GIANT Yogurt Monster (Short Story)
Jeremy pushed the yogurt about his plate with the underside of his spoon. “Don’t play with your food, Jeremy,” said his mother. She was on her computer at the other end of the table, glancing up at her four year old son every few minutes. On her screen was a story she’d been working on for the past couple months.
“It’s squishy and looking at me,” he replied. He was mimicking the faces he saw in the pile of vanilla flavored goo. From across the table his mother couldn’t see the yogurt wink, or the way it reached out to shake the boy’s hand. She didn’t notice the pile of yogurt stand up on the plate, jump down from the table, and run into the living room either.
“May I be excused from the table?” he asked. He was looking over his shoulder at the yogurt trail leading out of the kitchen.
“Sure, just place your dish in the sink,” she replied, her eyes not leaving the bright screen. She was entranced in the story of fiction she was creating, not paying attention to the one happening right in front of her.
He made his way into the living room to find the couch covered in yogurt. His eyes grew wide as he looked around the room. The walls, carpet, even the TV remote, were covered in vanilla flavored slop. Sitting on the couch was the yogurt person, no bigger than the young boy, laughing at the images on the TV. Jeremy grabbed hold of the couch cushion and began his ascent to the top, stretching one leg up and eventually getting a knee onto the outer edge. Before he could get his torso onto the cushion he was helped up by a gooey hand.
“Thank you,” he said, his voice stressed as he struggled with the remaining few pushes upward. He sat beside his new friend on the couch and watched the funny images passing by on the screen.
“What’s your name?” he asked the yogurt person. He was given a shrug as a reply, as the yogurt person had no name it could remember. “Hmmm,” the boy thought to himself for a moment, “how about Lumpy?” The yogurt person nodded in accordance to the name.
In the kitchen his mother was still working on her story. The plate of food beside her remained barely touched as she worked on the final chapter of her book. With each sentence the mashed potatoes grew colder, each paragraph the chicken a bit tougher, each chapter the glass of milk a touch warmer. As she typed, pulling memories and transferring them into fiction, she began to tear up. She was so involved in the story she didn’t notice the laughter coming from the other room.
Jeremy sat beside his friend Lumpy as they both filled the room with their hysterics. On the screen was a cartoon cat getting into trouble again and again as it tried to cook meals for its friends. Lumpy patted the young boy on the shoulder and stood upright on the couch. Together they began to jump on the couch cushions like a makeshift trampoline. Lumpy grabbed one of the small pillows lying against the far-side armrest and swung it through the air like a knight’s sword, catching Jeremy in the face and sending him to the moat of alligators. Jeremy quickly brushed off the attack, climbed out from the moat, and grabbed the sword from the stone beside him. Holding the legendary weapon high above his head he shouted his yearning for victory into the air. He swung his destined blade, clashing with the sword of his rival. The battle raged on, both of them crying for conquest into the setting sun. The shouts of her son were becoming too much, breaking her concentration from the story, she closed her laptop and walked into the living room.
He dropped his weapon to the ground and raised his hands in surrender as he turned around. On the couch, the walls, the TV remote, was the yogurt he had been playing with at the table. “Hey, mom,” he said while already making his way down from the couch. “I was just playing with Lumpy.” He pointed to the yogurt covered pillow on the couch, his friend waving back at him. She rolled her eyes and picked her son up into her arms. Over her shoulder he continued to wave to his new friend.
“It’s time for you to go to bed, it’s going to take me all night to clean up the mess you made,” she said.
“Bwut I was wust,” he said while brushing his teeth, “pwaywing wif,” he spit into the sink, “my new friend Lumpy.” He took his plastic cup at the edge of the sink and filled it with water. “Is it okay if he sleeps here? He can stay downstairs on the couch, since it’s already covered in yogurt.” He stepped down from his stool and headed into his room. She followed him in and helped him into his pajamas.
“Lumpy can sleep downstairs, but he’ll have to leave first thing in the morning,” she said while tucking him into bed.
