Saturday, January 30, 2016

Short Story - Cinnamon Raisins Messing with My Mind

Cinnamon Raisins Messing with My Mind
words: 2176
 Allison inhaled and exhaled deliberately. Her mind was starting to race as she wondered how much oxygen was left. It felt like she was falling asleep standing up, her body going limp and regaining consciousness before she fell. Her knees were near her chest, and she had no room to move.
Her senses were in overdrive, she felt a bead of sweat trickle down her forehead, clip her brow and sail through the air in slow motion. It hit the floor with a resounding thud. She could hear muffled voices outside, the sound waves deep and distorted. She wanted to scream, but she also wanted the record. Surely no one had stayed inside this long. It sounded like bombs dropping outside of the refrigerator, but it had to be her friends knocking on the steel coffin, letting her know she had set the record. Allison’s voice caught in her throat. She wanted to scream, ‘I’m ready. Let me out.’

---

“How does this pertain to me, categorically?” Agent Breckenridge asked, loosely draped on the chair.

“It’s a case I assumed would interest you. Don’t go.” Stard’s eyes revealed nothing of his thoughts. His back was straight, tilted slightly over the cherry wood desk.

“A fantastical story about a magic refrigerator and you think of me?” Breckenridge leaned forward, trying to read Stard. “Do you have a case file, anything?”

“As I informed you, it just happened.” Stard glanced at his computer, the familiar sound of new email emitting quietly.

“I assume this is a case for me and my partner.”

“That’s why we call you partners, you investigate together.” Stard’s gaze lingered as if to ask, ‘Anything else?’

---

Breckenridge and Chandraskar were chatting over the roof of their car, parked at the home of Allison.

“What do you think happened? I mean, it’s a refrigerator. This is as cut and dry as it comes.” Chandraskar stated.

“There’s something here. I can feel it.” Breckenridge replied, shutting the car door, a smile crossing his face.

“You just wanted a day away from the office.” Chandreskar followed, the case file from the locals in hand.

---

“We’re just glad she’s okay.” Allison’s mom said, her arm wrapped around her daughter, both huddled on the sofa. “Kids make mistakes.”

Breckenridge nodded. He set the cup of tea down in front of him, looking to Allison. “What did you see or hear while inside?”

Allison’s dark hair framed her face, her dark eyes were glassy. “It was dark. I felt light headed after a while. Towards the end I guess.”

“Did you have a vision or hallucinate, anything like that?” Breckenridge asked. Chandraskar studied the girl's face, looking for inconsistencies.

“No... well, it was kind of like a dream or like time slowed down.” Allison said.

“From there, until you got out.” Breckenridge asked.

“I just opened my eyes and the door was opening. I guess I blacked out. My friends said they couldn’t open the door and then they could.”

“Did you see a bright light?” Breckenridg’s hand cupped his chin. Chandraskar mentally rolled her eyes.

“No, it was just... nothing, One second I’m starting to freak out, the next I’m out. It just happened.” Allison kneaded the edge of the sweatshirt between her fingers.

Chandraskar looked up from her notes. “Was the door broken?”

“No, that’s what’s weird.” Allison said. “It’s just a normal door, no locks.”

“How do you feel now that you’re out?” Chandraskar asked.

Allison scanned the room, her eyes landing on her mom briefly. “Different, everything just feels different.”

“Different like you’ve been here before?” Breckenridge asked.

“Different like I’ve never been here. Everything is the same, but different.”

---

Breckenridge squinted in the sunlight, examining the inside of the refrigerator for any marks or scratches, the tiny flashlight painting the interior. “There’s nothing here, she didn’t try to escape.”

“She blacked out. She was suffering from a lack of oxygen.” Chandraskar’s shoes crunched brown leaves. Kids pick the strangest games.”

“It’s instinct, kids even at their base level are proving Darwin’s theory. They weed out the weakest.” Breckenridge circled the refrigerator, examining the back.

“This isn’t Lord of the Flies, this is dumb high schoolers.” Chandraskar examined the door, opening and shutting it. “Why couldn’t her friends open it? Were they playing a prank on her, holding it shut?”

“Maybe it was an act of God.” Breckenridge smiled sheepishly.

