The Blue Liquid

A bacon loving cat becomes obsessed with tofu. A goth girl suddenly wants to wear nothing but bright, rainbow, neon colored clothing. A woman with beautiful hair starts feeling the need to wear wigs all the time. A grown man has the urge to play on bouncy houses. What is the cause of all these strange events? You'll have to read this bizarre short story to find out.

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1. The Blue Liquid

No one knew why Milky the cat who loved bacon decided to go vegan and became obsessed with tofu. Or why Martha, who always enjoyed being complimented on her beautiful, brunette, naturally curly hair, started wearing wigs all the time. Teenage Mildred used to always wear dark, gothic style clothing, but one day she became obsessed with rainbows. Melvin, who was always very mature and not into childish games, even when he was a child, suddenly was always wanting to play on bouncy houses. No one knew why, but these all happened on the same day. And at that same time, tofu, wigs, bouncy houses, and rainbows were all losing popularity, and the Tofu Store, the Rainbow Store, the Wig Store, and Bouncy House Land were all at risk of going out of business. It all started the night Bobby Joe was eating corn...

 

One night, Bobby Joe was sitting in his living room eating corn, like any other night. He tried to get another bite, but his spoon just hit the bottom of the bowl. Bobby Joe sighed. “Honey!” he called to his wife. “I’m all out of corn! Why don’t you bring me some more?”

    “Just a minute!” Mrs. Merriwether sighed. Bobby Joe, having nothing else to do, counted out loud. By the time he had gotten to sixty, Mrs. Merriwether still hadn’t gotten him any corn. “It’s been a minute! I don’t see any corn!”

    “I’ll get your corn soon! Just wait!” Mrs. Merriwether, who was in the basement, knew that it would be awhile before her husband got the corn he wanted. She grabbed four large bottles, all filled with weird liquid she had been working on for days and put them in a backpack and put it on. She went up the stairs, and as quiet as she could, she passed by the living room where Bobby Joe sat. She placed the tape recorder on the table and hit play. Slowly, she went out the door and set off. Meanwhile, inside, Bobby Joe continued to wait for his wife to bring him a bowl of corn. “Honey! Where is that corn?” He called. Every few minutes, he would hear a voice saying, “I’ll bring your corn in just a few minutes.” Several times in a row, he would hear it, thinking it was his wife. But he was wrong.

    Mrs. Merriwether was on a bike, going through neighborhood after neighborhood in the dark, knocking on every door. It was a long time before she finally heard what she wanted to hear. It was at a little blue house, and an old man answered the door. “Excuse me, sir, but do you have a cat?” Just then a cream colored cat was coming over, rubbing on the old man.

    “Why yes, yes I do, see Milky, here?” Milky looked up at the old man and mewed sweetly.

    “What do you feed your cat?”

    “Bacon.”

    “Oooo...that doesn’t sound good.” Mrs. Merriwether tried to look concerned, hoping the man would buy it. He did.

    “Wha-what’s wrong with it?” He wore a worried expression on his face, and looked at Milky, and then at Mrs. Merriwether, and then at Milky again.

    “I hate to tell you this, but the bacon they sell in stores now is toxic to cats.”

    “Well...” the old man looked at her in disbelief. “That’s impossible. I feed Milky bacon everyday, and he’s just fine.”

    “Are you sure? The bacon doesn’t kill cats immediately. It is very slow. And it looks like the effects are already starting to sink in!”

    “What? Milky looks just fine.”

    “Look closer. Look at his fur. Look how short it is. And his eyes. They’re so...green. And...” Mrs. Merriwether glanced at the cat. “Look at his whiskers. They shouldn’t be that long, no sir.”

    Mrs. Merriwether knew by the horrified expression on the old man’s face that she had him now. “But...what can I do about it?”

    “There is a cure.”

    “What is it?”

    “Tofu.”

    “Tofu?”
    “Yes, tofu. He needs to be on a steady diet of good old tofu.”

    “But I could never get him to eat tofu! He eats nothing but bacon! He’s addicted to it!”

    “Don’t worry. I have a solution.” Mrs. Merriwether pulled one of the large bottles of liquid out of her backpack and handed it to the man. “Here. Have your cat drink this. Just mix it in with his water bowl and by tomorrow he won’t care about bacon anymore. You’ll want to go buy some tofu, because that’s all he’ll want.”

    “How much does this bottle cost?”

