“Can you believe the fools were selling it for ten dollars at a garage sale?” Pandora said, twisting the phone cord around her fingers.
“Is it really an original Moloch?”
“I’ve been collecting antiques long enough to know an original Moloch Thusia porcelain when I see one.” With the phone tucked between her ear and shoulder Pandora took the cookie jar from the counter and gently tilted it to see the carved inscription on the bottom: Moloch Thusia ’9120.
The jar’s white sphere body looked practically new, not a crack or chip in sight, and time had not diminished the seal the orange lid provided. The cookies in this vessel would stay fresh. The front of the jar featured a faux clock with a semi-smiling face in the center, a sparkle in the eyes and cartoonish hands, the kitschy cute kind that was fitting for the retro style of the kitchen. Around the outside edges of the clock it read Cookie Time!
The oven timer went off and Pandora set the phone down on the counter, “I’m going to put you on speaker.”
She wiped her hands on her pink checkered apron and slipped on her matching pink oven mitts. The kitchen was flooded with the brown sugar scent of fresh baked cookies.
“I can’t believe you are going to put actual cookies in it!”
“It’s over a hundred years old and doesn’t even have a crack, why wouldn’t I put cookies in it? Natural cookie scent is something to entice the lambs.”
The cookies were extracted and set on a cooling rack. Every counter space was stacked high with Mexican wedding cookies, Boston cream donuts, miniature pineapple upside-down tarts, cherry cheesecakes, chocolate dipped Madeleines, assorted macarons, apple strudels, and dozens of different cookies in different shapes and flavors. She opened the jar a crack and inhaled the scent of her favorite no-bake cookies nestled inside.
“Bella, I have to go. The children will be here and I still need to put my face on!”
“Is that chubby one going to be there?”
“Kirby? Such a sweet dear with a healthy appetite. He’s usually the first to arrive so I really must go so that I can be here to keep him from eating the entire table; I’ll see you in about an hour.”
Pandora hung up the phone, took off her apron and folded it gently, humming the tune to Teddy Bear Picnic as she exited the kitchen.
A light knock came at the kitchen door. Wind brushed the curtains as the latch twitched and disconnected; the door creaked slowly ajar as four chubby fingers wrapped around it and pushed it open the rest of the way. A little boy entered the kitchen. He wiped snot from his face onto his polo. He moved inside without closing the door behind him and went, sniffing deep, directly to the cookie strewn table.
He tucked two snickerdoodles into each pocket then grabbed a pink frosted sugar cookie and pushed the entire thing into his mouth in one bite. He reached for a chocolate cupcake when a clatter of porcelain startled him.
Kirby looked for the source of the noise. He walked around, finger touching each of the goodies in turn, touring the kitchen and then moving into the living room.
The bathroom door was cracked open and he peeked inside to see Pandora disrobe and step into a steaming shower, her shadowed silhouette dancing in the steam through the frosted glass as the water caressed her body. He watched for a moment, breathing heavily, new sensations tingling through his body. He snuffed a long string of snot back into his nostril before turning back.
Back in the kitchen, Kirby pushed a chair up to the counter and leaned forward to the treats it held. He shoved a lemon tart, two strawberry macarons, and a fudge brownie into his mouth. Drool streaked the corner of his lips as the brownie protruded out, when he noticed the cookie jar.
He poked at the clock face of the jar when the lid rustled and smile twitched. Unfazed, Kirby lifted the lid and looked inside. It was dark. He felt inside and found that it was empty.
He pushed the remains of a half eaten fudge brownie into his mouth and a chunk broke and fell inside the cookie jar. It disappeared without a sound.
Kirby reached for the chocolate chip cookie. He tossed three of them inside and they too were gone without a trace. Next he grabbed the rolling pin and dropped it in. There was a light rush of air and it, too, was gone.
He went to the fridge, smearing chocolatey handprints on the door, and pulled out a gallon of milk. It was heavy and he had to balance it against his protruding belly as he shuffled back to the chair. He uncapped the lid and poured the milk inside the jar. It disappeared with deep glugging noises and, once empty, he dropped the jug into the container too.
A set of keys, three fridge magnets, a potted prickly pear, and a pepper grinder all disappeared into the jar without a sound. The clock face moved, startling Kirby who dropped the lid back into place as he fell off the chair.
“Cookie?” the clock face whispered. Kirby nodded in response, yes he wanted a cookie, and pushed himself up off the floor.
The clock blinked and looked up at its lid. It smiled wide.
Kirby pulled the lid open and looked inside. Curly-Qs of chocolatey vapor stroked his face.
“Cookie time.” The clock’s grin deepened.
Kirby leaned in further until his face was nearly cupped by the jar’s opening when the kitchen door slammed shut. Kirby looked at the door as tiny fingers gripped the edges of the jar. One hand then two, then three, then four little hands snaked out of the jar with more following. It was too late as Kirby opened his mouth to gasp; a hand grabbed him by the teeth and pulled him face first inside.
“It’s cookie time,” the clock moaned as little legs kicked back and forth.
A deep moan and laugh escaped the cookie jar. A little shoe tumbled to the ground as Kirby’s last leg slipped into the jar. A slurping sound escaped it before the lid slammed back into place.
A knock came at the front door and Pandora, fresh from getting ready, opened it, “Bella, you’re early!”
“I know, but I thought you might need some help. Someone has to watch that chunky boy or he’ll eat your entire bake sale! I’m surprised he isn’t here yet. Doesn’t he live next door?”
“Ms. Mary’s Little Lamb Daycare will be here soon for the charity bake sale, but admit it, you just want to see the cookie jar.”
“I mean, while I’m here—”
The women snickered as they went to the kitchen. “A quick look and then I could use your help getting the baked goods to the tables set up in the front yard.”
“It’s absolutely beautiful and you really put cookies in it? It feels full,” as Bella reached forward to test the weight of the jar she inadvertently kicked a shoe under the sink.
Pandora took off the lid and reached inside, her wrist disappearing as she reached in deep, and licked her lips. Pulling out a cookie she bit into it. “No bake chocolate oatmeal— my favorite. We’ll let the kids snack on these and have nap time while you and I clean up.”
About the Creator
I'm Jeff Carter; I wanted a unique & personal pen name. Writing offers an opportunity to create and heal. These stories in the bizarre, horror, and magic realism help inspire me to move forward with novel writing. Thank you for reading.