“Okay, but make sure he doesn’t leave until I can say goodbye. I never got to say goodbye when Dad left and I feel sad when I think about it,” he said before closing his eyes. She wiped her eyes dry and walked down the stairs back into the living room. She looked around at what her son and his new friend had managed to make of the room, from the mess on the walls to the splatters on the carpet. With Jeremy fast asleep upstairs she tidied up the room, placing the swords back on the couch, wiping down the remote, turning off the flickering screen of the television and ridding the battlegrounds of any evidence the epic clash had ever occurred. After finishing the chores created by her son she returned to her little office space at the edge of the kitchen table. With her laptop screen flipped open she dove back into the story, but it wasn’t long before she was once again distracted by the efforts of her son. She thought about what Jeremy had done in the other room, how he claimed to be playing with a new friend. He had to make a friend out of yogurt to occupy himself, she thought. I’ve been spending too much time with this story and not enough with him. Following a sigh she closed the laptop.
She walked over to the refrigerator and removed the container of vanilla yogurt, scooped out a bowl as big as their little dessert after dinner. She looked down at the creamy vanilla meal and began to press her spoon into it just as Jeremy had. Soon she was using her spoon to form the yogurt into an ever toppling tower. With each failure of the structure she’d laugh and try again, her smile wide with grinning teeth. She looked up from her latest tower to notice what looked like a yogurt monster sitting in the seat beside her. The monster’s dripping fangs startled her from her chair, sending her flailing to the polished wood floor. She looked up at the looming ghoulish figure, a look of horror on her face. “What, what do you want from me?” she asked, her voice quivering as she spoke. The giant yogurt monster, its head brushing against the ceiling as it moved closer, pointed to the clean living room. She stood up and walked over to the room, curious as to what the monster had in store for her. Once in the room she noticed something peculiar about the setup. The couch, once a place she could easily fall backwards onto after a long day at work, was too high for her to easily sit upon. The yogurt monster pointed to the couch, motioning for her to climb. “But,” she said, “it’s not possible.” Just then the TV flicked on, she turned to watch and saw the room from a similar perspective on screen. She noticed the viewpoint on screen looking at the daunting couch cushions just as she had, however the curious hero didn’t back away from the challenge, instead opting to launch a leg to the top and continue to claw up in desperation. Through grunts and determination the story’s hero made it to the top and turned to face the camera. She was surprised to find out the hero of the movie she’d been watching was Jeremy. He wiped his brow and sat down atop his high kingdom alongside a friend similar to the one that loomed beside her as she watched. She saw him pick up a pillow on the couch and swing it like a sword at his companion of slop. The two of them fought valiantly on screen until a high pitched interruption ended the assault. She turned away from the screen, not wanting to see the depiction of herself that would no doubt appear.
A giant yogurt finger pressed the power button on the remote for the television, turning it off. The ghoulish figure looked on as she gave the climb another try. She threw a leg up and over, just as she’d seen on screen, and grabbed hold of the cushion as far as she could reach. She wiggled her torso until she could get her other leg up as well. Once at her high perch the looming figure beside her shrunk down to meet her face to face in the arena. Her opponent unsheathed his soft pillow and aimed a corner right towards her. She looked behind her to see a pillow tucked halfway between the cushion and the edge of the couch. She gripped the corner of the pillow with both hands and slowly pulled it from its encasing. Both of them armed they lurched towards one another before trading blows with their feather filled blades. She managed to catch the yogurt knight off guard and sent it falling to the moat below. They both laughed at the outcome of their exchange, making the cold daunting room feel small and warm. She wiped her brow, sweat dripping from her efforts in the grand battle, and climbed down from the couch as if it were a grand mountain. After reaching the world below she noticed the new friend she’d made walking back into the kitchen. She followed after it, but arrived to find the room empty except for a small bowl filled with yogurt on the table. Sitting back in her seat, her head bobbing up and down from exhaustion, her eyes barely able to stay open, she began to lift the spoon from the bowl.
“Maaawm?” he said, stretching his arms out as he walked into the kitchen mid yawn.
“Wha?!” she said, lifting her face from the bowl of yogurt on the table. He laughed at the sight of her, and she soon joined in once realizing what had happened. He ran up to the table and climbed his chair. She grabbed a handful from the bowl and threw it at his face. He pulled the bowl towards him and flung some back. Soon they were running around the house, covering every inch in the vanilla concoction. They both made their way to the living room and grabbed their weapons of choice. He jumped feet first into the moat and swam down to the bottom to retrieve the legendary sword he’d lost as she lifted another sword from its resting place on the left cushion. She lifted him up and placed him on the couch, so they’d be level with one another. Soon their match began, both of them shrinking the room with laughter.