    “No charge.”

    “Are you sure? I have money.”

    “No, that’s ok. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than knowing that I’ve helped a cat.”

Mrs. Merriwether turned to leave. “Thank you!” The old man said. “Hey, I never caught your name!”

    “It’s Mrs. Merriwether,” she replied, and she left. After going through several more houses, she convinced teenage Mildred’s parents that teens who wore dark clothing often were more likely to be criminals and that the only way they could make sure it didn’t happen to Mildred was if they had her wear bright, colorful clothing.

    “But she would never wear anything like that!” Mildred’s mom protested.

    “Have her drink this.” Mrs. Merriwether handed her a bottle filled with blue liquid. “Tell her it’s  fruit punch, and by tomorrow all she will want to wear is nothing but bright, rainbow colored clothing. She’ll be asking for rainbow socks, and she’ll dye her hair rainbow colors, and yes, she’ll wear rainbow eye shadow, and-”

    “Ok, we get it. Sounds good with me. I’m tired of her always looking like a dark storm cloud roaming around the house. We’ll take it.” Mildred’s mother grabbed the bottle and shut the door in Mrs. Merriwether’s face. It was a rude gesture, but as long as the girl was going to drink the stuff, she was fine with it. After many more houses, it was late at night but she kept going. The later at night it was, the more tired and less alert the people would be. Back at home, Bobby Joe continued waiting for his wife to bring him corn. “Ok, fine, I’ll get it myself!” He shouted. He pulled one of the many bags of frozen corn out of the freezer. He didn’t bother heating it up, he just opened it and started eating the cold kernels. He went back to his seat and ate.

    By the end of the night, Mrs. Merriwether had gotten many more people to take the bottles to feed to their loved ones. She convinced Melvin’s wife that because when he was a kid he was always so grown up and mature, he would eventually suffer from depression because of a loss of a real childhood. She convinced him that he needed to redo his childhood the way he should have by playing on bouncy houses all the time. She even managed to convince Martha's husband that if she kept getting so many compliments on her hair, it would all fall out and she needed to start wearing wigs. Bobby Joe kept eating corn.

      The next morning after all the people who had received bottles drank them, the changes were crazier than they would have ever imagined.

      Mildred liked to plan for every day, every outfit she ever wore. For that morning, she had planned on wearing black skinny jeans, black lipstick, dark eyeshadow, and a dark blue shirt with a black and white vest. She was about to put it all on, when she suddenly realized something: she thought it looked really ugly. I can’t go to school looking like that!!! She thought. She didn’t want anything to do with dark colors anymore. She went to her closet, and skimmed through to the back, where she kept all the clothes she never thought she would ever wear. Pink t-shirts. Rainbow skirts. Multi-colored headbands. She pulled it all out. She chose bright orange leggings, rainbow socks, a purple skirt, a pink shirt with a rainbow, a yellow bracelet, and a rainbow headband. For the first time, she also opened a container of green eye shadow. And she used it.

    It was just as strange a morning for Milky as it had been for Mildred. He wasn’t sure why his water was blue and tasted funny, but he figured it was water nonetheless and drank it. That morning, he got up and went to his food bowl, which already had bacon in it. He bent down to take a bite, but then stopped. Something was wrong. He didn’t want the bacon. He just watched it. Milky then realized that his owner was watching him intently. Milky stared at the bacon. This could not be normal bacon. There had to be something wrong with it. He looked at his owner. The old man looked at Milky. “It worked,” he muttered. “Here, I guess you won’t be wanting that anymore.” He took away the food bowl and dumped the bacon into the trash. He came back and said, “Ok, I’m going to make a tofu recipe for you. I hope you like it.” The old man went into the kitchen, opened the fridge, and pulled out a small box. The moment he opened it, Milky could smell something, and whatever it was, it smelled really good. Whatever it was, it had come out of the package his owner had just opened. He ran into the kitchen and jumped up onto the counter. Inside the small box was what looked like a white brick. Milky began to eat it. It was the best thing he had ever tasted, even better than bacon. “Well, I was going to cook it and season, but if that’s how you like it, that’s fine with me,” Milky’s owner said. Within about thirty seconds, Milky was finished. He stared expectantly up at his owner. He looked at the empty tofu box, then his owner, then the tofu box, and then his owner again. “Oh, I see,” the old man said. “You want more tofu. I’m sorry, I didn’t expect you to like it so much, so I only got the one pack. You’ll have to wait.” Milky continued to stare at him. “Oh, ok. I guess I could go get a few more.” The old man went to the store, and when he came back he cleared a large section of the fridge of all the bacon that was there, and replaced it with all kinds of tofu-firm tofu, soft tofu, extra firm tofu, silken tofu-he even got some tofu dogs and tofu burgers. Since Milky didn’t like bacon anymore, he had to do something with all the leftover bacon that he hadn’t eaten, so the old man arranged a bacon feast to have with his family and friends. It was only about three days before Milky had eaten all the tofu.

