Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Leaven Well Enough Alone

Braiden had wondered for years what magic was contained in the small silver packets that mother used on baking day. He had formulated the idea that Flieschman was a wizard and that he sold his magic in little packets that, among other marvels, made butter melt on fresh bread. This baking day he convinced his brother that Mother was using magic and together they got thoroughly underfoot. Mother soon shooed the brothers out of the kitchen and told themnot to come back until her bread was baked. But boys cannot be banished so easily. For the next half hour the brothers scouted the edges of the kitchen until, finally, mother went upstairs. They crept silently up to the mysterious bowls full of dough and gazed at the forbidden cloth that lay on top. Gingerly, Braiden lifted the cloth and there, to the wonderment of the brothers, was the largest orb of brown dough imaginable. Proof of magic. The boys watched for several moments until they realized that mother hadn't added enough magic. They quickly emptied the contents of the magic packets into the bowls. This failed to produce any immediate result and the disappointed boys turned to leave the kitchen. As they walked out the door they heard a gurgling and belching sound.

The dough had risen. It was already 20 times its original size and reaching doughy tendrils toward the boys. Giving a terrified shout Braiden turned and tripped over his brother. They both collapsed as the ever growing mass hissed and popped at them. Alex screamed and scrambled on all fours into the nearby bathroom with Braiden clambering right behind him. They slammed the door as a wet thud shook the whole bathroom. The door handle rattled and Braiden grabbed it trying to keep it from turning. The handle stopped moving and the entire door began to creak and bulge. Both boys backed away as it fell in a doughy splat onto the floor. Braiden froze but Alex had the good sense to tumble backwards into the laundry room.

He scampered into the corner where he knocked over the broom, mop, and metal bucket with a loud clamor. Looking back toward his brother he saw that the monster that had shuddered and froze as it loomed over Braiden. Alex looked down and realized that the noise of the sticks and the can had given the creature pause. He hefted a mop and began bashing the handle on the floor. The creature shook and began to fall back. Braiden regained his composure, grabbed a nearby wooden spoon used to stir laundry, and banged it on the lid from the bucket. The creature let out a gurgle and shrunk back. The boys moved forward, increasing their thumping and banging. Within moments the doughy mass had fallen into itself with hisses and gurgles and now lay in a sticky bubbling trail from the bathroom to the kitchen.

When mother came downstairs to see what the racket was she was understandably angry. The boys were told never to touch her baking under penalty of death. And they had to clean it all up.

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