Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)
TITLE: Swiss Cheese Rules
By Kelly Jacobsen
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“Ah, he’s never been in one of these before, eh?” A moldy block of Swiss cheese mocked. “It’ll be great. After a while, they forget about you. Unless you’re one of those new treats like Jell-O pudding. Kids love that stuff. But come on, peaches?”
Peach jar shivered. He chattered, “You mean? No—that isn’t right!”
“Ha! Of Course it’s not right.” Then Swiss cheese stopped and listened, “Did you hear that?”
“Footsteps! Man your stations!” At his word every food item scurried to its own place; the cheese to the cheese and meat drawer; the celery, carrots, and potatoes to the veggie drawer; and so on.
Peach jar looked around in confusion. “Huh? What’s the big deal about the…”
“Hush!” Swiss cheese warned. The door opened, revealing a child—a boy, maybe the age of nine or ten. He stood there for the longest time. The child tilted his head, his bright red hare gleaming in the sunlight from the kitchen window. He groaned. “Mom, there’s nothing to eat!”
It was only but a few seconds before a reply came, “Johnny, there’s food in there! Have an apple, or a carrot.”
“But I don’t want an apple, or a carrot.” His face scrunched in disgust.
“It’s your choice, dinner will be ready in an hour or so anyway. Either get something, or shut the door! Food is going to rot and get moldy if the heat gets to it. God bless summers in Miami.” She said with a hint of sarcasm.
He hunched his shoulders and sighed, closing the door; taking no food.
“Whew! That was a close one! Hey, Billy-Joe, you okay?” Swiss cheese inquired of the kiwi; which had gotten squished between the door of the fridge and one of the trays.
“Yeah, I’m fine…I think.”
“Well good. Now, let us continue; everyone here?”
“Yep!” Everyone spoke up at once, as each looked around, just in case that kid pulled a fast one.
“Okay, good. Now, since Mr.—what’s your name?” He directed the question toward the new-comer, Peach jar.
“Call me Dover.” Peach jar answered back, still confused from the previous happenings.
“Okay, Dover. As you see, this is a secret. They don’t know we talk.” A loud laugh erupted. Swiss cheese glared, warning them to stop; and they did. “So, if you want to last long in this place, then you are going to have to learn a few rules.”
“Okay?” Dover was growing curious.
“Do you think you can handle that?”
“Of course,” Dover answered; amusement building along with confidence in himself.
Swiss cheese chuckled. “Okay. The rules are as follows: Be ALWAYS on alert. Any moment, some human could open that door.” He leaned, pointing in the direction of the BIG door leading out of the fridge. “They must not catch us as we really are. When a human opens that door, there’s no telling how long it will be before we can have the cold air back. One time, the door was left open so long, it nearly ruined Muenster cheese, right?” Swiss cheese looked around as nods of agreement waved throughout; especially from the ones that had survived so long in the fridge. “Second, we use the buddy system here. Do NOT go anywhere without your buddy. Third, if you make a mess, CLEAN IT UP!”
The fridge became silent as they waited for Dover’s response, “Is that all the rules?” Dover chuckled, answering sarcastically.
“This is no laughing matter!” Swiss cheese snapped. “You either follow these rules or else!”
“Or else what?”
A nervous glance shot back and forth throughout the small assembly. “Let’s just say, you accidentally ‘fell’ out of the fridge. Poor Johnny though, he’ll get blamed for it.”
Dover gasped, “You wouldn’t!”
“Oh yes, I would. Baby Swiss, do you recall that fateful day for Mr. Kraut?”
Baby Swiss nodded, and softly spoke, “Yes, what a sad, tragic day.”
Dover stole a glance around the fridge, taking note of the serious looks on each of the residents, and nodded nervously. His attitude at this moment would determine whether he stayed in or was “pushed” out. “Please forgive my impertinence, I-I’ll follow the rules.”
“Good to hear. I think we’ll get along just fine then.” Swiss cheese grinned knowing he had sufficiently put the fear of man in this shiny jar of peaches.
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