    Melvin went to work the morning after his wife had made him drink the blue stuff out of the strange bottle. Unfortunately, his workplace was across the street from the Bouncy House Land, which was a very large building with huge windows that showed almost all of the amazing bouncy houses that were there. Melvin didn’t know why, but he couldn’t stop staring at it out his office window and his boss had to remind him several times to get back to work. Finally, when his lunch break came around, he immediately went outside and crossed the street, and entered the large building. He paid the entrance fee, and after that he couldn’t decide where to go first. He finally chose a large purple bouncy house with a slide. The adult in charge of the bouncy house looked surprised to see someone Melvin’s age, but let him in anyway. Melvin was practically a giant among all the children, who were about half his size. They ignored him at first, until he began to jump around like they were. Something about seeing a grown man much bigger than them jumping around like a child made them scared and they screamed and huddled in a corner. Melvin was having too much fun to take any notice, even though one of the little boys was screaming at about 90 decibels. Many times he almost landed square on the kids, and he once stepped on a little girl’s hand. Finally, he went down the slide and went on the next house, much to the relief of the kids who had been on the purple one. Melvin spent his entire lunch break at the Bouncy House Land and didn’t remember that he needed to go back to work until it was too late.

When Martha woke up that same morning, her husband already had a long red wig for her to wear. She was confused at first, but then found herself wanting to wear it more than anything. And that was just what she did. She wore it all day at work, and didn’t even notice the strange looks she got. “Your hair is so pretty,” people would say. “Why would you want to wear a wig?”

“It’s none of your business,” Martha snapped every time. And every time the person would back away slowly, and then go tell their friends that she was in a bad mood. On the way home from work, Martha passed the Wig Store. She couldn’t resist. The moment she went inside, a friendly employee came up to her and said, “What can I get for you?”

“I’ll take one of everything,” she replied.

On that same day, Molly was at one of her many jobs. She was the manager  of many businesses including the Tofu Store, the Rainbow Store, the Wig Store, and Bouncy House Land. At that time, she was at work at the Rainbow Store, where basically everything rainbow was sold. She was surprised to see one of her employees coming in. “What is it?” Molly asked.

“A teenager just came in and wants to buy $100 worth of rainbow shirts and bracelets,” she said, “and $50 worth of rainbow paint.”

“Good then! Maybe we finally have some customers.”

“Well, she’s paying me in quarters.”

“And your point?”

“Well, I don’t know if it’s the entire $150, and I don’t want to count out all those quarters.”

Molly got deadly quiet. “So you’re saying,” she began, “that we’re going to deny a badly needed customer just because you don’t want to count?”

“Um...” the employee looked uncomfortable. “Uh, sorry. I’ll be right on it.”

“Good.” Molly looked at her watch. “I’m late for my other job. I’ll be leaving.”

Molly was in a good mood at the end of the day. At the Tofu Store, an old man had bought several dollars worth of tofu. At the Wig Store, one lady had bought one of every kind of wig they had. And at Bouncy House Land, one man had spent over half the day there. It was kind of creepy that someone his age would want to be there at all, but he had paid for it, and money was money. Maybe those customers, Molly hoped, would lead to new customers, and the Tofu Store, Bouncy House Land, Rainbow Store, and Wig Store wouldn’t have to go out of business.

In one week, all of those same new customers came back again every day of it. Molly no longer worried about the places going out of business. They could probably keep going off of those customers alone. The only problem was, with the new customers at the Wig Store, Tofu Store, and Rainbow Store, they were running out of stock of many items and getting several complaints. At Bouncy House Land, kids were scared of the grown man who was always there in the bouncy houses, and parents complained. For the most part though, Molly ignored them.

Mildred’s friends became worried about her new obsession. “What’s happened to you?” they would ask. “I just have different taste now, that’s all,” she would say.

