eyes, which startled her. Up to that point, she hadn’t really noticed their color. She had been too busy being appalled by him in general. “You don’t want to come with me?”

    “No.”

    “But we need you there. Our last Alice ran off and everything’s a horrible, horrible chaotic mess.” He pointed the mouse at her for dramatic emphasis. “A mess that only an Alice can unmess.”

    “Well. Why don’t you go find a more amenable Alice?”

    He shook his head. His ears flopped from side to side in a ridiculously endearing fashion. “Alices are not amenable creatures. Believe me, I have met many. And they are all very not amenable. Please.” He sniffled. “Come with me.”

    “I really shouldn’t.” She contemplated her desk. “Hmm. But I suppose I can’t really work with my desk in such a state. Very well. I will come with you.”

    “Hurrah! You’re the first Alice I’ve met that’s come willingly. Oh, hurrah!”

    “Let’s go.”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Sounds a little devious to me. What will happen to our Alice? You started it, you should finish. None of us have the time but the white rabbit won’t wait. What happen next?

    2. pvenderley

      And I’m left to wonder: how did he get all the unamenable Alices to come along?

      I think this line best captured the madcap world of which Lewis Carrol had originally written: “Oh, well. Fine. I’ll save it for the cat. He’ll eat it.” He sniffled again. “If I tell him it’s a mouse.”
      It’s the sort of line I’d associate with the Mad Hatter more than the White Rabbit, but it’s definitely Wonderland.

    3. Observer Tim

      He seems more like a Mad Hatter than a White Rabbit. I love the utter insanity of the dialogue here, Cosi. It’s a lovely modern take on the Victorian style. I think the Rev. Dodgson would be either pleased, appalled, or both. Probably one of those three, though it is possible he’d be all three in which case he’d be twice the both, or twice all three? – I’d better stop now while I’m still confused. 🙂 🙂

    4. dragonchef

      Um, could i have one of those?
      I had no problem whatsoever picturing the rabbit doing this. I could even hear the voice – British accent and all. Your imagery and dialogue were superb.

      Cosi – Once again you propel me to another universe! Another place in time. I think I love you!
      (BTW: Love your site)

      1. cosi van tutte

        Thank you, dragon!

        Before I began this story, I read over the other stories and kept thinking what if’s. What if the cookie recipient didn’t want the cookies? What if the desk turned into a cookie? (My mind works in weird directions). So, I wrote this story just to see what would happen. Plus, to me a random cookie appearing on one’s desk just seemed to beg for an Alice treatment. 🙂

        Thanks for checking out my blog! I’m glad you liked it. 😀

  11. MalloryMeadie

    It’s day one hundred thirty seven, and as I flip on the halogen lights that fill my office with the steady hum of disappointment it so deserves, I can’t compel myself to be surprised by the cookie on my desk. Neatly poised atop my seemingly endless paperwork, it simply waits, unassuming, to be found. Chocolate chip, wrapped in cellophane, and without any indication of who abandoned it there – as it has been everyday for more than four months. Sighing, I allow my keys to clatter onto what little exposed desktop they can find and reach for the confection as I shrug my coat onto the back of my chair.

    Eating the cursed thing is tedious, but it has practically become habit by now, so I peel away the plastic and toss it wadded towards the trash bin. It misses spectacularly and flops to the floor. My eye twitches, but I swear to pick it up later and return to the cookie in my hand.

    This one, like its one hundred thirty six predecessors, is edible at best. They are always a bit too dry, always a bit too brown around the edges, and to date not a single one has tasted exactly the same. And yet, as if embracing the definition of madness itself, I proceed to eat it anyway, hoping that perhaps the next one will be better. I snort when I discover that today’s effort is still pitifully mediocre, and I can’t help but think that whomever is wasting their time to bake a single cookie every day just to put on my desk surely is an idiot. Because if after one hundred thirty seven attempts they have yet to improve, they must be entirely hopeless.

    When I leave for the night, I cast a final glance to my desk, though I refuse to acknowledge the bubble of impatience in my gut as anticipation for the next morning’s treat. If it can even be called something so flattering.

    Day one hundred thirty eight, and oddly enough, there seems to be a note tucked haphazardly beneath the cookie on my desk. I unwrap the cellophane robotically and hold the chocolate chip catastrophe – which is exceptionally burnt today – between my teeth as I flip open the note. It is scrawled in a familiarly messy hand and torn from a spiral-bound notebook, as the little reaching paper fingers along its edge snag at my hands. As I read, the cookie falls from my lips, exploding into a mess of crumbs on the carpet below.

    ‘Jason,
    Sorry the cookies are awful, we’ve never been good at baking. I found out that someone was planning on poisoning us in the near future. Probably another girl you’ve managed to make angry. So I’ve been feeding you little bits of cyanide every day to build up our resistance. Good luck, and try not to die.
    -Jason

    P.S. I don’t know how this even works, so don’t ask. I’m probably breaking some cosmic rule by talking to my past self, but I’d rather do this than be killed off because we did something stupid.’

    I can hear my pulse in my ears as I glance over my shoulder, and the mirror hanging innocently on the wall nearly scares me out of my skin. Another glance down at the note and I’m folding it up, shoving it into my pocket like contraband.

    “Jesus,” I mutter as I scrape up the cookie crumbs from the carpet with trembling hands. “We don’t even like chocolate chip.”

    ——–
    Hopefully it posted this time. Thanks to anyone who might’ve taken the time to read this.

    1. dragonchef

      Time travel? More like schizophrenia.
      M&M, the ending was so freakishly unexpected! Not sure what to make of it, save that i really liked it. Awesome imagery. Good writing. Still shaking . . .

    2. Observer Tim

      I love a good mindbender, MalloryMeadie, and this is definitely one. Maybe he could have found someone to make the cookies for him, if he trusted anyone. Even so, this is an incredibly imaginative story and extremely well told. I like the idea so much I may have to put it in my “steal this concept” file. 🙂

      (One niggling point though; you might need a different poison – mithridatism doesn’t work with cyanide or heavy metals.)

  12. Kerry Charlton

    PIECES

    Brian Delaware entered his office Monday at eight sharp and noticed his secretary Denise already pounding the keyboard. She had been a curiosity since the day he hired her six years ago. He knew she came from big money being a Worthington heir on one side and a Ford on the other. Yet she chose to be his executive secretary. Never talked about her private life, always business.

    And yet she fascinated him. There was an aura about Denise that he tried to penetrate but could not. So he left it at that. His thoughts were interrupted by her laughter,

    “Mr. Delaware you going to have to sleep standing up for a few days with that Bermuda tan you’ve acquired.” .

    “Oh well, I have my memories.. Sea sickness, too much sun, fish didn’t bite. What in blazes is that sitting on my desk, a cookie?”

    “A mysterious cookie, sir. It was here when I came in. Read the card,”

    “It’s blank, thank you.”

    “You better check the cookie for poison.”.

    “Check if I’m breathing in ten, I‘m going to eat it, it looks fabulous.”

    . Six weeks the cookies, every variety but only one cookie every day, managed to appear into the office and then on Brian’s desk.. Soon they showed up every morning with pieces of a jigsaw puzzle included. He tried to put it together and nothing fit. He did save the pieces, why, he didn’t know but perhaps they were trying to tell him.. Funny thing, the surveillance cameras detected no movement any where at night..

    One day after another few weeks, a package arrived by special messenger after lunch. Brian gingerly opened the box to find two bottles of champagne, a small white cake and a note in a plastic bag with hundreds of jigsaw pieces included.

    ‘The mystery is yours, Mr. Delaware, ‘ the note stated . ‘Put the pieces together and you will know.’

    “Boy if this isn’t weird Denise. How many appointments are scheduled this afternoon?”

    “Three sir.”

    “Can you move them and help me with this puzzle, there’s a lot of pieces here, maybe 500 or so.”

    “I’m not good at jigsaw puzzles but I will help.”

    “Put the phones on automatic, we’ll go to my conference room and work.”

    They spread the pieces across the large table. It appeared to be a blown up photo of a woman. It was slow going,

    “We’re never going to finish by five Denise, will you be able to stay later/‘’

    “Of course I’ll stay all night if need be.”

    Brian sent out for Chinese food as the security guard stopped by,

    ‘The building’s empty Mr. Delaware, do you need anything? Night guards will be here should you.”

    At eleven the woman’s body was complete, she wore a satin ball gown and elegant shoes. Some pieces were missing only from her face and Brian couldn’t recognize her.

    “This is one fabulous woman, where are the other pieces? Check the box Denise?”

    She handed him six pieces,

    “One for each year.”

    “Each year?”

    “For God’s sake, put the pieces in“.

    He did so, she started to weep,

    “Did you not think I knew who it was?”

    “I had hoped so, but you didn’t speak. I’ve loved you from the first moment, is it possible?”

    “Oh yes, yes it is.”

    Pieces, pieces.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you John, I hadn’t thought about continuation but reading it again, I have some intererting dynamics with both characters. So I might put a second part but probably next week.

