I had breathed an exhausted yet satisfied breath that my days of fighting unspeakable creatures born of the very bowels of hell, and not just the bowels but really the large intestines and rectum portion with a bout of proctitis-bowels of hell—or my broken fridge—were over.
I was quite looking forward to retirement. Quite.
I thought we were safe.
I don’t mean me and you, I’m speaking of myself and my trusty blade, The Quiet Storm, the pizza cutter I bought on sale with which I slew Captain Ron!
But no… my ordeal was far from over.
Well not far, really, this is one of those sequels that picks up literally seconds after the first installment ends.
So there I was, in my kitchen, hands gripping the cheap yellow drawstrings of the garbage bag, the humiliated Captain Ron breathing his last in his Gladbag grave, when behind me the fridge shuddered violently.
I froze, eyes darting to the counter where I’d laid down The Quiet Storm. I must move slowly, I must not panic. Whatever may still lie in that fridge may react to sudden movements. I couldn’t recall if I’d closed the fridge or not. When I was backed up against the wall I think it was closed, but everything was happening so fast. It could have been open. It could have opened while I dispatched Captain Ron. I couldn’t be sure. Reaching too quickly for my blade may have been the last thing I did.
Slowly I let the drawstrings flutter from my hands, and even more painfully slow I began to turn, my hand reaching toward The Quiet Storm as I moved to face the fridge.
Nope, still closed.
Oh shit, it shuddered again!
That damn fridge rocked with such force it shook my fragile home. Goddamnit, this place is a hundred years old, it’s all duct tape and safety pins holding it together, probably some gum in a few places, and I’m pretty sure my Bigfoot Powerwheel is holding up a corner of the foundation. It can’t handle that kind of stress against its delicate infrastructure!
I could see the door shift as the fridge rocked. The seal never was very good on that door. Well, it was, but then I switched which way the door opened, and it was such a pain in the ass—that’s never as easy as it should be, so I ended up just kind of half-assing it. It doesn’t sit closed right, whatever, I never had a problem with it. Not until evil mutant shit started gestating in there anyway.
I didn’t have much time. Another few rocks like that and the door would be open, and whatever lie within would unleash itself on my world.
Unless I unleashed myself first.
I feared this foe could be even more deadly than the diabolically deadly now dead Captain Ron, and so I took the last moments I had before the door literally fell off, and grabbed my trusty drinking helmet. Granted, my former roommates had hit me in the head repeatedly when I wore this helmet, and it still really hurt, but I felt safer wearing it even if it provided little to no actual protection. Plus, I have a cool Superman sticker on the front of it, so it looks pretty badass.
I rounded the counter and stood face to face with my new fridge-born foe.
Who was still in the fridge, actually. Yeah, door was still on. Closed up pretty tight.
Oh shit, its shaking again.
I reached out and hooked The Quiet Storm on the door handle. I didn’t want to do this, but I knew I must. With each rocking of the fridge that beast in there grew stronger. I had to strike first before it consumed us all.
And by us, again, I mean myself and The Quiet Storm.
As the fridge shuddered again I pulled open the door, unhooking The Quiet Storm from the handle as it swung open against the wall.
All was quiet inside, which was a little weird. I expected mutant bats born of a bowl of soup with little glowing chicken chunk eyes to come flying out at me, or some left over sautéed green beans my mom gave me to have merged together in the congealed butter to form some kind of green bean centipede that would crawl all over my walls and then eat my fingernails one by one.
But the fridge looked empty.
And then I saw it.
The crisper drawer.
Damnit, I should have known!
And you should have too if you’d been paying attention at all, I totally set this up in Sucks to Your Creatures Born of Ass-mar Fridges I.
The crisper drawer!
The drawer started convulsing, shaking, rattling against its track. Whatever was inside was fighting to open it, and if you’ve ever been stuck in a drawer you’ll know just how difficult it is to open one from the inside. You have to start from the back and run forward, throw yourself against the front, hopefully with enough force to push it out a bit, and after a few hours of this maybe have enough room to climb out, but the backs of crisper drawers always slant up so you can’t get back far enough to really get some good momentum going. The inside of a drawer is not someplace I’d like to be trapped again, I’ll tell you that much.
It certainly wasn’t anyplace this creature wanted to be trapped either.
The drawer started shaking more violently, trying to tear itself free. And then it stopped. And it waited. I crouched, The Quiet Storm ready.
Then the fucking thing exploded.
I was thrown back against the counter, dazed but ready for what might spill forth.
Looked like it was just a bag, just a produce bag. It kind of sat there. The front of the drawer was gone, well I guess the drawer was hanging there, still partially attached to the track. But the bag wasn’t moving. Inside it looked greenish. A dark green sludge, I’d have to say.