Martha’s friends didn’t understand why she kept wearing wigs all the time, and several rumours went about her workplace about her strange new obsession. The story got changed enough that some people believed she was suffering from hair loss.

Melvin’s friends never got to talk to him because he spent all his time at Bouncy House Land.

Milky’s owner thought that with all the tofu that he was eating, he would probably soon be free from whatever disease Mrs. Merriwether had told him about. He hadn’t even realized how fat and tofu-obsessed Milky, who had gone from 8 pounds to 34 pounds, had gotten until a family member pointed it out to him at the bacon feast. “It’s not healthy for a cat to be that fat, you know,” his cousin, a vet, said.

“I guess he has gained some weight,” Milky’s owner said. “I don’t think it’s a problem, though.”

“You don’t think it’s a problem?” His cousin frowned. “Your cat is four times bigger than the last time I saw him. That cat is obese. What have you been feeding him?”

“Well, lately he’s been eating nothing but tofu.”

“Why on earth would you feed him tofu?”

“I was feeding him bacon, but then I found out about that disease that cats get when they eat too much bacon, and I had to feed him tofu to cure him.”

“That’s ridiculous! There is no feline bacon disease. Who told you that?”

“Some lady who called herself Mrs. Merriwether stopped by my house and told me. She said that I needed to feed Milky tofu to cure him.”

“Well, she made it up. And how did you get your cat to eat tofu?”

“She gave me some kind of liquid that was supposed to make him want to eat tofu. It worked a lot better than I expected it to. Milky wants it all the time now! I have to go to the store everyday.”

“Well, maybe you should do something about it. Milky is too fat, and he can’t be healthy living off of tofu.”

“Milky is just fine! And that lady seemed pretty nice. Why would she make up a disease?”

“I don’t know. I guess she’s just crazy. But you need to do something about that cat!”

“Don’t tell me how to care of my cat! Milky and I are perfectly fine.”

“Whatever.” The man’s cousin rolled her eyes. “Suit yourself.”

Milky’s owner continued to keep feeding him tofu, and Milky got even fatter. One day, when the old man was at the Tofu Store to get food for Milky, he picked up the last three packages of silken tofu, Milky’s favorite kind. He knew it wouldn’t be enough for his cat. “Hey, is there any more silken tofu?” He asked the cashier.

“No,” she said. “You’ve been taking so much of it that we ran out. We don’t have any more left.”

The old man got very mad. “Well, maybe you should plan better. Why didn’t you get any more?”

“I’m not in charge of when we get more tofu. I’m just the cashier. If you have complaints, you’ll have to talk to the manager.”

“Where is the manager?”

“Molly isn’t here right now. She’s also the manager of the Rainbow Store, and that’s where she is now.”

Milky’s owner left immediately to go to the Rainbow Store.

On that same day, Melvin had skipped work to go to Bouncy House Land for the fifth time that week. But as he was trying to pay admission, the lady that was there stopped him. “Excuse me, sir, but we would like the bouncy houses to just be for the children. We’ve been getting some complaints about you scaring the kids, and we would appreciate it if you would stop coming here.”

“But...” Melvin couldn’t believe it. “I’ve been giving you so much business and this is how you repay me?”

“It wasn’t my decision. You’ll have to talk to the manager about that.”

“Where’s the manager?”

“Molly is the manager of several different places. Right now she should be at the Rainbow Store.”

Melvin left and went to the Rainbow Store.

Martha was at the Wig Store that same day. She had been shopping there so much that all of the shelves, except for one, were empty. The shelf that was not empty had five different wigs on it. Martha and another lady were the only ones there. She went over to the shelf and grabbed one wig, then a second, then the third, and the fourth, and she reached for the fifth but the other lady beat her to it. Martha glared at her. “Hey! Could you not tell I was about to pick that one up?”

“You have four other ones,” the lady replied. “There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be allowed to have this one.”

“But I was about to reach for it and you just barged in and took it!” Martha didn’t give her time to respond and instead marched up to the man at the register and said, “That woman knew I wanted to get that wig but then she just took it for herself.”

The man stared at her. “Okay...what are you wanting me to do about it?”

“Make her give the wig to me!”

“Well, if she grabbed it first, it’s hers. We might have more of those back in stock soon.”

“This is ridiculous! I saw it first, it should be mine! I want to speak to the manager about this!”