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      Kerry, this is so very lovely, and what a clever way to get the message to Brian. Also, nice way to use the prompt as just one piece of the puzzle.

    2. dragonchef

      Okay – If someone “jokingly” says to you of a mysterious cookie appearing on your desk, “You better check the cookie for poison,” — Would you go ahead and eat it anyway? As it turns out, there was nothing wrong with the cookie(s). Good thing for Brian. Me? Instant round-file. Guess I’m just paranoid that way.

      So, why would she send him a jigsaw puzzle of herself?
      Did she actually retrieve the last six pieces from the box, or was she holding them til the last minute?
      The last three dialogue lines were a bit confusing, couldn’t determine who was speaking to whom.
      Is what possible?

      Great beginning, but could use some fine tuning and extra thought for the throughput. Just my grain-of-salt, as it were.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you dragonchef, I love these kind of critiques, they are so helpful. The poison thing, I just should have left out, it had no place in there. The jigsaw pulzzle was planned carefully. She held the six pieces that identified her till the last moment. She obviously had tried to communicate more openly, perhaps he was intimidated by her wealth and didn’t want to be confused with being a gold digger.

        Necxt to last line, Denise spoke ” I had hoped so but you didn’t speak. I’ve loved you from the very first moment, is it possible?”
        Brian answers, “Oh yes, yes it is.

        I just ran out of word count. could have written a lot smoother. Thank you again for the read and critique.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thanks Tim, that’s mighty kind praise. I rea;lly liked it myself and am so tempted to go with it. I may try it. Of course there is no back story on Brain at all. Sometimes the 500 just punishes my inspiration. It made me feel warm and toasty myself. I am so happy you liked it.

    1. jhowe

      If this is your first time posting, sometimes it takes awhile for the monitor to approve you. At least that’s what I’ve heard. Secondly, if you used any swear words, there are now filters on here that catch them and prevent the post from going through. Of course I’m not accusing you of swearing, but I’ve been a victim for that reason.

      1. MalloryMeadie

        Ah, thank you. It is my first time posting, but when I tried to post my story I didn’t get a notice along the lines of “your comment is awaiting moderation” like I did when I posted the above comment. Maybe I’ll just try again.

  13. MalloryMeadie

    It’s day one hundred thirty seven, and as I flip on the halogen lights that fill my office with the steady hum of disappointment it so deserves, I can’t compel myself to be surprised by the cookie on my desk. Neatly poised atop my seemingly endless paperwork, it simply waits, unassuming, to be found. Chocolate chip, wrapped in cellophane, and without any indication of who abandoned it there – as it has been every day for more than four months. Sighing, I allow my keys to clatter onto what little exposed desktop they can find and reach for the confection as I shrug my coat onto the back of my chair.

    Eating the cursed thing is tedious, but it has practically become habit by now, so I peel away the plastic and toss it wadded towards the trash bin. It misses spectacularly and flops to the floor. My eye twitches, but I swear to pick it up later and return to the cookie in my hand.

    This one, like its one hundred thirty six predecessors, is edible at best. They are always a bit too dry, always a bit too brown around the edges, and to date not a single one has tasted exactly the same. And yet, as if embracing the definition of madness itself, I proceed to eat it anyway, hoping that perhaps the next one will be better. I snort when I discover that today’s effort is still pitifully mediocre, and I can’t help but think that whomever is wasting their time to bake a single cookie every day just to put on my desk surely is an idiot. Because if after one hundred thirty seven attempts they have yet to improve, they must be entirely hopeless.

    When I leave for the night, I cast a final glance to my desk, though I refuse to acknowledge the bubble of impatience in my gut as anticipation for the next morning’s treat. If it can even be called something so flattering.

    Day one hundred thirty eight, and oddly enough, there seems to be a note tucked haphazardly beneath the cookie on my desk. I unwrap the cellophane robotically and hold the chocolate chip catastrophe – which is exceptionally burnt today – between my teeth as I flip open the note. It is scrawled in a familiarly messy hand and torn from a spiral-bound notebook, as the little reaching paper fingers along its edge snag at my hands. As I read, the cookie falls from my lips, exploding into a mess of crumbs on the carpet below.

    “Jason,
    Sorry the cookies are shit, we’ve never been good at baking. I found out that someone was planning on poisoning us in the near future. Probably another girl you’ve managed to piss off. So I’ve been feeding you little bits of cyanide every day to build up our resistance. Good luck, and try not to die.
    -Jason

    P.S. I don’t know how this even works, so don’t ask. I’m probably breaking some cosmic rule by talking to my past self, but I’d rather do this than be killed off because we did something stupid.”

    I can hear my pulse in my ears as I glance over my shoulder, and the mirror hanging innocently on the wall nearly scares me out of my skin. Another glance down at the note and I’m folding it up, shoving it into my pocket like contraband.

    “Jesus,” I mutter as I scrape up the cookie crumbs from the carpet with trembling hands. “We don’t even like chocolate chip.”

    ———

    Thanks for reading, if anyone did! I know it was supposed to be “something else” accompanying the note, but whatever. Sorry it was over 500 words….

  14. MalloryMeadie

    It’s day one hundred thirty seven, and as I flip on the halogen lights that fill my office with the steady hum of disappointment it so deserves, I can’t compel myself to be surprised by the cookie on my desk. Neatly poised atop my seemingly endless paperwork, it simply waits, unassuming, to be found. Chocolate chip, wrapped in cellophane, and without any indication of who abandoned it there – as it has been every day for more than four months. Sighing, I allow my keys to clatter onto what little exposed desktop they can find and reach for the confection as I shrug my coat onto the back of my chair.

    Eating the cursed thing is tedious, but it has practically become habit by now, so I peel away the plastic and toss it wadded towards the trash bin. It misses spectacularly and flops to the floor. My eye twitches, but I swear to pick it up later and return to the cookie in my hand.

    This one, like its one hundred thirty six predecessors, is edible at best. They are always a bit too dry, always a bit too brown around the edges, and to date not a single one has tasted exactly the same. And yet, as if embracing the definition of madness itself, I proceed to eat it anyway, hoping that perhaps the next one will be better. I snort when I discover that today’s effort is still pitifully mediocre, and I can’t help but think that whomever is wasting their time to bake a single cookie every day just to put on my desk surely is an idiot. Because if after one hundred thirty seven attempts they have yet to improve, they must be entirely hopeless.

    When I leave for the night, I cast a final glance to my desk, though I refuse to acknowledge the bubble of impatience in my gut as anticipation for the next morning’s treat. If it can even be called something so flattering.

    Day one hundred thirty eight, and oddly enough, there seems to be a note tucked haphazardly beneath the cookie on my desk. I unwrap the cellophane robotically and hold the chocolate chip catastrophe – which is exceptionally burnt today – between my teeth as I flip open the note. It is scrawled in a familiarly messy hand and torn from a spiral-bound notebook, as the little reaching paper fingers along its edge snag at my hands. As I read, the cookie falls from my lips, exploding into a mess of crumbs on the carpet below.

    ‘Jason,
    Sorry the cookies are shit, we’ve never been good at baking. I found out that someone was planning on poisoning us in the near future. Probably another girl you’ve managed to piss off. So I’ve been feeding you little bits of cyanide every day to build up our resistance. Good luck, and try not to die.
    -Jason

    ‘P.S. I don’t know how this even works, so don’t ask. I’m probably breaking some cosmic rule by talking to my past self, but I’d rather do this than be killed off because we did something stupid.’

    I can hear my pulse in my ears as I glance over my shoulder, and the mirror hanging innocently on the wall nearly scares me out of my skin. Another glance down at the note and I’m folding it up, shoving it into my pocket like contraband.

    “Jesus,” I mutter as I scrape up the cookie crumbs from the carpet with trembling hands. “We don’t even like chocolate chip.”

  15. thejim

    Official Report of Disclosure of Classified information
    of Luis Armstead

    No copies of this document shall be reproduced, replicated or released in any manner. This document shall remain in the holdings of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

    July 1st, 2072

    August 12th 2071, Luis Armstead was hired on at the research facility, at the Raven Rock Complex in Pennsylvania. His job was to find binding agents for various chemicals for the Alton Corporation. A privately owned section of the complex.

    Accounts following are from a memory composite scan 21 days after The Chamberlin Hill occurrence.

    Week One:
    Nothing uncommon happened, settled into my job, the first week went by slowly with little to do.

    Week Two:
    Things started picking up, was trying to resolve various covalent bonds between complex chemicals and the potential bonds that would lead to stable molecules. I felt this to be tedious work it was as if I was only given a portion of the work, there was something missing from the equations. I continued with what information I had. I felt it too early to ask questions.

    Week Three:

    Worked with the acacia compound and was able to create a natural bond with simple Geelitaon.
    Apparently, this had never been used prior and I was immediately brought into the inner circle with Doctor James Royce and Doctor Pin Yu. We discussed the effects of binding these two compounds together and started lab testing.

