It was a piece of art by the time we'd finished with it. The colours and fresh smell of savoury combined in a concept of content completion.
The finest potato pasta salad in a five hundred mile radius, at least; a fantastic end to a creative night. We kept it in the tall fridge, somewhere where it could settle and be at peace before being devoured by the hungry tomorrow.
I was ready to sleep and forget my troubles in my 'bed', that was more a combination of mattress and clothing. My eyes were drawn closed as if a puppeteer pulled his strings together. So close to the dreamland, so close to far away. It ran past my hazy vision with a screech.
I bolted, collapsing onto the rubble-floor. I found my balance and tore the door open, letting the landing light crack my mind into sense.
"Was that you?" I whispered into the darkened stairway ahead.
"Oh yes, just me..." came a melancholy chime, smoother than the wind, from below my very feet.
I jumped, as if spiders were harnessing my feet to the floor. This had happened before, I had to face it this time. No more hiding from the voice, it's been too long, it's haunted my childhood before, and no voice was going to ruin me.
Downstairs I trod, carefully, as to not wake the silent, dusky house. The voice, although quiet now, seemed to draw me to the kitchen. I put on a brave face, ready to fight whatever monster of my mind lurked within. The lightswitch flickered, though I was still roaming the desolate hallway.
I peered into the dark, whilst it flickered again, showing me the layout; though I could walk comfortably around this house blindfolded, it helped nonetheless. It flickered once more, but something was wrong.
The fridge's door creaked as I noticed its door - wide open. It's magnetic, the wind isn't that strong, and anyhow, I'm indoors.
The lack of a reply sent shivers through my spine. What could I do? Whatever it was would leave if I called for help; that had happened before. Before I could even think anymore, there was a sound. Well, more of a squelch. Something soft had hit the floor.
I turned on the light; whatever it was would show its face now.
What I saw engraved my mind in shadow.
Something had plastered itself on the kitchen floor in the dim light from the fading bulb. No, not just something. The potato pasta salad. It had... morphed, been shaped, I don't even know. I sunk to the floor whilst everything slowly tuned out. I was a broken radio, the letters had planted in my mind some idea of regret. Sorrow, maybe. All I knew was that I wouldn't wake up. What this ..creepy.. pasta told me, was that I had to run. Run away from this life.
A knife found its way to my hand, and my wrists.
I collapsed on the cold floor, next to the letters that spelled:
"y O u f O U n d m E"
Even though a deep sleep could seem to be over in a flash once you wake, this sleep had not passed quickly. I awoke as if I had been awake for hours, my eyes still stirring from, the nightmare? But it seemed so real...
I seemed to drift into a ready state for the barbecue. I couldn't remember getting ready, but the salad was resting contently in my arms. I realised what I was holding: the monster from my mind. I nearly dropped it, but was able to steady my grip. We set off for the outside, where people were meant to enjoy this creation I had firmly in my grasp.
I was reluctant to let it go once we arrived; the host nearly forced it from my hands, whilst a tear ran down my face. I blamed my hayfever, and as it was Summer, people didn't notice my lie.
I just didn't want them to serve it; if they ate it, what could I do? What can one do about such reckless insanity? Nobody would believe me.
[Taken from a news bulletin three days after the barbecue]
"A recent barbecue left sixty-three people with their innards visibly dissolving out of their bodies. All people involved in barbecue celebration had died. No suspects have been found of yet."
Local who reported the incident: "It almost looks like their organs had been trying to escape..."