As I watched, it pushed itself forward, the sludge rolled itself inside the bag. It crept closer to the edge and then dropped out of the drawer, hitting the ground with a splat.
I’d gotten back to my feet and crouched again. Crouching is good when you don’t know what’s coming, gives you option, a range of movements. You can spring, you can dodge. My favorite is to curl up in a ball and cry, but the important thing is you have options.
We stared each other down for a moment. I stared at least. I think it stared, but for a sack of sludge I wasn’t sure where the eyes were, if it had eyes. It might work off sonar or be telepathic. I really didn’t know. But we stared. Somehow.
Then it kind of splooged forward.
And then I smelled it.
What if one had taken afterbirth, let it sit out in the sun then stuffed it inside a dead womp rat, made a tauntaun eat that, killed the tauntaun, left that out in the sun, put it in a blender, used it to fill up a water balloon, then thrown it at a bum who’d been on the street wearing the same clothes since the Carter administration. Then you gave him twenty dollars for his coat. That coat. It smelled something like that.
Oh sweet baby Jesus, it took every ounce of whiskey in me not to pass out at the stench of that fucking thing. Every splooge-step forward that thing took was like a little tweeter fart packing more stink than a drunken grandfather after Thanksgiving dinner. It was like getting slapped in the face with a sweaty FUPA.
I hit my knees as the world around me began to spin. My vision narrowed, my ears bled, I think one of my balls shriveled up and died on the spot.
The Quiet Storm was no match for this beast, he would only rip open the bag and unleash the full stench potential of this planet killer splooge. He quietly apologized, and I thanked him for his faithful service. Then I threw him in the living room because he was fucking useless to me.
The afterbirth advanced on me, one splooge step at a time. My vision failing I hit the cold linoleum with the thought that I would die on this filthy kitchen floor echoing in my tiny little brain. As I shook my head in a futile insistence on consciousness, from the corner of my eye I spied the shattered cabinet door from my previous epic battle with Captain Ron and the Johnny Lawrence tentacle. It was a glimpse, however, of what lie behind this shattered particle board that me a last burst of coherent thought.
I threw myself forward with the last decigram of strength within me and my hand wrapped around the aerosol can of universally awesome and versatile surface cleaner.
The afterbirth was almost on me. It splooged forward again, one more splooge and it would have me. I could have just moved my foot, but its more suspenseful this way.
No! What if the Scrubby Bubbles couldn’t make it through the bag? My failing eyes darted to the living room. The Quiet Storm was watching Code Monkeys with my Netflix machine. I tried to call out for it but it was too engrossed in Dave microwaving his poo again to hear. Plus, it was a pizza slicer, so I doubt it could have made it out to the kitchen on its own to help. Or hear me. There’s that too.
I had to take a chance. I didn’t have much time, and nothing to lose. The afterbirth would get me either way.
It splooged forward, now only an inch from my delicate naked foot.
I held the can of Scrubby Bubbles out, and took aim, closing one eye and staring down that little green spray nozzle that I couldn’t actually have seen since my finger was covering it, and in the second before I fired I saw the produce tag on the bag.
Romaine Lettuce, it read.
Büsseldorf! That bastard! He was the only one who would buy Romaine. He moved out a year and half ago!
That filthy, unholy afterbirth was almost on me—the stench was unbearable!
But I had the solution.
Zeh final solution.
This son of a bitch didn’t shriek, not like that pussy Captain Ron. No, after twenty minutes of constant spraying, when the can finally ran dry, that afterbirth died like a man. It shuddered, and it splooged no more.
I also managed to burn a hole in my floor.
Gonna have to find some newspaper to cover that up. Oh—got it, traffic cone—stole a shit ton of those over the years, I can totally cover that hole up.
What was left of the beast I scraped up with a dust pan I probably stole from my parents and added it to the bag with Captain Ron’s remains.
I thanked the Flying Spaghetti Monster that day that I’d not gotten mad but got Glad, I can tell you that, with two beasts contained in one simple, yet flexible and remarkably strong bag.
But this tale is not over!
Still shaken from the ordeal, as I was racing down the stairs with the bag of fridge-born death remnants, I lost my footing. Ass over teacups was how that went, with the bag flying somewhere. I was too busy rolling down the stairs in a very painful fashion to notice what exactly the bag was doing, but I will say I was quite impressed when I regained consciousness with the strength of those flex-fit bags.
Worth their weight in gold they are. Which isn’t that much really, I mean, how much does a garbage bag really weigh? Still, I’d pay for that in gold.
Based on Actual Events
I’ve been having some fridge issues lately.
The compressor on it has been wheezing, struggling to rev up. It sounds like an old man with an oxygen tank walking up the stairs because the elevator broke, dragging a breath with each step, getting both feet on a stair before he goes to the next.
The freezer was working just fine, which is probably why I underestimated just how lazy the fridge had become.