    Month Two – Nine:
    Conducted months of testing, we were able to control lab rats to follow basic commands within a short amount of time. The work was very exciting we could see remarkable progress in a short amount of time. Then we hit a wall, and the effects began to wear off we no longer had the control that they started to have at the beginning

    Beginning of Year 2:
    I was in my office working with a lasting agent that would continue to perform over a longer period of time, when I started to get cookie by an admirer. I was not sure who had given it to me, but it was delicious and I could not stop eating them every day in my office. I began to look forward to the cookie and actually wished I had more. I looked at various stores but could not find them anywhere. My work began to fall because all I could think about was the almond cookie. One day there was a box on my desk with a note. I opened the box and a gun was inside I opened the note and read it.

    At this point, the memory composite scan stopped and for the next 35 days, there is nothing

    Tuesday June 8th, 2072:
    I woke up very tired and made my way into the office. It was dark, I wondered if I miss a day. I thought that maybe it was a holiday; there were no lights on at the facility. I made my way to my desk and my office cleared out the room was empty. I stared at the office wondering what had happened, what was going on. Doctor Royce came in, handed me an envelope, and walked away. I opened the envelope wonder if I was fired.

    The memory composite scan stopped and there was no more.

    Tuesday June 10th, 2072 – Luis Armstead entered Chamberlin Hill with an unknown airborne chemical after releasing it within 20 minutes all 280 people began to attack local residents. Moving house to house killing any person, they came in contact with. The rampage went on for weeks the only way to stop them was the outright slaughter of all the infected people. The death toll in the 18 day period was over 36,000 people.

    #

    The soft glow of an antique incandescent bulb gave light to a row of canisters lined up along the table.

    “It’s only a matter of time. I shall persevere with the vengeance of a thousand generations of lost souls. For my time has arrived!”

    1. dragonchef

      So that is what was missing from the first episode of The Walking Dead. I always wondered.

      Cool story line. Some missing commas and periods made it a little tedious, but was still a good read. I would love to know what happened during those missing memory scans. And what was the “Thousand generations of lost souls”?

      The last sentence, however: “It’s only a matter of time . . . For my time has arrived.”– Not sure what you are trying to convey here.

      1. thejim

        Yeah, it was done rather quickly, during lunch break, so had to get back to work. Sorry. I was thinking that he traveled through time to get there so it was a matter of time and he chose that specific time to inflict his evil. The lost souls were the generations that had died before.
        Thanks for the comment :0) _ If we go with that.. it is the start of Zombies, then lost souls to Zombie life and the missing scans was a loss of brain waves because they slowly are zombifying.

    2. Observer Tim

      This is very disturbing, TheJim. It reads like the first chapter of a zombie movie (which is appropriate if Beebles’s comment is correct – I’ve never watched/read the Walking Dead). It’s definitely a horror scenario and, even sensing the end coming, it was an entertaining read.

  16. jhowe

    I stagger into my office, still drunk from the supermoon party. Who has a party on a Monday night? The moon was almost full on Saturday wasn’t it? Much better night in my mind. And then the dang thing looked just like any other moon if you ask me. Supermoon, bah.

    I drop my briefcase on my desk, right on the cookie. Where did that come from? It’s a Fig Newton. The briefcase didn’t even dent it. I hate Fig Newtons.

    What all did I drink last night? I recall it was fairly early in the evening when I said, “One more Jager Bomb and I gotta go.” I always say that but I never go.

    And then we had some shots. Some kind of whiskey, I think, or maybe rum. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t vodka. The vodka came later, after we all started lamenting about how we thought the moon would be bigger.

    Where in the hell did this Fig Newton come from anyway? I hear if you throw one in a lake, the fish won’t even eat it. I walk out to the reception office and set it on Cindy’s desk. Let her worry about it. Yell at me for sucking beer from the tap will ya.

    My desktop comes to life and I check my mail. This video looks interesting. Is that from last night? I’m bouncing Fig Newtons off Craig Hall’s bare ass. Now I remember him saying, “Here’s your freaking supermoon, beotches.”

    I rush to reception as Cindy finishes the cookie, and then her eyes get big as she watches her screen. I see Craig walking quickly toward the exit. One more Jager Bomb and I gotta go.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Hello John, were you frightened by a Fig Newton as a child? They are indestructible like fruit cake.
        Quite an amusing story, sorry I couldn’t make the party, send pictures.

  17. Beebles

    Another bleedin’ office scenario. This is what happens when I google too much.
    —————————
    Listen to the Doctors, they will tell you that it isn’t fatal.

    They are wrong.

    People didn’t know much about Plutchik’s Disease back then. Impossible to self-diagnose, it takes others to notice your deterioration and get you to seek help.

    I worked in a normal office. No surprise there, but then Surprise is usually the first casualty. That morning, there was a cookie on my desk. Of course there was. Why wouldn’t there be?

    ‘Don’t you think that’s odd?’ my colleagues teased. I just shrugged and cracked another chunk of chocolate chip.

    The next day, I arrived eager to know if there would be another. Naturally there was. Though after the fifth cookie, I didn’t give it another thought. It was no longer anything to look forward to.

    The arguments had started at home by then. Elma finally took the kids away on Christmas Day. That is the cruel irony of Plutchick’s, when it has sucked the pleasure from everything; it still leaves you wracked by the spine shuddering misery of it all. I broke up the house that night in my despair; I wailed and called their names. Two days later I was back at work. The cookies were tasteless; I ate them just the same.

    Even the last one. It wasn’t a cookie. It was a rancid meat pate; grey and fly blown, heaving from within as if it breathed. My colleagues pointed it out before I reached my desk, hands over their mouths. Several were sick when I picked it up and bit into it, letting the maggot juice ooze over my chin like relish. It cleared the room, apart from one of the temps. She stood looking at me, blue pleated skirt, glasses.

    When I had finished, she approached. ‘You need help.’

    I let her explain to me about her mother. She had developed Plutchick’s five years ago and the girl said she recognised the symptoms in me. The cookies, the meat; it had been her way to diagnose me.

    At first I didn’t understand. Who would have, back then?

    ‘Do you not see?’ she explained, ‘You should have been reviled by the meat and yet you ate it. As if it was another cookie. You should have been as disgusted as everyone else, but you weren’t.’

    She reassured me, ‘Trust me, I know where you can get help. Meet me at this address tomorrow. We must be quick.’

    That evening, in the remnants of my flat, I turned the little card over and over in my hand. What was she after? Was she really telling the truth? Perhaps there would be ‘friends’ of hers waiting for me? So the next morning I went prepared.

    The road where we were to meet was more of an alley, secluded and nightmarish, a haunt of druggies and killers. Every passer-by, every rabid soul seemed intent on harming me and by the time I heard Verity’s stiletto heels stabbing the pavement, I was cowering by the dumpsters.

    She’d said her name was Verity, but I couldn’t believe anything she said, could I? She stared at me, aghast, as if I was some kind of monster. She was the monster, she was the reason I was here, alone, ruined and afraid.

    I felt the pulse, as in that moment all my fear channelled into hatred. I felt it squeezing through every capillary. I hated that girl. The girl who just stared and stood and did nothing.

    ‘Oh, my God,’ she croaked, backing away. ‘I’m too late.’

    ‘Damn right you’re too f***ing late!’ I screamed. ‘And it’s all your fault, you tardy b##ch!’

    I stopped screaming when the magazine was empty. I stood, looking down at her dispassionately, as the sirens wailed. There was nothing, nothing left but her shattered body and my empty shell.

    Anger always leaves you last, they say. And they are right.

    But don’t ever let them tell you that Plutchik’s Disease does not kill.

    1. dragonchef

      You had me at “Rancid Meat-pie”.

      Stunned. That’s me right at this moment. No beating around the bush here, eh Beebs? Good golly Miss Molly – what a fantastic read! The depth of emotion. Leprosy of the mind.

      Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions – yes, I had to look it up. While I didn’t find an actual disease based on Plutchik’s diagram, I did find that creating your own disease from it was BRILLIANT! Unless, of course, I didn’t look deep enough and there really is a disease named after this psychologist. Either way – The hat is off to you, my friend!

      1. Beebles

        Thanks and glad you ‘got’ it, Chef, No real disease thank god – that I know of. There is much I don’t like about this piece, the concept deserved more finesse. Bleedin’ self critics!

    2. Observer Tim

      We used to call that “cultural apathy”, and usually it turns people into office drudges. This is way over the creepy line, Beebles. At least the MC will get the help he needs (at least as long as his home jurisdiction doesn’t have the death penalty for being a psychotic killer).

  18. Pete

    That Monday after Step-gate, I find a cookie on my desk. Chocolate chunk, gooey, still warm in the plastic.

    Kurt’s version of an apology.

    I eat the cookie, but I’m still pissed. It’s all his fault that we got thirty hours of WEDT—which isn’t a classic rock station, but Workplace Ethic and Diversity Training.

    It makes no sense. We are liars, not racists. But considering Kurt had nearly gotten us both canned, I figure I’ll take my lumps.

