They found it on the table when they woke up and it slithered onto the floor, along the skirting and into the scullery where it sniffed and sneezed whenever anyone approached it. Slowly, it spread from one corner to the other, lounging across the drainer and over the tiled floor.
On the first day they were intrigued, taking photos, posting pictures and probing friends as to its source and provenance - with limited success.
The next morning it was wrapped around the shelves, snarling whenever they tried to reach the washing-up liquid - the dishes were left undone. That afternoon it snapped when they looked to run a kettle - they went without coffee. That evening as they peeked around the door there was an aroma of aniseed, sweet alyssum, and Aunty Anne’s artichoke soup. They closed the door.
On the third day, it had gone - but so had the scullery. Where once there had been an opening, well used over the decades there was a finished, skimmed, painted stud wall and a large print of Molinari’s “Adam and Eve”. The old oak kitchen units were no more, and had been replaced with a modern fitted kitchen - only the table remained. They drank coffee, washed up and wondered what had disrupted their perfect existence.
From the outside there was a perfectly aged brick wall with anise, sweet alyssum and artichokes growing in abundance as if no scullery had ever been in existence. They tapped on walls, dug deep looking for foundations, searched out old photos seeking evidence that the house had once had a scullery - with no success.
“How could this be?” they sniffed at one another as they harvested the aniseed to flavour their food.
“It lived here”, they sneezed. And squeezed out aniseed oil to create a congestion clearing aroma for the vaporiser.
“Believe us!” they snarled as former friends doubted their strange tale - even whilst enjoying the soup recipes they had now perfected
“Leave us!” they snapped at Molinari, “Take your easel, your paints and leave us to live as slaves no more.” So, he left them - lying naked in the clearing, they slithered onto the forest floor, along the roots and into the scullery
Craig Muir 2018
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