Mindy still couldn’t forgive Jessica for what she did the last week. She tried her best to smile and laugh it off as if it didn’t bother her but it did. It ate away at her as she slept at night-tossing, turning, and cursing her name. How could anyone do such a thing?
Well, the tossing in turning also stemmed from a physical cause. She had food poisoning. She came down with it the morning feeling a weakness that infected her limbs and made the thought of moving hurt. It was when she washed her face in the mirror that she could tell that she was seriously not well. Her entire body felt clammy and she felt like some evil midget was whacking her stomach with a stick like it was a piñata. And then… Oh, she doesn’t want to think about it. Needless to say, she was out of commission for the next two days getting familiar with the trash bin.
She thought it was her fault. In hindsight, the bagels at Einstein Bros. did taste off. When Jessica found her dying in her bedroom, she shook her head.
“Poor dear,” she said as she sat on the side of the bed. “How are you feeling?”
She was too afraid to speak. She could feel the bile collecting at the back of her throat just waiting for a reason. She shook her head instead.
“Oh, I see.” She patted Mindy’s leg beneath the sheets. “You didn’t happen to eat that Lo Mein on the counter, did you?”
In fact, she did. Jessica was on food duty that day. They were supposed to have Chinese and she usually asked for the local place’s Lo Mein special. She thought it was strange that Jessica didn’t call her down for dinner but she thought nothing of it.
“You did, didn’t you?” she didn’t sound the least bit surprised. “Well, Mindy, I’m sorry to say that was a bad batch. I must have forgotten to throw the stuff away. Your food was in the fridge.”
“But wh–,”she didn’t have time to finish her sentence. She had to get reacquainted with the trash bin again.
From the corner of her eye she could see Jessica shaking her head.
“Oh, you poor dear. I hope you get over this bad bug.”
She then left. Mindy never hated someone so much in her life.
Mindy came back from work harboring evil thoughts of revenge. She contemplated how she would get her back. When she came through the door, she saw Jessica in her bright pink apron.
“I want to show you how to make a pie. My Killer Pie.”
“Come into the kitchen. Quickly.”
“Oh, I am making something extra special for my history class tomorrow. All of them wanted pie. Strawberry pie.
“But why do you need my help. Surely you can do it on your own.”
“I want us to bond together over pie making.”
“That’s a weird way to apologize,” Mindy mumbled under her breath.
“I’m really not in the mood.”
“Oh, please Mindy, please. It would be much more fun if I had someone to cook the pies with.” She then whispered, “And also, you are the only one I trust enough to help me. I add a secret ingredient to them that makes them extra special.”
Jessica stared at Mindy pleadingly. She stood there to consider. Though Mindy was still bitter, how could she pass up this chance? Jessica’s pies have gained quite the reputation. One of the perks of being her roommate was having first dibs on whatever she made. She had always asked what made them so good but Jessica was often so coy about it.
“Alright. Let’s bake.”
Jessica jumped for joy and dragged Mindy into the kitchen. There several ingredients already laid out. Sugar, pie crust, strawberry jam, fresh strawberries, flour, butter, and a bottle of syrup.
“Okay, first we have to chop up the strawberries.”
Jessica grabbed the carton of the most red and juiciest strawberries that Mindy has ever seen. She gathered them in a pile on the cutting board and began to cut some in halves.
“First, you got to cut off the top part with the leaf. What I like to imagine is that each of these strawberries are my subject and they’ve all been sentenced to be decapitated.”
“Instead of simply lopping their heads off, you go in nice and easy. Slice the top like you are caressing the throat with the knife. Then you chop down the middle.” She stared at me with a bright smile. “Think you can manage that?”
“Did we have to go with such a morbid comparison?” Mindy couldn’t help asking.
“Oh, Mindy, you know me. I do whatever works.” She held the knife out to her. The strawberry juices dripping off the blade. “Now you try.”
