Margery was deep in the fridge. She wasn't going to make the mistake others did of not moving things, not looking behind the front items on the fridge shelves.
Actually, wait... She pulled a jar from the back. Yes!
No. No pickles, just pickle juice. Who did that?
Margery removed the jar of pickle juice to the counter in frustration and commenced opening cupboards at a rapid pace. Nothing was familiar. She was flinging cupboard doors open at random, and moving on if they were full of dishes. Whose house was this?
A baby wailed in the background somewhere. A neighbor? Upstairs? Margery kept moving, ignoring the crying. Pickles!
A cabinet with food products - yes! ransacking it, she shoved things out of the way, letting spices and sauce packets fall to the floor, looking for the telltale glass jar. Nothing.Where are the pickles? Whose house was she in anyway, and when would they come home? Was it too much to ask for pickles to be accessible?
A door to the side, maybe a pantry? Nope. Broom closet.
Margery escaped out the back door of the kitchen and crossed the darkened lawn in a crouch. No one should see her here. She didn't know why, only knew that no one should be seeing her right now, right here. That screaming baby was definitely coming from a neighbor's house, but she didn't know which one. It was louder out here.
Margery's heart was pounding with urgency as she reached the tall wooden fence at the back of the yard. She lifted the latch and peered out into the alley. No movement. Lots of shadows. She hurried across to the opposite gate and reached over the top of the gate to lift the latch.
Maybe these people had pickles. She needed pickles, even if she didn't know why. Edging into the dark yard, Margery pulled the gate shut with a quiet click, then heard a growling off to the side. A dog. They had a dog. RUN! Her brain set her going and her feet flew across the dew-damp grass, always a few steps ahead of the chasing, barking dog. She took the steps to the porch at a leap and yanked the door to the mud-room open.
The dog stayed outside, barking, but the house remained dark. Remarkably no one was awake. She entered this stranger's house and found the kitchen.
The fridge had a half-full jar of pickles and Margery dug greedily into the jar for a dill spear. Yes. Success. She sighed in relief as the baby's incessant cries grew louder in her head.
"Sweetie? Hon?" Margery blinked her eyes open as Steve stood over her, rocking their crying infant. "I tried. I can't stop her. I think Grace needs you."
Margery groaned as she sat up and accepted the baby into her arms. "Do we have any pickles?" She asked as Steve lifted his blankets, ready to get back in bed and go back to sleep.
"Uh, I think so."
"Could you bring me some? I think I'm pregnant again." She opened the top buttons of her pajama top for the baby while Steve froze in place at the news she'd just dropped.
Every Friday, a new flash fiction story, inspired by reader comments (as much as possible). Feel free to leave a prompt for future use in the comments below. I hope you liked that story, based on the prompt "A search for pickles" given by my husband Brett (of The Transformed Non-Conformist).
If you choose to join in for Fiction Fridays, post a link to your story below in the comments. If there's interest or participation, I may start suggesting prompts here for the following week.