    If I was a prideful sort, I would have been mortified, sitting with him in the tiny HR office Friday, flat out busted after I’d lent Kurt my FitBit so that he could cheat the Step into A New You! Challenge.

    Was it wrong? Sure, but Kurt has a way of talking me into all things juvenile. Like on Halloween, when he tossed me a tweed jacket then convinced me to stroll around campus until two perky undergrads invited us to a party. He introduced himself as Professor Boozer, I was his nontenured colleague, Professor Smuck. He was the life of the party until he dinged his head doing a keg stand and I had to drive him to the hospital to get stitches.

    Sure, Kurt was fun. Fun in the way a roller coaster was fun. You reach a certain age and you can do without all the loops and dizziness and would rather hit the lazy river. Anyway, he’d pumped me full of beer and promised me one of the two tickets to the Bahamas in exchange for the Fitbit scheme. It hadn’t taken long for them to get wise. Especially when a mere hundred steps in, Kurt sprained his ankle, spilling to the curb where he’d sat for an hour, singing along to Randy Newman. Then they matched my Fitbit to his wrist and that was that.

    We found ourselves under the incredulous stare of Tina, who handed us forms to sign, explaining the procedures and standards for problematic practices and tolerance levels. I wondered what in Tina’s training might have prepared her for dealing with the likes of Kurt–a man who tried to cheat a Steps Challenge then asked her if she was free for drinks on Thursday night.

    She might have fired him on the spot, but just as she started in on misconduct and unethical behavior, Kurt lolled his bowling ball head back with a howl. Tina jumped. I rolled my eyes. Kurt sobbed like a millennial, about how since Sue left him and even took the dog. He was an empty soul—he said empty soul—straight laced.

    When Tina let him go with a warning, he came in for a hug. Kept the act up all the way until the elevator doors shut and his face snapped out of it. Bragged about how he said “empty soul” three times without a crack.

    So cookie or no cookie, I’m still done with Kurt. I’m through with his games and dead-end hope. No more Thursday night beers and Friday morning hangovers. I’m flying straight.

    The next day another cookie. I eat that one—gooier than the first—for breakfast, trying not to think about sedentary lifestyles and healthy lifestyle choices.

    Cookie. Cookie Cookie. But Kurt’s calls and texts go unanswered. I don’t hit the food trucks at lunch with him. I only see him in diversity training two mornings a week, aghast when the instructor nods along with Kurt’s incessant foolishness about how his man boobs soften his masculinity and offer him a duel gender perspective.

    Not me. No more. On Thursday, I call my ex, just to check in. Her boyfriend answers and I hang up in his face. Kurt would be proud.

    It’s a long week. And on Friday I get to my desk, secretly looking forward to an early morning sugar rush. But there isno cookie on my desk. Only a single airline ticket to the Bahamas.

    Kurt really is a swell guy.

        1. dragonchef

          Oh, I think those cookies were laced well enough, Pete. Straight-laced, that is.

          Kurt – what a frat-house cad.

          Excellent read! The build of anger and resentment throughout was spot on. While the relinquish of it all at the end was semi-expected, it was still a great way to end it on the last sentence. Well done. Could even see this as a SNL skit.

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      This was enjoyable in so many ways, good continuation, good character development, good lines like “sobbed like a millennial” and “dual gender perspective”.

    2. Observer Tim

      This is pleasantly strange, Pete. I’m not sure exactly what to think; your MC’s mixed feelings are really showing through. So he’s going to the Bahamas; I wonder if Kurt swindled the ticket out of someone (I haven’t read the stepping prompt yet). This is enjoyable in its own right.

  19. Justin

    Strolling across Main Street, I whistle and skip as I turn in to the office I work at. A gleaming smile comes to my face naturally as anticipation builds inside of me for my daily cookie that’ll be on my desk. Everyone else I cross looks so glum and sad compared to my festive mood, these people need more cookies in their lives.

    As I walk to my office on the second floor of this modern furnished warehouse that my company uses for those hard working workers that deserve that extra bit of comfort, I note how special I am to have such an amazing job in such an amazing place. Absolutely Fabulous! I take out my keys, hands shaking, I insert my office key in to the glittering knob that awaits my command.

    I felt like a kid again, when my mom used to bake those extra chocolate filled cookies when I got home from school. Gosh, such a long time ago. Enough, no more waiting, time to eat. Twisting the knob, I push the door open and run in, searching hungrily for the long awaited cookie. The light in my eyes is quenched and stifled when it lands on the object that is out of place in this sharp organized room.

    My anticipated cookie is not what fills my eyes, but a mask with a note. The mask looked familiar to me but the memory was just out of reach. The mask had a white mustache with pale skin and a face stuck in a perpetual smile. The mask itself was clearly very happy and yet, a growing sense of dread deep down in the instinctual part of my body throbbed. The only holes in the mask were for the eyes.
    The mask still hazily clouding my thoughts, I turn to the note. From the sloppy writing to the red ink, I could tell this was written with ill-intent. The note read as follows:

    Wear the mask and join your brothers
    Thou is your fate, the omens foretold
    Ignore this message and join your mother
    In thy soil marked by a stone, through the last threshold

    I read it through once more, motionless, crumpled it up and tossed it in to the recycling bin. Took hold of the mask and with a sudden gripping rage broke it in to pieces. Dropping the remnants of the mask in to the trash, I went to my desk and sat down. Turning the lamp on, I began my day’s work, the room as sharp as ever.

    1. dragonchef

      Seems to be several sub-stories going on here: Sad co-workers, gilded second floor of a warehouse, brothers with masks, a familiar mask, mom dead and buried . . . somewhere unusual. All leading to “More to come”.

      It is a good precursor. I would like to know where it’s headed.

      But, I have a few questions, if I may . . .
      – The protagonist seems almost Sponge-Bob-like at the beginning. Then skips into self-centered: “I notice how SPECIAL I am . . .” Probably just word choice. But then again, the whole first sentence of the second paragraph is worded to exemplify that self-centered-ness. Is it deliberate?
      – “A gleaming smile comes to my face.” Did your protagonist actually SEE this gleaming smile in a reflection somewhere to know it was indeed gleaming?
      – “Thou is your fate . . .” Thou is the archaic for of you. You is your fate? Awkward.
      – “In thy soil . . .” Again, thy is archaic for your. In “your” soil? Not bad if it is intentional, which leads back to the beginning of my critique and mom is buried somewhere unusual. And a secret that these masked brothers appear to know.

      I love that the prot. is no longer Sponge-Bob at the end, but dark and brooding . . . like the co-workers. The sudden change the note and the mask evoke is superb. If you are not already doing so, you should consider making this a full-length story. The base is there, now expand. Good job.

    2. Observer Tim

      This is a wonderfully descriptive and figurative take on an MC who is self-absorbed to the point of near insanity. I wonder what he’s going to do when there’s another mask the next day and the next, until he puts it on and his life changes forever…

      This is the beginning of a disturbing story. 🙂

  20. jhowe

    The building inspector walked into his tiny office with an armload of revised plans for the new casino building going up on Pokagon Road south of the city. The general contractor was in dire straits with cost overages, multiple change orders and fire suppression issues that had been red tagged by the fire marshall. He saw the cookie on a small paper plate on top of his keyboard.

    “Hey Julie, did you give me this cookie?”

    The receptionist stuck her head in. “No Rob, no one’s been in here all morning.”

    He picked it up as Julie went back to her desk. It smelled earthy and rich so he took a bite. By the time he finished it, he was feeling pretty good. He drummed his fingers on the desktop and took a call from the casino contractor. Two minutes later, he’d partially lifted the stop work order so the plumbers could modify the fire sprinkler lines.

    For the next few weeks, Rob ate a cookie every morning. He no longer wondered where they came from but worried that one day they would no longer come. Each day, the cookie would smell less and less like the scrumptious treat he came to depend on and more like the inside of an aspirin bottle. But he didn’t care. He loved the euphoria and carefree attitude that the cookies brought to him and it bothered him less and less that he was compromising his ethics by granting more and more reprieves for the casino project.

    On the opening day of deer hunting season, the fire marshall came to Rob’s office wearing an orange camouflage jacket.

    “Why are you sweating?” the marshall said. “It’s twenty five degrees outside.”

    Rob’s hands trembled and he kept them under the desk. “Julie must have cranked the heat up.”

    “I’m not happy about being here you know. I’m supposed to be out in the woods with my son.”

    “Don’t let me stop you,” Rob said.

    “I’m afraid if I leave you alone the casino’s going to burn the hell down. What gave you the right to override my ruling on the smoke curtains?”

    “They’re going to use fans or something.” He wiped at his moist lips and shook his head to try to clear it.

    “Fans?” The marshal got to his feet. “What’s the matter with you?”

    Rob’s cell phone chirped and he looked at the text message from the contractor. “I gotta go. I’ll take care of it today, don’t worry.”

    “Rob, you’re not getting paid off are you?”

    “Of course not. Now get out there and bag a deer.”

