Saturday, October 17, 2009


Written October 2009
Aaron M. Smith

“Okay, I think this is it. Rodney, get that camera over here.” Dave said, his eyes locked on the blinking piece of equipment in his hands. He checked the microphone clipped on his jacket then looked directly into the camera as the red light on its side came on.

“We’re back, and this time I think we’ve really found the center of this haunting.” He raised the hand-held device up to the camera to show the viewers at home the series of blinking green lights across its surface. “The endoplasmic reticulator is going haywire; there’s a huge temporal disturbance in this room.”

Dave gestured to the almost boringly normal kitchen in which they stood. Yellow linoleum, white countertops, an old white refrigerator, light blue curtains. “Don’t let the cute chicken towels fool you, ladies and gentlemen. This regular suburban kitchen is a hotbed of paranormal activity.”
“Can we, uh, turn some lights on?” A woman from off camera said. Rodney swung the camera around to her, shining the light mounted on its side directly in her face. She shielded herself from the glare with one hand, knocking her horn-rimmed glasses askew.

“Afraid not, Mrs. McGillicuddy.” Dave whispered, stepping into the frame with the middle-aged homeowner. She backpeddled, slightly startled. “Ghosts are often sensitive to electrical disturbances.”

“Then how come your equipment don’t bother them?” She said.

“Shh! Listen!” Dave’s ghost-hunting assistant Kim hissed. Rodney swung the camera around to the tattooed twenty-something in the black jeans and pink Hello Kitty sweatshirt. She was crouched at the base of a series of cabinets, her head-mounted flashlight pointed in the direction she was looking. The yellow pool of light fell on a cabinet in the corner of the room, beneath the countertop.

The four of them held their breath. Nothing moved for a long moment.
Then, the smallest of clanging noises shuddered from the closed cabinet.

Mrs. McGillicuddy shrieked. Rodney lost track of the others as he ran to the safety of the adjacent room, the camera swinging and bobbing, its light creating dancing shadows from all the appliances in the room.

When the chaos had calmed, Dave and Kim had found the front of the camera again.
“Did you hear that!? Did you hear that!?!” Kim hissed at Dave, her mascara-heavy eyes wide with horror.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve just had a major development. We’ve definitely found the focus of this apparition.” Dave panted into the camera.

“That’s where I keep my pots and pans!” Mrs. McGillicuddy interrupted.

Dave gave one more brave glance into the camera and began to creep slowly back into the kitchen, taking slow, long strides like a cat sneaking up on a mouse. He reached the island when another rattle of metal, louder this time, sounded from the cabinet. After a series of muted screams and curses from the others, he continued on.

When he was within arms reach of the cabinet, Dave reached up and removed an oversized decorative wooden spoon from the wall. He carefully lowered his night-vision goggles and turned to the camera. He mouthed the words ‘here we go’, then threw open the cabinet with the wooden spoon.

Behind him, Kim screamed preemptively.

The cabinet was completely empty except for a single stainless steel kettle, complete with lid.
“Oh!” Mrs. McGillicuddy said. The three ghost hunters turned to look at the middle-aged woman. “That’s the kettle I bought from that old gypsy lady who lived down the street!”

“You bought a kettle from a gypsy?” Kim asked, incredulous.

“Well, bought, not exactly.” Mrs. McGillicuddy clarified. “Well, she kept letting her dog poop on my lawn, so when she was moving out, she was having a garage sale, and well… I sort of just took it.”

Dave and Kim stared at the woman open-mouthed.
In the cabinet, the kettle hopped in place, its lid clanking up and down.

“This kettle is possessed by a foul spirit!” Dave announced, backing carefully away from the cabinet. His breath was coming in heavy pants.

The kettle began to hop and dance, finally bouncing itself out of the cabinet and onto the linoleum floor. This time, everyone screamed.

Dave threw himself onto the demonic cookware, holding the lid down with his body. The pot was angry- Dave’s body bounced with the force of the fighting object.

“Kim!” He shouted unnecessarily. “Get to the van! Get the exorcism kit! We’re going to need the holy water, the prayer beads, the whole shibbang!”

The kettle gave a powerful shudder, throwing Dave from it. Its lid clattered in place, beating out a staccato rhythm like a hellish pressure cooker. Kim and Dave both jumped onto the pot, the two of them holding the lid down with both hands.

“I’ll go get the supplies!” Rodney offered.

“Don’t you dare! Keep rolling!” Dave instructed, as he and Kim kept wrestling with the stainless steel terror. “We’ll have to find another way to drive out the demonic spirit!”

“Demonic spirit?” Mrs. McGillicuddy said quietly. Then, louder, “I know! I know what to do!” She rushed to her cabinets and began to pull things out- flour, sugar, oil. Rodney was torn between filming the strange behavior of the woman (and providing her light by which to search the cabinets) and watching the unearthly fight between his two comrades and the malevolent dish.

Moments later, Mrs. McGillicuddy had a pile of ingredients on the countertop and had begun adding them to a bowl. She was beating the concoction with a wisk when Kim was thrown to the floor by the thrashings of the evil kettle.

“Hurry!” Dave cried, sitting on top of the kettle to keep the lid in place. Kim scrambled across the floor, her converse sliding on the linoleum, and wrapped her arms around the body of the pot to hold it still. “We can’t hold it forever!”

“Quiet!” Mrs. McGillicuddy said. “You do your job, I’ll do mine!” Dave’s eyes were wide with shock, unused to being told what to do on his own TV show. “There! Put the pot on the countertop, hurry! You, cameraman! Pre-heat the oven!”

They did as they were told, Kim and Dave fighting against the unnatural strength of the animated object. No sooner had they placed it onto the counter than Mrs. McGillicuddy snatched off the lid of the kettle. A series of eerie, warbling cries rolled out of the open pot, like the sound of winter wind whistling through a leaky window. She quickly dumped the contents of the bowl she’d been beating into the kettle. The sound from the pot instantly changed, shrieking in a demonic how that made Rodney want to cover his ears and hide.

Mrs. McGillicuddy slammed the lid onto the pot and threw open the oven. Dave and Kim, with a tremendous effort of combined strength and will, thrust the corrupted cookware into the hot oven. Dave slammed the door closed with his foot as he stood up, leaning his full weight on the door to keep it closed. The entire cooktop rattled with the force of the monster within, odd warbling cries shrieking from within the oven.

An eternity seemed to pass for the group of four huddled in the kitchen. For nearly half an hour, nobody said anything. Gradually, the rattling of the stove slowed and the horrifying cries become quieter and quieter, until the entire room was still. They all cried out in alarm when the egg timer on the stove went off with a loud ding!

Rodney panned the camera around the room at the ragged group. Dave’s face was red, though whether it was from, fear, exertion or sitting too close to the hot oven, he didn’t know. Kim’s mascara had run in deep tracks down her face, making her look rather ghoulish. Mrs. McGillicuddy was pulling on a pair of oven mitts. She reached for the oven.

“Don’t open it!” Dave insisted. “Did you see what it did to us?!”

“It’s okay now,” she said. “It’s done.”

“How can you be sure?” Kim asked quietly.

“Because, we made the one thing no demonic force can stand against.” Mrs. McGillicuddy answered. She pulled open the door and instead of howls of fury, the group was treated to the delicious smell of vanilla. Mrs. McGillicuddy reached inside and carefully removed the kettle, which was steaming.

“Angel food cake, anyone?”

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