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Death by Chili
When I opened the door to the house, it was to the unmistakable smells and sounds of my sister attempting some cooking. It was a bit suggestive of a hurricane on the rampage. Now, I should have taken this as a warning and legged it out of there when I had the chance. Instead, I dropped my bag by the stairs and made a beeline for the kitchen, and food.
I peered into the pot that was still simmering on the stove. It was a mess of brownish goo that was bubbling a bit like lava. In short, it didn?t look fit to eat. ?It?s not done yet.? My sister said, crossing her arms.
?Oh, ah.? I said noncommittally. I couldn?t see what else she could do to it. It already looked potent enough to kill me, which come to think of it, may have been the plan. ?And what exactly is it??
?Chili of course.? My sister looked hurt. ?It?s mom?s special recipe. I thought I would make it for us seeing as it?s just the two of us at home.?
?You shouldn?t have!? I said this far too much emphasis. I really meant it. I wished I could have just been left to the somewhat soggy frozen dinners in the fridge. Although a bit like eating cardboard, at least they had been certified by the FDA, meaning they weren?t supposed to kill you. I had my doubts about this so called chili.
?Well, I?m hungry, so I?ll just eat it now.? And get the torture over with quickly, I thought privately.
?I think it could do with a bit more boiling.? My sister said doubtfully, pushing back her bangs.
?Nah. It looks so tasty, I can hardly wait.? I lied through my teeth, but it was a teensy white lie. My sister beamed.
I spooned it out quickly, into the smallest of small bowls I could find in the cabinet. It was only a few mouthfuls, but it still was far too much for me. I placed it on the table and just stared at it for a few minutes. It frothed and bubbled like something alive. I wondered if it might succeed in eating me instead of the other way around. Finally, I drew up the last dregs of my courage usually reserved for killing spiders or surviving my mother?s driving. I put a teensy brownish lump on my spoon.
Then, I brought it slowly to my mouth, in the manner of a mother coaxing a toddler to eat something particularly nasty. I shuddered inwardly and then downed it.
?What exactly did you put in this?? I asked my sister, gasping. I staggered to the refrigerator, in search of some sort of dairy product that would cool what felt like a raging brushfire in my mouth. I almost didn?t make it. It wouldn?t have mattered anyways. The fridge hummed when I opened it. I almost cried when I saw that there wasn?t any milk, yogurt, or even a slab of moldy cheese.
?Where?s the milk? I?m dying here!? I said. I guzzled a glass of water, but it only made the situation worse.
My sister just rolled her eyes and muttered, ?Stop being so dramatic. I?m sure it?s fine.?
Yeah, sure, I thought. It felt as if someone had shot me in the gut. My nose was runny and tears were streaming from my eyes. It felt as if my sister had mistakenly emptied a whole bagful of red hot chili flakes into the food.
I made a heroic effort to stay afloat, but after a few seconds I gave up. The next half hour or so, I laid on the sofa, clutching my stomach and writhing in agony. I had horrific hallucinations, similar to what I expect people have on their deathbeds. To give you a general idea, something along the line of trying to drink milk and the cup always being empty. Horrible.
My sister hovered around the stove, poking and stirring at that hateful chili. She seemed to possess absolutely no sympathy for my situation. ?Is this revenge for that one time I broke your Barbie doll? Because I?m really sorry.? I called out.
?What Barbie doll?? my sister said with an irritated air. ?Come and help me cook. Stop lying around, lazy.?
?I?m telling you, it feels like I?m being eaten alive by fire, or rather your chili. What did you do to it??
?Oh be quiet. I made you food, and you are showing no appreciation.?
?Well then taste it, if you think it?s so good!?
My sister spooned out some of the horrid stuff and sampled it. I watched with some satisfaction when she gasped and her face turned a bright red. She tottered over to a chair, all the while clutching her stomach and breathing heavily.
For the next half hour, we suffered together. We grew close in our pain. I learned once again never to trust anyone?s cooking.
When my mom came home we were still in the final stages of recovery.
?My goodness, what happened to you kids?? she asked.
?Chili.? We said in chorus.
My mom went over for a taste. ?Wait, don?t!? said my sister, but it was too late.
My mom made a face and fell to her knees. ?Get?some?milk!? she said in between gasps. I took one look at her and didn?t stop once as I ran to the grocery store and back.