    When the marshall left, Rob quickly typed out a message. ‘Where’s the cookie?’ He waited and tapped his feet rapidly on the floor. He saw Julie walk past the door a few times so he got up and shut it. Finally, there was a reply.

    ‘We need you to approve the occupancy certificate today.’

    He wiped sweat from his forehead. If he did this, there’d be trouble.

    ‘I can’t do that without the other inspectors signing off.’

    His phone sat silent on the desk. Rob paced and cursed, scratching his arms. He removed the occupancy permit form from the file and stared at it. He waited a full half hour before he grabbed a pen and signed it. He snapped a picture of it and sent it to the contractor.

    ‘I’ll be there in five minutes. Leave the office and put the certificate on your keyboard and I’ll make the trade.’

    Rob hurried out, ignoring Julie’s questions. Tomorrow, he told himself; tomorrow he’d be able to resist.

    1. dragonchef

      Yikes! Don’t think I’ll be going to that casino – not that I go to casinos anyway.

      A little opium-laced lemon cookie, anyone? A good, solid start to a much more elaborate story, J.

  21. RWriting

    Whooops, it’s a bit longer than 500 words, but I couldn’t stop.
    _________________________

    The cookies had been appearing on Ellen’s desk for three weeks now. Every day, without fail, she would sit at her desk, and a cookie would be waiting to be gobbled up. Initially Ellen had been skeptical, but she was the boss of Hype Media so it was likely that someone was trying to buy some favour. She would let them try even though she knew she couldn’t be bought, she would enjoy this.

    As the months passed, Ellen found herself excited for work in the mornings. She would march towards her desk without greeting anyone and upon seeing her daily cookie, she would jog the last few meters and stuff the cookie whole into her mouth. Her eyes would flutter closed and a small moan would escape her, her toes curling as the chocolate chips exploded in her mouth, dissolving into distinct flavours. All too soon, it would be over. Ellen would spend the rest of her day barking orders at her employees, and dreaming of tomorrow morning.

    One day, Ellen noticed something was wrong. There wasn’t a cookie on her desk, but an entire cookie container. Excited, she lunged for the container, how lucky was she to get more than one cookie today. She shook slightly with excitement as she struggle to open the container, and quivered as the aroma of freshly-baked goods met her nose. The container was full to the brim, and she dug in. After the thirteenth cookie, Ellen noticed the note for the first time. “These will be your last cookies for a while, enjoy them and make them last.” Ellen scoffed at the idea of making them last and finished the entire tin that day.

    The next few days would be some of the worst days of Ellen’s life. She would show up to work, march to her desk, and be disappointed to find no cookie waiting for her, even though she logically knew there would be no more. Her days would be spent yelling at her workmates and crying in the bathroom. Her body went into withdrawal, and Ellen spent her evenings scouring the internet for a recipe that would sate her hunger. She never found one.

    Two weeks later another note appeared on her desk. Ellen saw the same handwriting as the container note and felt a glimmer of hope, but it wasn’t a clue as to where she could get more cookies, it was a call for an emergency board meeting.

    An emergency meeting? Ellen wondered what that could be about, and made her way to the boardroom. Once there, she sat in her normal chair and asked a still standing Thomas what he thought the meeting was about, he just shrugged and made an effort to sit in the chair furthest from Ellen. Ellen was confused but tried to not take the slight personally, Thomas was cranky on his best day. She noticed a few others trying to not make eye contact with her, and Missy shot her a pitying look. Before Ellen could think further, the room went quiet.

    Everyone concentrated on Jeremy, who was standing at the head of the table. “As most of you know, I have called this meeting to present a motion to dismiss Ellen Lorenzo from her duties at Hype Media.” Ellen sat dumbstruck, the mutinous bastard. “As discussed before today, Ellen has failed in her charge as CEO to inspire change and growth in the business, and has increasing forgone her duties, choosing to relegate them to others.” Ellen sputtered, it was her job to delegate, wasn’t it? “I formally call for a vote of no confidence.”

    Missy, who was the chairperson of the board, stood and asked for a second. Thomas seconded the motion. Ellen glared at him, and Missy called for the vote.

    One, two, three, and four. Half the board had voted for her dismissal. One, two, three, and four. Half the board, including herself, had voted for her to continue her duties.

    Missy read from the company charter, “in the event of a tie, a revote will take place. If there is still a tie, the motion has failed.” Ellen felt hopeful. Missy continued, “All in favour of the motion to dismiss Ellen of her current charge… all opposed?”

    The vote was a stale-mate. Jeremy had only needed one more vote to supplant Ellen as the CEO of Hype Media, and he wouldn’t get it. Ellen sighed in relief and the growing knot between her shoulders relaxed slightly. But Jeremy was smiling. “Hold on one second,” he muttered, bending down.

    Jeremy rifled in his bag, found what he was looking for and held up his hand. Inside it was a small disk, Ellen realized it was a cookie. It was her cookie. She salivated, she wanted that cookie more than anything in the world. She was willing to do anything to have that sugary goodness dance upon her tongue one last time.

    Ellen knew what she had to do and stood up. “I rescind my vote.” There were gasps all around the table and Jeremy smiled knowingly. He lowered his arm and held out the cookie towards Ellen. She snatched it out of his hand, stuffed it in her mouth, and left the boardroom.

    1. dragonchef

      It’ll be a sad day when cookies are allowed to vote. What the heck was in those pastries, anyway? I thought they were going to fire her for stealing all the cookies in the employee lounge – caught in the act with an empty box.

      Really cool take on the prompt, RW. Nicely done.

    2. Observer Tim

      This was a twist from what I expected, RWriting. Ellen has a classic addict’s personality and it’s showing. So the cookies were, all along, a plot to get her out of the CEO’s chair. Nice decline and fall story. Now I’m wondering if Jeremy is going to keep feeding her habit in her new job, or help her out the door… 😉

      1. RWriting

        Thanks Tim 🙂 From my perspective, this was the end of Ellen, but I think it would be hilarious to continue with Ellen still in the company, humbled and waiting on Jeremy for some positive reinforcement.

  22. pvenderley

    It’s a simple brown paper bag, like the one Mom used to pack my lunch in, and it’s on my desk this morning.

    Since I’d been promoted to a full-time code monkey a month ago, someone had been placing a lemon cookie on a cocktail napkin in the center of my desk each morning before I got to work. I thought it was a nice gesture. And I admit: I’m now accustomed to having a lemon cookie with my cappuccino first thing in the morning.

    I’m not sure what to make of this.

    If I had to guess, i’d say it was some sort of prank – the kind where they try to mess with your mind. You know, like the one where they switch your jacket out with something a little bit smaller each day, so you think you’re getting too fat?

    Yeah. We pulled that one on George last year. It’s really funny.

    There’s a note pinned to the bag. First thing you do when being pranked, you read the note. It usually leaves some sort of clue as to what you’re in for.

    “You started out harmless,” the note says, “But you’ve grown from an office prankster to a severe detriment on morale.”

    Uh-oh. I swivel around in my chair to see if anyone’s watching. They aren’t.

    “Every morning we have to check under our mice for stickers like a camper checks for scorpions in his shoes.

    “Every Friday we have to leave the cream-stuffed donuts behind just in case you decided to replace the filling with mayonnaise again.”

    That was so funny the second time.

    “And George had to go on leave after that air horn under the seat prank. What do you have against George, anyway?”

    “Nothing.” I say to myself. “He’s a funny guy. That’s all.”

    “Since you have joined the team, we have not met our goals once. You have been a drain on this department: on our resources, on our morale. Which we had accepted as something we had to deal with when you were an intern. But then they hired you.

    “Did you know they fired Betty to make room for you in the payroll?”

    I did not.

    “You’re a parasite. And boss’s son or not, we’re going to find a way to get rid of you.”

    I look in the bag. No lemon cookie. In its place: one hard boiled egg.

    I don’t get it. Ever since I became a part of this team I’ve tried to make this a fun place to work instead of the code mines that everyone complains about going to each morning. What do I get for it? A whiny little note and a hard-boiled egg?

    What the heck is that supposed to mean, anyway?

    I pop my head above the cubicle walls to look out over the hunched over figures of my co-workers making an unvarnished effort not to lift their own heads up as they dutifully type away on their keyboards.

    “Hey!” I shout. “Where’s my lemon cookie?”

    No one answers.

    1. dragonchef

      Not even a, “I’m sorry. I’ll change, and try to do better. Please don’t KILL ME!!” But a, “Where’s my lemon cookie?” No remorse.
      And THAT makes for a great short. Good build of tension. Great ending. Thanks. Love the hard boiled egg.

    2. Observer Tim

      This MC is in for a good healthy dose of comeuppance, and I have the feeling that he’s going to get it real soon. That note read too much like real office hate-mail, and computer shops seem to be the worst for it. I don’t know whether I’m in anticipation of the real payback or totally creeped out by the eerie reality of the story. Great job.