“That’s funny. They need some sense. If this stops them from doing it, it’s worth it.” Chandraskar watched Breckenridge examine the refrigerator. “You’ve gotten a day out of the office, can we go? There’s no crime.”

“It’s a crime this is what kids do for fun. Kids should play baseball or play with themselves.” Breckenridge squatted, examining the base of the appliance again. “All I had was a 2x4 and I loved it. it was a rifle, a javelin, and discipline all rolled into one.”

“A javelin?” Chandraskar examined a tree with initials and a large heart carved into the bark.

“It didn’t go very far. It’s imagination.”

Chandraskar scoffed. “Great, can we go?”

“There’s something here. More to it than we’re seeing.” Breckenridge said.

“You have an idea?”

“I don’t know what happened, but I know what didn’t happen. It wasn’t dinosaurs or J.J. Abrams.” Breckenridge slowly opened and shut the door.

“That really narrows it down. I’m glad we made it out here.”

“There’s something we’re missing, a detail, a footprint, a leaf out place. How does a fridge even get here?” Breckenridge examined the area beyond the refrigerator.

“Someone dumped it.” Chandraskar raised her hand to her mouth to cover a yawn.

“But who? It's surrounded by trees. Someone would have had to carry it. This thing isn’t a hand basket.” Breckinridge clicked the flashlight off. “Pull up your phone. What’s around here?”

Chandraskar fished the phone her of pocket, rubbing her temple with her other hand.

Breckenridge circled the fridge again, scanning the horizon. “I’m glad you see it my way. Anything yet?”

“I just got my phone out, it hasn’t loaded, I know you saw that.”

“And I thought you were in a hurry.”

Chandraskar shook her head, hiding a smile. “Looks like there is a cabin, but it’s not that close.”

“A spooky cabin in the woods, count me in.”

“There is no crime here. The girl is okay. You’ve admitted you haven’t found a clue. Let’s leave.” Chandraskar urged.

“But something happened, don’t you want to know?” Breckenridge asked.

“No! I’m content to consider it an act of God.” Chandraskar replied

Breckenridge looked around pensively. “Maybe it’s a media stunt. You used to have people that fell in wells all the time for the publicity. She’s aiming to be the girl that was locked in a fridge.”

“No one fakes falling into a well. When that happens, it’s legitimate.”

Breckenridge considered that option. “Maybe I’m thinking of The Simpsons, didn’t Bart fake it. I bet that’s how she came up with the plan. It speaks to the lack of common sense among modern day youth.”

“They wouldn’t even know what The Simpsons is. At least not an episode that old. No one watches that show anymore.” Chandraskar stated.

“Yes they do.” Breckenridge replied emphatically. “If it’s still on the air, someone is watching. Someone believes in it.”

“Are you going to purport people watch Family Guy too? Nobody believes that.” Chandraksar replied. They both snickered.

“We should get in, recreate the scene.” Breckenridge suggested.

Chandraskar shook her head. “How much time are you trying to waste?”

“None. I don’t want to waste time. We’ve got to get to the bottom of this.” Breckenridge opened the door and a placed a foot inside, testing his weight.

“Go ahead and get in.” Breckenridge urged.

“No. Not happening.”

“You’re shorter than me, You’ll fit easier.” Breckinridge motioned towards the opening.

Chandraskar stared him down and he relented.

“Fine I’ll go. Understand you’re missing out. This is the only bit of adventure we’ll get and you’re opting out.”

“i can deal with that.”

“If I get in, will you?”

“No, I won’t. Why would I get into that refrigerator?”

“To see what happens.” Breckenridge yanked open the door, hunched over and entered backwards. “Open this door if you hear me yelling or banging.” The door slowly closed and Chandraskar was left with a dingy, rusted refrigerator.

She looked at her phone a few times, decrying how slowly the moments passed. Less than two minutes later.

Breckenridge tumbled out of the appliance, face down on the ground.

“Wow.” He pushed himself up with his hands, brushing leaves off his suit. “You’ve got to check that out.”

“Really?” Chandraskar’s eyes narrowed. “I’m not falling for that.”

“Get in here with me. Come on.” Breckenridge turned to the refrigerator, examining it again.

