Sunday Snippet, Flash Fiction, Ate the Whole Jar by Bill Chance

“He who controls the spice controls the universe.”

― Frank Herbert, Dune

Riverwalk, San Antonio, Texas

Ate the Whole Jar

Craig had some visitors at work. They required hours, tours and conversation.

Because of this Craig was unable to go out and eat lunch. He talked to Helen on the phone, and they discussed plans for the evening and Craig realized that he felt weak and tired. He figured this was because it was about four in the afternoon and he hadn’t eaten anything all day. His work had vending machines, but the food in them was absolute greasy crap and Craig was trying to avoid that sort of thing. So he searched out and found some food left over from a couple of days ago, stored safely away in the office refrigerator.

A jumbo container of pickled jalapeño peppers.

After soaking in… whatever they soak in, for two days, they were just right. Smooth, chewy, yet plenty hot enough to make Craig’s head sweat. One was good, so two must be better, he didn’t stop there, four, five, pop ’em in, swallow ’em down, leave a little pile of stems behind, feel the crunch of membrane, hot skin on burning lips, the pop of hotter seeds. He ate the whole jar.

Craig went to take a leak and while carefully washing his hands first (males learn at an early age to thoroughly wash their hands before pissing after eating hot peppers) he looked in the mirror. His eyes were bugged out, sweat was running down his face, his thin hair was standing on end as best it could. Craig was worried he ate too many peppers.

Now, hours later, he knew he ate too many. A healthy supper of rice and beans wasn’t sitting too well. His guts were churning under the influence of too much capsicum. Craig drank some milk and tried to go to sleep.

He was sure he’d have wild dreams that night.

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