  23. jeanettelee

    The weight of the fortune cookie was negligible in my hand. A scent of vanilla. Munching, I read the message.
    FORTUNE WILL COME YOUR WAY.
    That night, I found a hundred dollar bill next to my car. I whistled all the way home.
    Another day, another cookie.
    TODAY IS A GOOD DAY FOR A PROMOTION.
    Feet propped up, I stared at my new office and wondered. Coincidence? Luck? A prank? It was a delicious mystery that I had no intention of solving.
    LOVE IS LOOKING FOR YOU.
    I traced her legs up to a brilliant smile. We stayed late that night. Clothes and papers scattered like broken halves of cookies.
    More fortunes, sweet as vanilla. Another promotion.
    A burnt cookie. It tasted of ashes.
    BETTER DAYS ARE BEHIND YOU.
    My acrobatic secretary—lost in the first layoffs.
    CAUTION IS REQUIRED TO SURVIVE THIS DAY.
    I stole a colleague’s work and barely survived the next layoff.
    The new secretary was older but desperate. She cried silent tears while I grunted over her in my office that night. I would take back my luck. My fortune. Mine.
    Dead leaves rattled in a cold wind that night. I kicked them aside to reach my car.
    A MYSTERIOUS STRANGER WILL COME INTO YOUR LIFE.
    I waited all day. No-one came. The secretary fled early, mumbling about picking up her kids.
    The next day was the same message.
    And the next.
    I huddled at my desk and avoided accusing eyes as I broke open the cookie.
    THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS.
    I shivered all the way home.
    The next day I called in sick.
    But I couldn’t stay away.
    I crept into my office just before midnight, reluctantly, a puppet on someone else’s strings. Shadows flickered behind windows spidered opaque with threads of frost. I groped blindly. Afraid of the dark. Afraid to turn on the lights.
    There was no cookie.
    No cookie!
    I flicked on the lamp, suddenly eager to work. It cast a pool of gold, except—except—
    The sphere-shaped darkness crouched within the light, no reflected gleam, no shadow.
    My hand brushed it while reaching for the note beside it. It spun noiselessly. A sideways number eight appeared within a white circle like an opening eye.
    The last few month’s luck toted up and itemized. Stamped with red letters:
    PAYMENT DUE!
    A shadow moved in the darkness beyond my office door. A sigh hissed along the floor.
    A footstep?
    I shook the ball.
    “Am I going die?”
    Words surfaced from the viscous purple fluid inside.
    WITHOUT A DOUBT.
    “Is this the price? For my–my luck?”
    SIGNS POINT TO YES.
    A wet thud outside my door.
    I shook the ball again.
    “What’s going on? Tell me!”
    It slipped through my sweaty grasp and shattered on the floor. I fell to my knees groping. There! A white, glistening gleam. I grabbed it as the door knob rattled.
    “What will happen to me?”
    BETTER NOT TELL YOU NOW.

    1. Observer Tim

      You did a great job building up the spooky factor, Jeanette. You had me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next. I love the device of the fortune cookies (I love fortune cookies as food, too) and the Magic Eight-Ball.

      The short sentences and paragraphs work really well here, though a bit of longer exposition interspersed would push it to a new level.

      1. jeanettelee

        Yes, it really is a longer story. Originally it clocked in around 800 and I had to pare it down. It didn’t lose too much, but I wouldn’t have minded a few hundred words back.

  24. ReathaThomasOakley

    The Strange Case of the Mysterious Cookies

    “Annie’s got a boyfriend, Annie’s got–”

    I shoved the brown paper towel into my desk and doubled up my fists.

    “Wilfred,” I turned around, “if you don’t shut your dirty ole mouth,” I raised my fists, “I’m gonna shut it for you.” Wilfred laughed, but he walked away.

    “Oh, Annie,” Marian whispered, “would you really hit him?”

    “I don’t know,” I said. “We’ll talk after school.”

    All afternoon I just kinda followed along with spelling. I’d used all the new words in one long story, not just ten sentences, so Mrs. Knight told me again I was gonna be a writer, then left me alone to think.

    I couldn’t say I was going to be a detective, but that’s what I thought about. If Mr. Sherlock Holmes had a cookie left on his desk for nine days after lunch recess, he’d sure figure out who was doing it.

    After school Marian had to go home, but that was okay, she wasn’t a very good Mr. Watson, asked too many questions. I had taken the paper towel wrapped cookies from my desk and stuffed them in my pocket.

    After I changed outta my school clothes and had a cookie, one I wasn’t afraid to eat, I headed to Mrs. Kintzer’s store. It wasn’t a real store, like Winn Dixie. Her son had just built her living room bigger and put in a counter with a glass front where, if you had enough pennies, you could buy every candy you ever heard about.

    Around the room there were shelves all the way to the ceiling filled with cans and boxes. Sometimes ladies would ask for things like, “Modess”, and Mrs. Kintzer would slip a blue box from behind the counter into a bag. I kept forgetting to ask Marian about that.

    At the store I waited until I was the only one there before I went to the counter.

    “Mrs. Kintzer,” I said in my best Johnny Dollar voice. “Would you please look at these?” I was kinda disappointed that some of the cookies were mostly crumbs. “I think they’re store bought, and was wondering if you mighta sold them and to who.”

    “Well, Annie, I believe you are correct.” She picked up the biggest piece. “I think this is a Lorna Doone. I don’t sell a whole lot of these…let me think.”

    I let her think. I wanted her to be sure, but I didn’t want anyone, especially anyone from fourth grade, to come in, so I wished she’d hurry.

    “I can’t recall exactly when, but I think someone from your grade bought the last box I sold. Children usually buy candy, so I was surprised. Twenty-five cents they cost…”

    “Mrs. Kintzer,” I couldn’t help it, I had to know. “Who bought the cookies?”

    “Why, Annie, I think it was Wilfred, that nice cousin of yours.”

    “He’s not my…” I started, but then couldn’t finish.

    Wilfred! Dirty, nasty Wilfred was leaving cookies on my desk.

    On the way home I dropped the cookie pieces down the storm drain. I didn’t want any stray dogs to eat them if they were poisoned. I had to think about what I was going to do about Wilfred.

    1. dragonchef

      Poor Wilfred. He should have stuck to dipping her pigtails in the ink well. That might have gone over better.

      Reatha, cute story. I felt transported into a Little Rascals episode. Or Leave It to Beaver. Or the like. Well done.

      One thing caught me though: “If Mr. Sherlock Holmes had a cookie left on his desk for nine days . . .” – sounds like a nine-day old cookie. Jusayin.

    2. Observer Tim

      Lovely, Reatha. I’ve been away for a couple of weeks on account of dumb prompts, so it was nice to come back to something friendly, familiar and lovable. I love the way you build the story around little pieces of Americana and history. I had to double-check Modess – glad to see my first guess was right, though they were above the counter by the time I was old enough to wonder about them. Annie’s stories strike me as Norman Rockwell meets Arthur Conan Doyle; you did a great job of capturing the 9-year old mindset.

      I would love to see a full mystery story with Annie as the heroine. 🙂

  25. madeindetroit

    Sweet Revenge

    She stared at the chocolate chip cookie on her desk. Slowly, slowly, sit down. Don’t look up, she thought, they could be watching.

    On her third day of in the executive suite, a saucer-sized cookie has mysteriously appeared on her desk. It sat next to a framed picture of her sister, killed in a tragic car accident two years ago.

    She waited a moment and stole a glance up — hushed voices, whirring printers, and scurrying movements through the plush corridors hinted at nothing sinister. This wasn’t the first time she’d been down this road. As a brilliant contract employee or “hired gun” with an MBA in Finance from an Ivy League school, mystery gifts, sweets, notes, and even silky undergarments have appeared on her desk at every corporate gig she’s had over the last few years.

    Over the next two months, a variety of tantalizing cookies awaited her when she arrived every morning. Dark Chocolate Pistachio, Cinnamon Roll Sugar, Brown Butter Oatmeal Filled With Caramel and Peanut Butter, Brown Butter Bourbon Spice, Coconut, Ginger, and Carmel Pecan Snickerdoodle (she did her research: Shari’s Berries). As she devoured each cookie, she let her mind wander. Whatever. I’m not buying it. Powerful men are so phony. All they care about is money, fame, and their next conquest. They act so transparent, but really their greatest fear is being vulnerable, discovered, and called out for the dogs they really are.

    On a dreary November morning, she shivered in the cold, damp air as she made her way to the sixty-sixth floor of the ivory glass tower. When she reached her desk, she froze. An envelope with her name scrawled across the front sat in place of her usual cookie.

    She tore open the envelope. Inside she found a plastic keycard and a note. It read: “Don’t gamble with your future, my darling. I can give you anything your heart desires. Meet me tonight at Greektown Casino Hotel. Nine o’clock. Suite 300. Use your key. I’ll be waiting.”

    * * *

    Wearing a tight black pencil skirt, knee-high black leather boots, and a crimson top, she rode the elevator up to the thirtieth floor. She had dyed her raven-colored hair blond and oversized, gold-mirrored Ray-Ban Aviators covered her eyes. She turned left out of the elevator, walked down a carpeted corridor, and arrived at Suite 300. She slid the keycard into the slot, waited for the green light, and walked into the darkness.