I failed to realize that what I had sitting in my kitchen was essentially a two hundred pound ice machine.
The contents of the fridge were a box of baking soda, a bottle of lime juice, some salad dressing and a bowl of rice. This doesn’t include the crisper drawer.
Now, I’d long ago abandoned the societal norm that is grocery shopping, so this wasn’t necessarily an inconvenient occurrence. I have far more important things to do than spend an hour in a grocery store once a week. Star Trek is streaming on Netflix, that’s an hour of watching Kirk beat the hell out Godzilla’s cousin, Marvin the Transgender Gorn right there. I don’t have that kind of time to waste walking up and down aisles, comparing unit prices, double checking produce codes, dodging old Diabetic women in shopping cart-Rascals, telling old ladies to fuck off when they get mouthy with me because they were blocking a checkout lane with their cart reading OK! magazine. Look lady, you were in the wrong here, you had no reason to cop an attitude with me!
Normally, I’ll grab some soup or a wrap from a gas station on my way home from work. If I absolutely have to I’ll hit up a 24-hour supermarket, but usually it’s just me and the floor crew with most of the lights turned off. At least I assume that’s a 24-hour store, I mean, the doors are open, there’s that creepy woman with the glassy eyes and crazy hair working the self checkout counter. Maybe she just wandered in off the street, I don’t know, as long as I get my rice crackers and High Life, I don’t really care.
So I haven’t actually used the fridge in weeks, I haven’t needed to. I have a beer fridge I’ll throw some leftovers in if I have any. And therein lies the problem.
I didn’t open that fridge for weeks.
I can’t tell you what prompted me to suddenly open the door to my fridge, but rest assured I shall never do so again without first arming myself.
Everything seemed OK at first. The salad dressing and lime juice, while seemingly fine were both sealed safely within their bottles and into the trash they went. The box of baking soda that had been in there for six years soon followed; inactive, docile it vanished into the bowels of the garbage can.
The bowl of rice sat so unassuming in the back of the fridge covered with tinfoil. I ran out of SaranWrap three years ago and have yet to buy more. Perhaps, had this not been the case, what is to follow could have been avoided.
Everything seemed fine during the trek from the fridge to the trash can. The carefree journey may have made me complacent, and without considering the consequences I peeled back the tinfoil.
All appeared well at first glance, until one noticed some curious black splotches.
And then the smell.
Imagine if one had made some pea soup, wrapped it in cabbage, since cabbage just sounds like it smells terrible, stuffed it in a dead body and locked it in your trunk for a week in July, then chopped it up and mixed it with some rice.
That’s the smell that literally punched me in the nuts. It waited for a clean shot too. This was a tricksy nut-shot smell. It waited for me to peel back that foil, to see the black splotches that had taken root on my rice, and then—then!—as I leaned just that little bit closer, my head cocked in an, “I am such a dumb shit I’m going to lean towards this mysterious alien life,” kind of way—WHAM!
The smell struck.
I doubled over, my stomach contracting, seizing, screaming; the bile rose in my throat and my lungs lunged for any orifice through which to escape.
And the creature born of my asthmatic fridge (who for some reason I’ve named Captain Ron) made it appearance.
The bowl of rice shuddered in my hand, but busy as I was trying not to vomit all over myself, I barely noticed. Then the tentacle whipped out from under the crusty white morsels.
Captain Ron’s tentacle wrapped around my throat and the bowl of rice flew from my hand as I staggered back, slamming into the sink. The rice, of course, had hardened together in the bowl—no, it had merged with the bowl—the rice and the plastic Glad-ware bowl had become one evil ricey tentacled beast!
Another tentacle shot out of the rice, encircling my wrist, then another bore forth, taking my other hand. Tentacle One tightened around my throat and I fought the other two, reaching, clawing, struggling to grasp the one around my neck.
Rice tentacles are fucking strong.
Then there was another one, I don’t know where it came from—no wait, it came from the bowl of rice, nevermind—there was another one! This one went Cobra Kai on me and swept my leg. I hit that linoleum hard. Any breath I had left sputtered out as Captain Ron tightened his grip around my throat.
I was sitting up—at least he hadn’t managed to push me down completely, but he had my arms and my legs too if I wasn’t careful. I was kicking and leg flailing like a River dancer having a bad dream to keep that damn Johnny Lawrence tentacle from grabbing hold. I was seeing stars—this shit was getting real. There was only one hope, but it was slim.
On the counter in front of me I could see the edge of the cutting tray I’d used for my frozen pizza last night. I never clean up after pizza, there’s too many important things to do, like eat pizza, so I knew the pizza cutter was still there, cheese and probably some peppers hardened to it. It’d been a supreme pizza, so I’m sure there were some onions stuck to it too—but that’s not important, man, focus!
