You Will Die! by Craig J. Clark

“Stop! What do you think you’re doing?”

The guilty party was frozen, the spoonful of ice cream halfway to his lips.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Is this yours?” He guiltily held out the pint container.

“Yes, but that’s not the point,” she said, snatching it from him. “Can’t you read?”

“Oh, did you have your name on it?” he asked, the spoon still held in place inches from his lips.

“No, I didn’t. I wrote this instead.”

She showed him the lid, which was sitting on the counter. Scrawled on it in black magic marker was the legend “YOU WILL DIE!”

“Did you even look at it?”

He shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. I might have. Well, at least I’ll get one spoonful out of it.”

He opened his mouth and started to move the spoon when she smacked it out of his hand. It clattered to the floor, spattering the kitchen tile with chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.

“You idiot! What if that had been poisoned?”

He stared blankly. “Was it?”

“Well, what do you think ‘YOU WILL DIE!’ means?”

“I don’t know. Threat of physical violence?”

She fumed. “I put ‘YOU WILL DIE!’ on here because I wanted people to think the ice cream was poisoned.”

“But if it were poisoned, you wouldn’t be able to eat it, either.”

“Do you think someone would poison their own food if they didn’t have the antidote?”

“Oh. Do you?”

“No, of course not!”

“So… Is it poisoned or what?”

“That’s beside the point! Didn’t you ever learn not to take things that don’t belong to you?”

“Yeah, of course, but food doesn’t count.”

“In a communal fridge, it most definitely does.”

“This isn’t a commune. This is a corporation.”

“The principle still applies!”

“There’s an ice cream consumption principle?”

Angrily, she pushed the lid down on the container and placed it back in the freezer.

“Look, just don’t touch my ice cream, okay? It’s my ice cream. I bought it so I could eat it and I brought it in here so I could have some when I’m feeling stressed out. And you know what stresses me out more than anything? When people eat my ice cream!

She slammed the freezer door and stormed out of the kitchen. The man waited a few moments and then discreetly looked in the refrigerator.

“Ooh, leftover Chinese!”


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Man, I hate that guy. We had a woman who used to do that at my place of work a few years back, but she'd just lie and pretend to help people look for their "misplaced" foodstuffs. It was quite annoying. Come to think of it, this actually drove me to be the guy who Sharpied the hell out of any prepackaged lunch or snack item I put into the work fridge. Unsurprisingly, most of my labels threatened death.

You've really been on a dialog kick lately, Craig. I like the flow and the non-expository nature of the speech. If you had the time to focus your powers, you could probably smith a decent book. Or, you could cobble together all of these little bits and make a collection, similar to what Weaver did.

Funny stuff. The ending made me guffaw due to the way in which I imagined it sounding.

I like the recurring theme of communal food storage you seem to have going. A book of such things would be interesting and potentially life-saving.

I've been contemplating taking a second stab at the novel form. I even have an idea of what I want the story to be about, but frankly the subject matter frightens me. Sometimes I wonder where my ideas come from and what they say about me.

Second stab? I didn't know you took a shake at a first. I'm confident that whatever you put together will be good, regardless of mystery subject matter. Your comment makes me a bit afraid to ask what the subject is.

The first stab was a science fiction novel that I completed over a decade ago. I showed it to some friends, who gave me good feedback, but I was never able to get an agent or a publisher to read it. Now it's hopelessly outdated and would require a major overhaul before I would even consider showing it to anyone else.

As for the new story, what scares me the most about it is that it's such a serious idea, I won't be able to fall back on my usual tricks.

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