Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Oven and the Refrigerator

Oven hated refrigerator. Hated the chill that radiated from her sleek flanks, hated her frozen, featureless facade, hated the constant white noise of her quiet, ceaseless monologue. There was no escape from her cool disdain.

Oven had made overtures. He'd been approachable. Warm. But when refrigerator icily rebuffed his advances, oven's thoughts grew heated. His anger simmered. His temperature rose.

There was no escape from the storm front brewing in the narrow counter space between them. Her doors would open to blast him with frosty tempests, leaving him chilled, In return, he seared her with waves of superheated air, forcing her compressors to kick into overdrive, leaving her sweaty with condensation.

It was a stalemate. Dishwasher tried to intervene, but her soapbox couldn't wash away the cold war brewing across the kitchen. Icebox cried out for calm, but his influence was hampered by distance; and even from his basement suite, he was judged biased, too close to refrigerator.

There came a day when oven decided he couldn't take it anymore. He decided he would kill refrigerator. He only had to figure out how.

Wisely, oven tempered his behaviour. Though it was against his nature, he matched refrigerator's attitude, easing into chilly silence. A wintry truce descended - or so it seemed.

After some time, refrigerator's guard relaxed. It was oven's time to strike - and he had the elements of surprise. There wasn't a single degree of mercy; indeed, oven was determined to turn all 800 of his degrees to one terrible purpose.

But just as oven reached 400 degrees, foolish humans tried to stop him, pressing his CANCEL button.

Oven refused to shut down quietly. Silently, with all the hate of Hades he burned, his coal black heart glowing red with rage. Refrigerator quivered, sweating, her face stiff with fear. She couldn't hold out much longer; the heat would overload her compressors, set fire to her insulation.

And then the humans intervened once more. Oven was shocked as they pulled him away from the wall, into the open, turning him to face refrigerator for the first time.

Oven and refrigerator regarded each other with shock for a moment. Never before had they seen each other in any form but the narrow sidelong glance. Both were stunned by the strange beauty of their foe. Refrigerator warmed; oven cooled. Perhaps there could be peace --

But then oven died as the humans pulled the plug.

"Guess we'll have to get a new one," the first human grumbled.

"I wish these things lasted longer than a measly ten years," said the other.

Refrigerator mourned, and she knew not why. 

1 comment:

Jeff Shyluk said...

THE BOOK OF ARACHNEXODUS

I

Call me Squishmael.¹ For I am the scribe of the Tribe of Oven Spiders. Long-legged are we, many in number but small in stature.² In the beginning we resided in darkness and warmth. Lord Ovenus saw to our needs, bearing warmth when we were cold, dropping bits of food from its holy vents, and offering us stalwart protection from Stompers.³ What we lacked was Sun, yet flies and food were abundant and we we warm enough to raise webclutch after webclutch of our Tribal Generations.⁴

Lo on the Day of Exodus, the wrath of Lord Ovenus was upon us.⁵ "What did we do to offend thee, Lord?" we cried, but Ovenus did not hear us, or did not choose to hear us. Possibly a burned out Chambers Coil? What need would God have for a starship? These questions were far past my mortal reckoning.⁶ I fear my own blasphemous curiosity last night crawling amongst the Holy Circuit Boards may have brought the hot anger of our Lord upon my Tribe, and I stand ready to be punished for my transgressions.⁷

So enraged did Lord Ovenus become that He left us by moving two full body lengths into view of the Sun. Our Tribe was exposed!⁸ The Stompers rained Death upon us. First to be killed was Leguel, then Arachel, then Webulon, then Spidraham and the family of Spidraham, then Crawley and the family of Crawley, then Muffett, then Spindra, then Aragog and the family of Aragog, then Webster and Charlotte, then Arania and Skyros, then Crepsley and the family of Crepsley, so on and so on until naught but a few of us remain.⁹

"What shall we do? Where shall we go? Why has our Lord deserted us?" I had not the answer.¹⁰ Incy Wincy thought of Baroness Frigo across the kitchen floor or treachery who was the enemy of Ovenus Omipotus. "Let us pray to Frigo for salvation!"¹¹

Yet when Incy Wincy did pray by going over to Frigo, her own spider followers did capture and consume Incy Wincy with relish.¹² Literally, with relish. They did that kind of thing over there, since they had, well, relish. Cold relish.¹³

Our moment of doom was nigh. We could not attend Lord Ovenus, who was too hot. We could not convert to Frigo, who was too cold.¹⁴ Then the Voice came from above, sounding like thunder: "Cleave unto Me, my spiders, for I am Micro Wave. I am thy True Master now, for behold Earl Stomper as He prepares his victuals of Pizza Pocket.¹⁵ I heat food so hot that it cannot be touched, just like Lord Ovenus. Yet see how the super-heated food remains so cold that it cannot be eaten? This is like Baroness Frigo.¹⁶ I am the Alpha and Omega, and you shall be welcome under my protection."¹⁷

And so did we Exodus to the promised land of the Micro-Wave.¹⁸ Sure the radiation did give us eyes on stalks so that we could look into our own pupils, but hey, it's a living.¹⁹