I kicked frantically for the cutting tray. And missed, of course. And damnit that hurt. I don’t like to wear shoes inside, so I was barefoot. I just kicked a formica countertop barefoot, that hurts. I kicked again sending the cutting tray and pizza cutter into the air. I was already throwing myself forward when they hit ground a few feet away.
Captain Ron was strong, though, and smart. He knew what I was doing. He knew that kitchen better than I did. Those tentacles slammed me back into the cabinet. I could hear wood splintering and those friggin knobs stabbed into my back.
But I didn’t have much time, Tentacle One was growing stronger. It was only a matter of time before I lost consciousness. I’m not really sure what the evil rice tentacles’ plan for me was at the point, I mean, I guess they were going to eat me, but I’m not sure exactly. Really didn’t want to find out either, if we’re being perfectly honest here.
I lunged forward again, and this time it was enough. Well, enough to fall completely flat on my face. Captain Ron still had my hands, and I was reaching forward with everything I had left. I felt that damn Johnny Lawrence tentacle wrap around my ankles, binding my legs together.
I was almost there; I almost had the pizza cutter.
Tentacle One tightened still—how the hell can it keep getting tighter? Seriously, how has it not crushed my windpipe already?
I had it! My right hand gripped the pizza cutter. I was right—there were onions on it too!
I rolled over and used my momentum to just kind of flail wildly with the pizza cutter. It was absolutely sheer luck that I actually connected with the tentacle that had my left hand. Even covered in crusty day old pizza cheese that cutter did the job. It sliced right through that tentacle.
Well, not all the way through it, I mean, it’s just a pizza cutter, we’re not talking a fucking Hattori Hanzō here. I bought it from a gas station for two dollars.
It cut it enough, OK, that’s my point.
So that tentacle goes flailing about, spraying weird tentacle goo all over the place, since that’s what cut tentacles do.
And Captain Ron shrieks. That bowl of rice is just shrieking like a shrill little pre-pubescent banshee—which is amazing, I didn’t know bowls of rice could do that. Even bowls of rice with tentacles.
I take out Tentacle One next with my pizza slicer—
—and that one starts spraying goo all over too.
The tentacle around my right hand has let up, but its still holding on, so I switch my pizza slicer—which in the heat of battle I named The Quiet Storm—to my left and slice up that tentacle—
—so, yeah, more goo.
Then it’s just me and the Johnny Lawrence tentacle.
He lets go of my ankles to reassess his tentacley plan of attack and I scramble back. I have my back up against the wall, cabinets to the right of me, that son of a bitch fridge to my left. He’s flailing all over, lashing out at me, taking swipes hoping to knock away The Quiet Storm.
Not gonna happen Johnny Lawrence!
Me and The Quiet Storm have become one—forged in the fires of perdition and battle tested in the unholy wasteland that is my kitchen! That pizza slicer is an extension of me now. Like lightning we strike—
—and Johnny Lawrence tentacle goes down, carved up into nice little sushi sized bites.
And all that’s missing is a little rice to roll him in.
That’s right, I’m coming for you Captain Ron.
I climb to my feet. I’m covered in goo from these tentacles, seriously it’s all over me, and it tastes awful. Its in my mouth, up my nose, it’s totally in my hair. This isn’t cool. I feel like I just starred in a tentacle goo bukkake film. I don’t feel good about this.
And I turn my attention to what’s left of Captain Ron.
That bowl of rice is shuddering, its shrieking has all but died out Its limp useless tentacles are twitching and flailing, spasming involuntarily. Still fucking leaking goo all over my floor—how much goo can be in those things?
And then I hear a sound that takes me by surprise. I hear… crying.
As if the shrieking wasn’t weird enough (from a bowl of rice that’s grown tentacles and apparently become self aware) now Captain Ron is crying.
Again, the thought of what may be lurking beneath the surface of that black-splotched rice terrifies me, but I have to get this shit out of my house. I approach it carefully, The Quiet Storm ready in hand. With my free hand I grab the tinfoil and cover the container as best I can what with the dead gooey tentacles sticking out.
The crying sounds even more pathetic now through the tinfoil, but I really, really have to get this out of my house.
I whisper an apology to Captain Ron and the crying sputters for a second. I think he sniffles in understanding. (Really, he can sniffle? He has a nose in there?)
Into the garbage can that all goes and I kind of use The Quiet Storm to shovel the tentacles in there. Picking up all the bits of Johnny Lawrence tentacle takes a little more time, but I’m pretty sure I got all of him there.
But that’s when it happens.
I take a deep breath, which is a lot easier now without a tentacle around my neck, and I’m about to pull the drawstring on the garbage bag.
It’s my own fault really, I thought everything was fine. I thought it was all over. That’s when it always happens, isn’t it?
Because then the fridge shudders.
To be continued…