Sunday, April 2, 2006

Life in a Box

He sat on the top sheld with his five other buddies, chilled to perfection. He was proud, better than anyone else, and so sure he would remain in the refrigerator forever. He and the other five were worshipped like gods among the produce Even the dairy products looked up to them. Being a canned soda was the most exciting and the most recognized of all the groceries.

They called him Doc. He was a very smart yet curious can. Always asking questions and making noted remarks. He would pal around with the mustard. Frenchie was her name, and she was tall and a little on the heavy side. She would try to tell him what it was like on the outside, but he would just dismiss it as heresy. “Doc,” she’d say, “It’s dangerous out there. Our time is limited. I’ve seen your kind leave and never return.”

“Frenchie, babe, you’ve been in this cold box too long. You’re delusional. I’m not going anywhere, and neither are you.” Doc would reply.

One day Doc was visitng with Pepper near the eggs. They were exchanging ideas for a Wednesday night get-together. When all of a sudden, an earthquake shook the shelf, and with a pop, a giant side of their domain appeared to rip open. Enormous fleshy appendages lashed at the cheese and knocked several helpless victims on their sides. With a final swoop and a blink of an eye, Pepper was gone. The predator had vanished, and all was quiet and still.

It took about thirty seconds for the reality of the whole event to hit Doc. He was terrified and trembling. After and minute or so he was his normal self again. He was invincible (or so he thought). He was not Pepper, he was MUCH better than Pepper.

As the days went by, the earthquakes were regular and so were the lightening deaths of his colleagues. He watched his five buddies dwindle down to two, then just one. Finally he was alone; no buddies… just him. He would be spared if another quake took place; he knew this without a doubt.

Frenchie had disappeared, and Doc spent his time alone. He would study ingredients on the panels of the butter and other tubbed residents. He also made plans for building projects on the second shelf, and had ideas on how to utilize space. He taught classes on en-lite-ening oneself, recycling, and yogurt. He was asked to run for public office. Running against the margarine, he beat the spread.

In the height of all his glory tragedy struck. It was an earthquake again; the worst so far. Fleshy appendages snagged Doc, and he was out of the fridge for the first time since he arrived there weeks ago. It wasn’t like he expected, and it was too quick for him to absorb the whole of it. He felt the sting as his tab popped, and a rapid dizziness found him terrified. His great life flashed before his eyes, then he was gone. His innards had been drained completely, and his empty carcass crushed and discarded.


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