You pull up the driveway and stare at the house. It looks so nice, so innocuous with its Tudor styling and soft, green lawn. But inside lurks Big Trouble. And you are tired, under-caffeinated, stressed out—all bad things considering what you have to face…
You take a deep breath at the door. Focus. Key in the lock and then you step in and voices call out in greeting. But don’t look left—not even the laundry room is safe.
Your shoes are off now and you put one foot in front of the other. People materialize and you hug and smile and keep moving inexorably forwards, to the place you dread, the place you long for, the very seat of temptation. You have fought many battles in this place, battles for body and soul. You’ve lost more of them than you care to recall but you must recall them now, you must hold your failures high and bright in your mind for you are on the precipice, on the battleground and you must never, never forget the price you have already paid, the numbers that came with the failures: 6, 8, 10, 12…
Heart pounding, you cross the threshold. Already you feel the pull and hear the voices (strangely they remind you of Harry Potter speaking Parseltongue but there’s no time to ponder that now) and you are all too aware that better women and men have succumbed, have left this battlefield in tatters…or never left it at all.
The first attack is three-pronged and it comes from the island of granite. Hard and fast it comes and the force knocks the wind out of you. The sides of your tongue start to water and your insides moan. Caramels, M&Ms and the cursed, godforsaken Chocolate Covered Almonds.
But you straighten your spine, narrow your eyes and stare them down. You will not be so easily cowed, so easily beaten. Your glare is so intense they inch backwards and when you snarl they jump and jam their lids back on their heads.
And then something long and steely slams into your back. You gasp in pain and then dread, when you realize what it must be…
The freezer door. The Rolo ice cream is loose and the Coffee Crisp, Skor and Turtle ice creams are gathering in a deadly formation. Your stomach lurches, tries to claw its way up out of your throat but you are too fast. You execute a perfect windmill kick, the ice creams tumble back into the freezer and you slam the door shut and lean against it, panting with exertion.
You’re just starting to catch your breath when the cookies start singing their siren song. Damn them, they’re everywhere. The chocolate chip cookies are fresh and therefore stronger than the others. You clutch at a barstool, sink to your knees and the Chocolate Covered Almonds take advantage and stab you on the right side.
You’re clenching your fists, struggling upwards when you see, standing in the open doorway, the caramel corn from the laundry room. You cannot withstand the caramel corn. You know this for a fact. You cast about for another means of escape but your heart sinks and you see the mini Snickers, Mars and Aero bars blocking the other exits.
Your fingers are reaching, your mouth is open and somewhere in the distance you hear a scream.
You are in my parent’s kitchen.
And you’ll be lucky if you make it out alive.