“She’s not here right now.”
“Then where is she?”

“Molly should be at the Rainbow Store right now. She’s the manager of it, too.”

“Then I’m going to the Rainbow Store!”
On that same day, Mildred was at the Rainbow Store once again. Looking around, she saw a pair of rainbow jeans. Looking at the tag, she saw that they were too small, but she decided to go to a dressing room and try them on anyway.

    When she put them on, she looked in the mirror. They were very tight and she wondered how she had managed to get them on. She was about to take them off when her bracelet fell off her wrist and landed on the floor. But when Mildred bent down to pick it up, she heard something that sound like jeans ripping. She gulped. She looked and saw a huge hole torn in the side of the pants. Immediately she took them off and put on the pants she had been wearing when she came. She picked up the rainbow jeans. The hole was big and noticeable. But maybe, just maybe, she could get them back to the shelf without anybody seeing. She opened the door and began to speed walk toward the shelf. Unfortunately, though, an employee came by. “Hello, how may I-”

    The employee gasped when she saw the torn pair of jeans.

    “Um, honey, you’re going to have to pay for those,” she said. Mildred sighed.

    “How much are they?” The employee looked at the tag. “One hundred and fifty nine dollars. Plus tax.”

    Mildred gasped. “I don’t have a hundred and fifty nine dollars!”

    “Well, you can’t leave until you pay for them.”

    “Can I call my mom and have her bring the money?”

    “I guess. There’s a phone in the manager’s office.” At that time, Melvin, Martha, and Milky’s owner all showed up.

    “Where is the manager?” Martha demanded.

    “Oh, do you all need to see Molly?” The employee asked. She didn’t wait for an answer. “I’ll just take you all down there.” The employee led Mildred, Melvin, Martha, and Milky’s owner down a hallway and opened a door. “You have visitors,” She said to Molly, who looked surprised at all the people. The employee left and all four of them burst into the door.

    “Uh, how may I help you?” Molly asked. All four of them started talking at once about their problems, and Molly couldn’t hear a word anyone of them was saying. She was about to ask them to quiet down when the employee came into the small, crowded office.

    “Mrs. Merriwether?” she said.

    “Yes?” Molly replied.

    “Can I-”

    “Wait a minute,” Milky’s owner interrupted. “You’re Mrs. Merriwether? The one who told me about the cat-bacon disease and gave me that weird stuff to feed Milky?”

    “Yes,” Molly replied.

    “I knew you looked familiar!” The old man suddenly looked very mad. “I knew you said that Milky would start wanting to have tofu once he drank that blue stuff, but I didn’t know he would be so obsessed with it and now every day-”

    “Blue stuff?” Mildred said. “My mom made me drink blue stuff, and then the next morning I got really obsessed with rainbows. Were you the one who gave it to her?”

    “My husband gave me some blue drink, too.” Martha said. “Ever since I can’t seem to stop buying and wearing wigs.”

    “My wife made me drink something blue,” Melvin said. “I’m a grown man and now all I want to do is play on bouncy houses.”

    “Yes, yes,” Molly Merriwether admitted. “I gave you all the blue drinks.”

    “Why?” Milky’s owner asked. “Was that stuff about the bacon disease even true?”

    Molly hesitated. “No,” she admitted.

    “Why did my mom make me drink that nasty stuff?” Mildred asked.

    “I convinced all your families that you needed to drink it.”

    “Why would you do that?” Martha asked.

    “The Rainbow Store, the Tofu Store, Bouncy House Land, and the Wig Store were all starting to go out of business and I had to do something to get more business so I decided to give a few people something that would make them obsessed with those things and they would want to come to those places. And it worked.”

Melvin, Mildred, Martha and Milky’s owner all got really mad and started yelling.

“I have to go to the Tofu Store every day to feed my cat!”

“I’m so obsessed with wigs now that I yelled at a lady because she took the last one!”

“I never get to spend time with my friends because I can’t stop going to the Rainbow Store!”

“I’m going to lose my job because all I ever want to do is go to Bouncy House Land!”

The four of them got so caught up in their yelling and complaining that Molly Merriwether was able to make it out of her office and escape. In the end, Milky’s owner, Martha, Melvin, and Mildred all sued Molly. Eventually, the effects of the blue liquid wore off and Milky, Martha, Melvin, and Mildred were back to their old selves. And Bobby Joe kept on eating corn.

 

 
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