    When her eyes adjusted to the gloom, she recognized the silver-haired man standing in a narrow sliver of grey light, a glass in each hand. His sensual grin disappeared as she lunged forward and buried the knife deep into his chest. The CEO of the second largest automobile company in the world crumpled to the floor in a pool of blood. “That’s for my sister,” she said softly, as the man wheezed a final, blood-soaked breath. “Your defective cars killed her and hundreds of innocent people and you lied and covered it up. That makes you a murder.”

    In the elevator ride on the way down, her phone buzzed. The voice on the other end chirped. “The largest brokerage house in New York is interested in your skills,”

    “You mean the one who almost bankrupted the country and foreclosed on millions of homes putting innocent people in the streets?”

    “Well,” the recruiter stammered, “forget about it. That’s all in the past—”

    1. Beebles

      The more I read of these, the more I get the impression that sugary treats are seriously bad for one’s health. I liked the detail in this – the description of the aviators a case in point. And the end as knows said.

    2. dragonchef

      Eeeeyeah. Glad I’m not a rich executive.
      Love the cookie flavors. Made me drool.
      She stabs him and then yells, “Your defective cars killed her and hundreds of innocent people and you lied and covered it up. That makes you a murder.” – Pot calling the kettle black?
      It would have been cool if the recruiter was working with her to set these assassinations up.

      Questions:
      -Wouldn’t dying her hair make it semi-permanent and identifiable?
      -Suite 300 . . . on the 13th floor – is there something I’m missing?

      Good read, madeindetroit!

    3. Observer Tim

      I love a dark atmospheric tale, Detroit. This one is only a first-person narrative away from noir. Your MC is quite a piece of work; I would have to say high-functioning sociopath with no shortage of narcissism in her attitude. She’d make a fantastic villainess in a longer piece (or possibly an anti-hero if she combined her nasty streak and sense of “justice” with some kind of redeeming quality). Too bad she blew, or nearly blew, the recruitment; it sounds like another company needs her… 🙂

    1. Jennifer Park

      I’ve had that problem, too. There is some kind of a content filter. I don’t know which words are forbidden.

      Also, there is a “frequent poster” filter. If you get rejected, wait a bit before revising and reposting.

      While I’m advising, use double-returns between paragraphs. As you can see below, single-returns come out single-returned… like they “should be”.

  26. Jennifer Park

    Dear Shannon,

    I hope you enjoyed the cookies. Peanut butter toffee chip. Your favorite, and I knew you wouldn’t resist. You didn’t even offer a single bite to anyone, which gladdened my heart, for one simple reason:

    You have been poisoned.

    I will be honest with you. I accepted the offer to join this campaign for the explicit purpose of ruining your life. Not for any high-minded reasons. Out of pure, petty vengeance.

    Do you remember the girl in eighth grade whose retainer you repeatedly tossed into the toilet? That was me.

    Do you remember the boy in twelfth grade you falsely accused of rape? He was my little brother, and I know he didn’t rape you because he was with me that night.

    Do you remember the professor you seduced in college, and whose ruin you engineered by fabricating some evidence of conflict of interest? She was my aunt.

    Do you remember the three marriages you destroyed at your first job at Texaco? Hmmm?

    Actually, no, I had no connection to any of these. These are just a few of the things I know you have done. What you’ve done to me is just as gravely personal and egregious, and, as you know, that does not really narrow down the field of suspects much, even within this small office.

    The irony is that I have grown to believe in what we are here fighting for. The Governor is a good man. Now that he has secured the party’s nomination, and is all but certain to become President, we can be certain that America will be in good hands.

    And we can be just as certain that you must die, for you are a liability for America’s future. You have poison’ed the Governor’s mind. You have botched this campaign in so many ways. It is not thanks to you but by the Grace of God that we have come this far. Even you must know that your Fox News interview yesterday morning was atrocious.

    Or, perhaps the poison is already taking effect. Perhaps you’ve noticed other small ailments developing in your body. You will die a slow, painful death.

    And, a note to the police: you will soon figure out that the couriers who have been bringing her
    the boxes have nothing to do with this, and the only fingerprints you will find on the boxes are those of various daily volunteers. Good luck pinning this on me.

    So, farewell, and thank you for your contribution to this campaign.

    ==================

    Shannon P_, long-time public servant and former aide to President Q_, passed away early Tuesday morning. The family did not disclose the cause of death, but those close to Ms. P_ revealed that it was suicide. There have been repeated rumors that she had become increasingly delusional and paranoid about her health, which had led to medical bankruptcy and psychiatric hospitalizations. The White House issued a brief note of condolence and gratitude.

    1. dragonchef

      I think this rather smacks of recent events prior to 11/08/2016. Perhaps you have personal insight into the meanderings of certain political figures? Or just a brilliant, suspenseful mind built for writing these types of novels.

      Nicely done, Jennifer. I especially like the news flash at the end. Not to mention: “. . . thank you for your contribution to this campaign.”

    2. Observer Tim

      This is a lovely break from the current US political dialogue. I was afraid it might reference a real candidate; thank heaven it didn’t. There’s just a faint twinge of an old Avengers [John Steed’s, not Tony Stark’s] episode, which I think was called “You Have Just Been Murdered”. If you wanted to take this further, I could see it becoming a police procedural/detective story with a really classy villainess.

  27. cosi van tutte

    I come into work with my blue hair washed and brushed and such, not a single cookie crumb anywhere on my person. I broke that habit years ago. I would like to say it was bad for my teeth, but alas. I have no teeth. It is my great personal tragedy. No teeth. No teeth at all. I’ve tried dentures, but it did disastrous things to my look. My bosses told me to throw them somewhere far away. Like, I don’t know, middle of Alabama.

    Anyhoo, I come into work as always, smelling like broccoli soup. I love broccoli soup. No. Really, I do. Broccoli soup is like having a big box of cookies delivered to your house on Saturday. Mmm. Cookies.

    Sorry. Didn’t mean to drool. Because I don’t even eat cookies anymore. Nope. Don’t even like them. Nope. Nope. Cookies are no good. Cookies are…Cookies are…

    So, I come to work and go to my desk to check my e-mails.

    Huh?

    What’s this?

    It looks like…a cookie.

    A big round lovely beautiful lustrous and shiny chocolate chip cookie.

    But maybe it’s just new mousepad.

    Yeah. A mousepad shaped like a delicious could eat fifteen hundred yum yum yum chocolate chip cookie.

    I’ll just pick it up.

    Ooo. It’s crumbly.

    You know, mousepads are not supposed to be crumbly.

    Very suspicious.

    I’ll just sniff it.

    Oooooo. It smells baked.

    Mousepads…I don’t know. I don’t think mousepads are supposed to be baked.

    Hmm.

    It’s crumbly.

    It’s baked.

    I’ll just look this way and look that way and ha! No one is looking.

    I’ll take a bite.

    Not a biiiig bite.

    Just a small bite. Barely a nibble. Hardly a taste.

    Mm.

    MMMM! ITTASTESLIKEACOOOKIE!

    Huh. I don’t think this is a mousepad.

    I think it might be a cookie.

    I will need to take another bite.

    Hmm. Hmm.

    I’m not convinced that it isn’t a mousepad.

    I’ll take another bite.

    ITSTILLTASTESLIKEACOOKIE! AADSLFAHSFHUIUHLIQHUADHFADFLAF!

    ***

    “On this news, Cookie Monster has broken his five year ban on eating cookies. Isn’t that a shame, Ray?”

    Ray smiled an insincere smile at his co-host. “Oh, yes, Velma. That is a shame. He said that someone had left a great big yummy yum yum chocolate chip cookie on his computer keyboard and he just couldn’t resist. And then he broke into a Walmart store and ate up all their cookies. What do you say to that, Velma?”

    “Wow! It’s so sad to see him fall off the wagon.” she said with a smile. “And to rob a Walmart store. Oh, Ray. What is this world coming to?”

    “Yes. Yes. So sad. Well! On other news, Janice from the Electric Mayhem is going solo! Isn’t that a shock?”

    Velma’s smile didn’t falter. “Oh, such a shock.”

    Rizzo shut the tv off in disgust. “Of all the places I coulda left my cookie, I left it on HIS desk. Nuts!”

    1. dragonchef

      Cosi, you Muppet-master! I must be getting old and memory-lapsed. I didn’t even catch on it was Cookie Monster until the News Brief. But I loved it all the way through. I was trying to figure out how this person would bite a cookie without teeth. What a great story.

      1. cosi van tutte

        Thank you so much, dragon!

        I almost didn’t include the news brief because I thought it would be a little too “Here. Let me explain what just happened.” But I thought it would be a good way to reveal where the cookie came from in the first place. 😀

    2. Observer Tim

      YAY MUPPETS!