Mindy took the knife hesitantly and continued the deed. She imagined them as just strawberries. Just strawberries. Jessica monitored her for a couple of seconds nodding.
“Wonderful! While you finish that up, I’ll preheat the oven.”
Mindy shouldn’t be too surprised by this. Jessica always had a peculiar sense of humor. She was the only one who could make pulling out weeds something akin to yanking out organs. She always made those morbid comparisons which were made all the more ominous by that overly happy demeanor she has. It was this coupled with the incident last week that had Mindy debating whether Jessica tampered with her food intentionally. She did have a bad habit of experimenting with things.
“Okay, I believe that is about four cups.” Jessica pushed the strawberry halves into a large bowl. “Next, we’ll mix in the jam, sugar and flour. Could you grab them?”
She placed them on the counter next to her as she stared hard at the strawberries.
“Could you also grab the measuring spoons? There in the silverware drawer.” She said without looking up.
“Why don’t you get them?”
“I’m making sure that the strawberries are perfectly sliced.”
Mindy folder her arms, “You don’t think I sliced them right?”
“No, I’m just making sure they are perfectly sliced. You did alright.”
“Too bad the same can be said of you,” Mindy said yanking out the drawer and producing the spoons.
“Mmm? Did you say something, Mindy?”
“We can’t all be perfect, I guess.” she said handing them to her.
“No one’s perfect, Mindy but some can strive for perfection better than others.”
Mindy’s eyebrow twitched as Jessica shook her head.
“Oh, don’t take it like that,” she grabbed the spoons. “You should be content with your natural abilities.”
“You know what, Jessica…” Mindy was about to leave but Jessica grabbed her hand.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to offend.” She offered up the bowl. “Do you want to mix while I measure?”
Mindy stared at the bowl for a few seconds before begrudgingly taking it. Jessica then with a wide smile handed her a big mixing spoon.
“Alright, first, we need about 1/3 a cup of flour.”
She carefully measured it out. The meticulousness of which she did seemed a bit overdone. She took forever in shaking out the flour. She then lowered herself to get level with the rim, scraping away the excess back into the bag. It took her forever to finally dump the contents into the bowl. With a flick of her wrist, she motioned Mindy to stir.
“But not too fast.” Jessica said keeping an eye on her hand. “We don’t want the strawberries to turn to mush.”
“I hear ya. I hear ya,” Mindy said making a show of stirring.
“Next the jam. Just a little bit will do since the flour will do most of the work melding things together.”
She scooped in two small spoonfuls.
She then proceeded to add the butter, a bit of sugar and a bit of cinnamon.
Then she produced the syrup.
“And now, a special touch. Just a bit of ipecac syrup.”
“Yes, about a good three tablespoons will due.” She said measuring out the first one.
“Doesn’t that stuff induce vomiting?”
“Well, yes, it will. But it will go down smooth with the rest.”
Mindy stepped away from her, the bowl still in her hands.
“Why are you adding that?”
“I hate my class but if it’s any consolation I’m giving them something sweet with it.”
“You’re planning on poisoning your classmates. They could die from this.”
“No, they won’t silly. They’ll just get extremely ill.” She said with a laugh, “My, you didn’t think I would resort to killing someone, did you?”
Mindy stared at her in horror.
“Why would you do such a thing?”
“The class bores me and I hate it. Let me have my bit of fun, Mindy.” She said this with stamping her foot on the ground.
Then something evil occurred to Mindy. Something that she feigned to actually believe but…
“Did you poison me last week?”
She seemed taken aback by the change in subject. “No, I didn’t.”
“Did you add something to the Lo Mein?”
“Yes, I was testing out a tasteless powder I bought at a pharmacy. Oh, don’t look at me like that. I didn’t think you would eat it. I was going to test it out on a rodent I found.”
Mindy dropped the batter and Jessica screamed.
“Oh, no! It’s ruined!” Jessica cried as the red remains spread out on the floor.
Mindy just walked out and slammed the door behind her.
(Last Edit: 17 January 2016)