The Pitted Olive

January 16, 2009
By Jill Duncan, West Jordan, UT

The distinctive smell of the tangy, sharp, robust flavored blue cheese, sitting on a Dixie plate situated precariously on the edge of the counter, wafted through the cold winter air, making his mouth water. Despite the risk of being caught and disposed of, the cheese was simply too irresistible to pass up, and the aroma overwhelmed him. Besides, the house creatures were out and about for a while. He only knew this because he had just heard the loud rumble of their moving houses, which, he had come to learn, meant that they would be away for a while. So quickly he scurried over to the long, hollow black pole leaning against the hard white marble counter, near the box of long silver spiky sticks with yellow cone shaped rubber ends.

Bypassing these, he headed straight for the mother load of delectable blue cheeses. He then climbed carefully up onto the flat surface of the extraordinary find, so as to avoid tipping over the plate, and began to nibble. As he consciously savored the intense flavor, he began to notice that of a foreign one; unnatural and repulsive, with an ominously head-dizzying effect. Taking that as a bad sign, he scuttled to the opposite corner and upon checking it, proceeded to sever off a crude triangular chunk that would make a lovely addition to the hoard in the upstairs hallway hole.

The startling sound of a rumble in the driveway sped his progress immensely. Quickly, scrambling off the cheese and knocking it over with the plate, he dashed across the white marble countertop and back down the hollow obsidian pole. While running across the old wooden walnut floor, a pit stop at his hole in the staircase suddenly seemed like an excellent idea; he just couldn’t risk allowing the house creatures to detect him. He’d wait there until it was safe enough to make the journey to the upper hallway hoard. But before he made it halfway across the kitchen floor the sound of rubber scraping concrete, a sign that the house creatures were approaching the doorway, caught his attention and he began to kick it into high gear.

Heart racing, he disappeared out of sight just as, with the creaking noise of rusty hinges, the house creatures turned the key in the lock and opened the front door. With the pending thought of limitless hours of nothingness before an appropriate opportunity would allow him to leave, a nap seemed suddenly very enticing, and he succumbed to the fatigue of the post-adrenaline rush.

Awakening slowly, he blinked his rested and alert eyes in order to adjust to the sudden darkness of the moonless night. His ears flicked upwards; he could hear the biggest house creature making sleeping sounds as he breathed upstairs. Sniffing once or twice, he peeked out of the hole to check and see if the coast was clear. After deciding that this was the case, he ventured out onto the stair, dragging the chunk of cheese along with him, and stepped on a small mound of something indistinguishable. Suddenly distracted by this little mystery, he concentrated on the peculiarly familiar smell combination of muggy rainwater and the strange, round, deliciously edible pebbles that always resided in a shallow bowl next to a bowl full of clear cold liquid downstairs on the floor near the kitchen fridge. Pausing for a moment, he struggled to remember where he had smelled this smell once before. After a few seconds he dismissed the thought as trivial and began the long, tedious process of pushing, pulling, and climbing until he finally reached the top of the less than helpful staircase.

He knew he was alone, and so he began to drag his cheese along the aged wooden floor, around the corner of the staircase, and down the hall with a bare window at the end that lead on to his hallway; all the while, stuck in his oblivious little world, not noticing the yellow-green glint of the round eye of the predatory feline that was crouched in a position ready to pounce at the opposite end of the hall.

Suddenly, the sound of padded paws sprinting down the wooden floor towards him caused him to drop the cheese and bolt to his home in order to save his life from this manic and graceful monster that seemed to come out of nowhere. Making a sharp turn around the corner seemed to work in his favor, gaining him only seconds as the animal avoided running headfirst into the wall. These measly seconds would allow him just enough time to reach safety… but as he neared his home, he picked up the faint and unmistakable whiff of a refreshing, green, pitted olive.

A sense of relief and gratitude washed over him as he raced into the hole and saw the source of the smell, mounted on a metal plate conveniently attached to a bar on a kind of wooden table. As he skidded across the edge of the wooden table, a sliver imbedded itself in his paw, and caused him to reel backward and set in motion the steel bar, which snapped with a bone crushing force; almost as if it was meant for him. With one more near miss under his belt, and a perfectly wonderful olive his for the taking, he felt it time to celebrate; and what better celebration than the juicy odiferous olive? But, in his triumphant attempt to feast, he found the entire pimento hopelessly lodged in his throat, and as the light began to fade, could see only the tantalizing olive.

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