“That’s the worst line I’ve ever heard. No, seriously.”

“Come on. I’m serious.You need to check this out.” He examined the front and back of the door.

“We wouldn’t even fit.”

“Oh we’ll fit, That’s why you’ve got to see it.” Breckenridge was smiling, almost giddy. Chandraskar couldn’t tell if was a poor attempt at a prank or an actual phenomenon.

“I do this and we can go?”

“Oh, we’ll go. Absolutely. Come on” Breckenridge squeezed to one side, filling nearly the entire cavity.

“This isn’t going to work.” Chandraskar said, exasperated.

“Give it a chance, Keep pushing”

Chandraskar felt like each inch she moved took an hour. Slowly she wiggled in and the door shut, cutting off all outside light. She blinked a few times. She could almost feel Breckenridge smiling.

She noticed a faint glow, but it wasn’t the door. Chandraskar felt around her, stretching out her arms, but she didn’t feel the plastic liner of the refrigerator. “Breckenridge?” Her voice cracked.

“I know. I told you.” He exclaimed. “I was in here for a couple of hours.” She could just decipher his outline, twirling as if weightless.

“It was less than two minutes outside by my count.” she responded.

“That’s even better.”

Chandraskar explore the space, it had the resistance of water, but it was air, or gravity… something.

“Where’s the door?” Chandraskar asked.

“Right over….” Breckenridge floated by, arms outstretched. “It can be tricky to find.”

Chandraskar strained her eyes, as Breckenridge fumbled in the nothingness.

“Huh.” Breckenridge grunted.

“What? What is it?” Chandraskar could feel fear overtaking her. He forehead began to feel warm, beads of sweat forming.

“It’s not opening?” Breckenridge said.

“Why not. what did you do last time?”

“Last time I opened it. A watched door never opens?”

“That’s nonsense.” Chandraskar retorted.

“Maybe it’s an unwatched door never opens. Last time you were on the outside.”

“That doesn’t make any sense, Allison’s friends opened the door to get her out.”

“There goes that theory.” Breckenridge said.

“You’re aren’t the least bit worried? We’re inside a refrigerator that’s larger on the inside. How do we get out?”

“Get out. We have to explore. Is this an illusion, a trance, or a vision? Maybe it’s a wormhole.” Breckenridge floated towards Chandraskar. She could only decipher his outline, everything was so dark.

“Look at your coat.” He said. “It’s fluttering like it’s in the wind, but your hair isn’t.”

“So, what are we in?”

“A black hole? Though, i don’t know how hair reacts to a black hole. I’ve never seen one.”

“Before you said wormhole.”

“Tomato, to-mah-to. Who knows where we are. Maybe we’re imagining this. Leaking freon caused hallucinations or we’re on an ancient mushroom burial ground.”

“But none of that makes sense.”

“Exactly, none of this makes sense.” Breckenridge floated to the location he claimed was a door. “Black Mirror, that’s a good show.”

“What? What are you on about?”

“Have you seen it? It’s great. Great stuff. Like in one episode a cartoon is going to rule the world, which is applicable to us. You mentioned the poor taste millennials have in telivision, which got me thinking about good television, Black Mirror, and how that one episode is tangentially related to this. We’re in a cartoon world.”

Chandraskar eyed him quizzically. “And that little tidbit helps us how?”

“Come on we were talking about The Simpsons and cartoons, we’re struck here, it all fits.”

Chandraskar felt around for a door. Nothing. “How do you know where the door is? It seems like nonsense.”

Breckenridge tried again. “I don’t know, it’s where I think the door should be.”

“That’s all it takes?” Chandraskar tried to see through the darkness, reaching for a handle or knob.

She tumbled out onto the dry leaves, Breckinridge behind her. The sun had begun to set.

She sat up and turned to her partner, “What was that?”

Breckinridge shook his head. “I have no idea.”

Chandraskar stood and brushed herself off. I’m going to the car, there’s no way you’re getting me to stay.

“In this case I think it’s a good idea.” They're feet crunched leaves as they left the forest.

Chandraskar reached the car first, the remote unlocked the doors.

Breckenridge turned to her perplexed. “Wasn’t the car red?”
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