The House of the Twelve Keys
Part 6. The Pathetic Pantry
“Back away!” Raj yelled.
They’d almost leapt right into a burning oven.
They scuttled away, flames licking at their toes.
Raj grabbed a nearby oven mitt and closed the oven door.
“Out of the hockey rink….” Pat said.
“…and almost into the kitchen fire,” Raj finished.
They took off their hockey equipment and looked around. The kitchen was clean, but tiny.
On the counter were bowls of eggs, flour, sugar, butter and blueberries. There was also a pitcher of milk, some salt and baking powder.
“No recipe?” Pat said, but she was smiling.
“No need!” Raj replied. “You know what all this makes, right?”
“Yup. Blueberry muffins!”
“Our fave snack!” Raj was a wizard in the kitchen and he’d taught Pat his favourite recipes. They made blueberry muffins after every visit to the library.
But before they could start cooking, something slammed on the kitchen wall. “That’s where the door was!” Pat said.
Another slam, making a crack from ceiling to floor.
“We better hurry up,” Raj said.
They quickly mixed the dry ingredients, then added the wet, forming enough batter for six delicious muffins. The crack grew and grew as they threw the tin into the oven.
A huge hairy fist smashed through the wall. Then a face appeared through the crack—monstrous, with huge fangs and horns.
Pat and Raj hugged by the oven, waiting for the muffins to cook. Would the monster have the muffins for dessert after eating them? Or as an appetizer before?
The timer dinged, just as the monster crashed through the wall and into the kitchen.
Raj swept the muffins out of the oven and held them up.
The monster stopped. It took a deep sniff and smiled.
“I love muffins!” It said in a deep growl. Raj took one and handed it to the monster. It took surprisingly delicate bites, and its frightening face relaxed. “Delicious!” It took another.
Raj and Pat relaxed too. “Who are you?” Raj asked.
“This is my house,” the monster said, eating yet another muffin. “Once filled with books, light, and hustle and bustle. Then one day a stranger knocked on my door.” The monster shuddered. Raj handed it another muffin and it calmed down. “I let him in. He put a curse on me and anyone who came through the front door.”
“Who was it?” Pat asked, nibbling on a muffin. “And why?”
“No….” The monster shuddered again. “Too horrible…too terrible…can’t move….”
Raj reached for another muffin to calm the beast, but they were gone. The monster shook more and more. Pots and pans rattled and fell all around them. The oven door fell off. The ceiling began to shatter. Plaster fell in chunks.
“Let’s go!” Raj said. He and Pat tried to grab the monster, who was unable or unwilling to move.
The room began to collapse around them.
Pat and Raj leapt through the crack.
What would you cook if you had to feed a monster?