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Mission: Clam Chowder by R.J. Blain
Someone had left a fresh container of clam chowder on the kitchen island. I prowled around the white, steaming container, eyeballing the vessels of potatoes lurking within the creamy broth. Could something so thick even be called broth?
I loved potatoes.
Potatoes did not love me.
On my second pass around temptation, I determined no one had written their name anywhere on the visible portions of the container. On my third pass, I checked the upside down lid resting on the granite surface.
No name. Nothing. Just delicious clam chowder loaded with potatoey death, waiting to be claimed.
It was only some gastrointestinal distress. Potatoes were worth the price, weren’t they?
I drew closer, giving tentative sniffs.
Somewhere in the creamy broth lurked bacon to go with the potatoes. Perhaps, dare I wish for it, even carrots?
After my fourth pass, I stopped at the refrigerator where the kitchen rules were posted:
1: No name, no shame. Name it and claim it, else it will be consumed by the ravenous hordes.
Just to be triple-certain, I did a fifth pass around temptation.
No name, no shame.
Only gastrointestinal distress.
2: Clean up after yourself.
Well, someone hadn’t followed that rule, but given one more pass, I would help somebody out with that problem. We would all walk away happy with my contribution to the kitchen’s tidiness.
3: Alissa will kill you if you sip from her orange juice. You have been warned.
Yes, yes I would kill any foolish enough to sip from my orange juice. I always knew. Always. And then I repaid the thieves of my orange juice with bad coffee.
4: All community foods must be replaced as finished. Community foods include milk, butter, eggs, and bread. If there isn’t enough for a full serving, you must replace it.
5: No shit coffee allowed.
Rule #5 never failed to make me laugh. Three of my four roommates loathed bad coffee, and watching a bunch of cranky men presented with bad coffee never failed to amuse me.
Well, if they would get their own damned orange juice, I wouldn’t have to inflict shit coffee on them.
I bet the bastards had set up a camera to observe me when presented with temptation. Jerks.
I checked the clam chowder one final time. There was only one place left to check. Only the bottom would tell me if I lived with a true monster, a tormenter out for my blood.
Armed with my phone in one hand, camera active and ready to go and prove my innocence in the disappearance of the clam chowder, I lifted the clam chowder. I peeked under the bottom.
No name. No shame. No name. No shame.
Mine, mine, mine.
“My precious,” I whispered to my nemesis, my beloved potatoes.
Whoever had left temptation in my way for the claiming would one day pay… someday. Somehow. But for the moment, I would feast.