      This is great, Cosi; I love the fun and the sense of innate silliness, and the immediate voice makes it seven kinds of chocolate-chip perfect! Good thing there was a Wal-Mart around and not a Keebler factory. 🙂

      Even though his name is Ray I keep thinking the newscaster must look like Guy Smiley.

  28. dustymayjane

    I hope you’ve enjoyed the cookies. I thought you would like something a little different today. I hope you like the cupcake. It’s red velvet and it reminds me of your lovely lips. I love the way your eyes light up when you find my gift and move it to the corner of your desk, with a smile on your face. I watch you fill your coffee cup and stir in a spoonful of creamer. I wish I was the coffee, I wish I was your mug, I wish I was the last crumb of the cookie… 

    “Humph!” Harriet threw the note on her desk and looked around, her red lips pinched tight.  
    “What’s the matter Harriet?” Myrtle sniffled.  
    “Who left this?” Harriet knew Myrtle  arrived to the center earlier and must have seen someone. 
    “I can’t tell you.” It killed Myrtle to know the secret. 
    “Well if you don’t, I’ll…I’ll throw this lovely cupcake at you.” 
    “I won’t betray a trust.” She bit her tongue and clasped her hands on her lap. She was fighting tears and spoke meanly in her pain. “Besides, you’d never throw that cupcake. When have you ever let a treat go to waste?” 
    Harriet wanted to finish reading the note but worried it would lead to further embarrassment. If she ate the cupcake without reading it, well, that just didn’t seem right. Her morning coffee wasn’t the same without a sugary treat.  
    Giving in to her curiosity and her sweet tooth, Harriet poured over note while biting into the deliciously moist cake. 

    I hope one day I will gain the courage to offer your gift in person. Until then, I will dream of the day I might enjoy your company. Until then, you will not have refused me. Until then, I can dream that you love me as I love you.             Until tomorrow, TH 

    Her heart palpated in her chest while licking frosting from her fingers. Harriet devised a plan to arrive at the center early the next morning. 
    Morning never came for Harriet however. Her diabetes finally killed her. “Too many sweets.” The doctor told Myrtle. 
    Theo Harvey watched from his window as Harriet was driven away.  
    Myrtle stood at the door and saw the pain on Theo’s face. She’d hated that Theo brought Harriet a treat when it was she that loved him.   
    “Life is too short!” Myrtle said as she took off across the square. Without knocking, she walked into Theo’s living room. 
    “I don’t want cookies or cupcakes Theo. I only want you and I won’t wait in fear that you’ll refuse me, so will you take me on a date?” 
    Theo accepted the invitation and instead of cookies and cupcakes, Myrtle enjoyed a freshly prepared fruit bowl delivered to her desk each day.

    1. dragonchef

      So, Myrtle could see from the distance of across a square, to the pain in Theo’s face? Super-human eyesight? Or was the square twelve inches by twelve inches?

      Was Myrtle living with Harriet? Or was Theo able to see their office from where he lived across the square.

      Sorry, There were some “Huh?” points in your story. Nonetheless, it was a good read. Theo sounded somewhat of a freak stalker: “I wish I was the coffee, I wish I was your mug, I wish I was the last crumb of the cookie… ” I guess Myrtle had a hard time finding someone that would like her as much.

    2. Observer Tim

      This one is a strange twist, DustyMay. I’m guessing it was a heart attack that got Harriet, since that’s a common “side condition” from diabetes (I know this from personal experience). I’m not sure if there’s a message or if you’re just having fun with us – probably the latter. There were some “huh?” moments which DragonChef brought up, but in toto the story is an entertaining read. 🙂

  29. willmeggy

    ***This is my first writing prompt reply. Please don’t hate.***
    I’ve gotten used to it by now and it’s been going on for months. It all started in January on a normal day, nothing special about it. I came into work and found a cookie at my desk. Thinking it was just a little treat from a coworker or maybe a reward of some sort from my manager, I ate it without a second thought. It happened again the next day. Again, I thought nothing of it and ate it. This kept going until now. Today, I came into work looking forward to my cookie, but instead I found a note. I figured one of my coworkers was hungry and snatched it and was just telling me they had. It was probably John, he’s always taking stuff. I opened the note and it said, “Basement, 1600.” I had no idea what this meant so I asked John. “Did you take my cookie?” He looked at me, puzzled and replied, “What cookie?” I told him about how I always find a cookie and he didn’t know. I asked him about what he thought the note meant. He told me, “Go to the basement at 4 PM. 1600 means 4 PM, it’s military time.” I thanked him for helping me. As I left his office, he jokingly called out to me, “Don’t expect to always find those cookies from now on. I’m always hungry.”
    4 o’clock rolled around and I headed down to the basement. I was looking forward to finally getting to meet and thank the person who was giving me my cookie supply. I got off the elevator and the lights were on. I figured whoever it was came early and got ready for me. The thing was, I didn’t see anyone. I walked all throughout and all I found were two chairs set up facing each other. I presumed they were for us to talk in.
    “Looking for me?” His voice sounded familiar but I couldn’t place it.
    I turned around, a bit startled. “I think so… Have you been leaving me cookies?”
    “Yes.” He stepped out of the shadows. It was John!
    “John?!?! It’s been you all of this time? I thought you took my cookie today, not that you’ve been behind it all along.”
    “Yes it was me. But I had help. The whole office has been doing it the whole time. We did it one day when Jen had a cookie that she got with her coffee that she didn’t want. She put it at your desk because she knew that you liked that sort of thing. When you didn’t react, we tried it again the next day. We never had any reason to stop. We even made a schedule as to who would give you cookies.”
    “Well, thanks I guess.”
    After that, the office continued the tradition and I kept getting cookies every day.

    1. Observer Tim

      No need for hating, Will. This is a wonderful just-so story. I’m with Beebles; how can I get a job in that office? 🙂

      My only constructive criticism is formatting; try to put an extra carriage return after each paragraph so it spaces out better.

    2. dragonchef

      As if the cookies weren’t sweet enough . . .

      Welcome, willmeggy!

      Nice story, but it left me empty, or should I say – still hungry.
      Like, why the clandestine call to the basement at 1600 hrs? Why the two chairs and only two chairs? All that was said could have been said in the office at the water cooler or the coffee machine.
      Now if the the whole office were there in the basement . . .
      Like, if it was a ruse to get him there for a surprise party, or to promote him to a new position . . .
      I liked it, but I didn’t feel a sense of completeness.

  30. Bolton

    While most people dread Mondays or going to work all together, Cooper enjoys coming to work. He hadn’t always felt this way. He used to be cynical like a lot of his co-workers in eligibility. They come to work with fake smiles and complaints about their significant others; but over the past ten weeks he’s overcome the depression he began to deal with after Jenn broke off their engagement.

    The happiness started again with a cookie about ten weeks ago.

    A single cookie was sitting on his desk one Monday morning about a month after the break-up. Cooper had no idea where it came from. He didn’t trust a random cookie sitting on his desk so threw it away. The next day another cookie was waiting for him. Again he threw it away. After a week of cookies, he finally started to accept the gift and eat them.

    And they were delicious!

    He started looking forward to coming to work because of the mystery cookie. He always felt it was that cute clerk girl Megan, but the cookies kept coming after she was fired for assaulting that guy Russ in claims.

    The cookies made him happy because it made Cooper feel appreciated again.

    Cooper approached his cubicle with the same expected excitement he had every morning now. He slung his backpack on his desk but didn’t see a cookie.

    In its place was a manila envelope. Cooper was slightly disappointed but intrigued with this unexpected surprise.

    He opened the envelope and emptied its contents on his desk. A clinging sound got his attention first as he picked up a ring that came to rest next to his keyboard. He held it between his thumb and fingers to examine and realized it was the ring he gave Jenn when he proposed?

    “What the heck??!?”

    He read the accompanying note:

    “Dear Coop. I hope you enjoyed the cookies. I saw how upset you were after the break-up; I felt you needed hope again. Jenn actually helped me with the cookies, well she WAS the cookies. She turned out very sweet. I was thinking of using some of her for your birthday cake next month. Let me know. LMK Megan.”

    Confused, Cooper flipped over a picture and vomited as he recognized Jenn’s mutilated body in the background of Megan’s selfie.

    1. Observer Tim

      Whoa, this was a surprising turn. That’s why a good baker never shows people her ingredients…

      Even though the subject matter is disturbing, it’s a nicely-executed story. The first paragraph could use a bit of clean-up to make it flow better, but other than that it’s great! 🙂

    2. dragonchef

      Jiminy Crickets! What a surprise.
      Just wondering how Megan got back into the building after she was fired. But, psychopaths are usually very resourceful.
      Great ending – Great story. Thanks
      My personal fav: “Jenn actually helped me with the cookies, well she WAS the cookies.”

      1. dragonchef

        Forgot, but there was one nag . . .
        “The cookies made him happy because it made Cooper feel appreciated again.”
        Two different tenses in one sentence. Gives it almost a creepy schizophrenic feel – which could be real cool if the story was about that, or at least had more allusion to that–like if Cooper, Megan and Jenn were all the same person . . . But it didn’t.

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