Jul 18, 2011

Show and NO Tell- Entry #4

Click here for the contest description.  The task was to answer the question: Why does Jimmy hate pizza?

By Teralyn Rose Pilgrim

 “I bought pizza to eat while we study,” said Julie. She opened a box of steaming pizza with relish as if she were offering him a special treat.

Jimmy tried not to grimace as he picked up a piece and felt it go limp in his hand. Julie stuffed a large bite in her mouth and savored the bite with glee. “Mmm,” she said.

I like this girl, Jimmy reminded himself. I’m not going to offend her by refusing her pizza.

He took a bite and a long string of rubbery cheese slid off the bread and onto his shirt, leaving strings of red goop all down his front. Embarrassed, he decided to leave the blood-sauce crust naked and stuffed the cheese into his mouth. It was like chewing on a ball of slimy rubber bands.

As he formed the cheese into a digestible paste, he tried not to think of his 3rd-grade field trip to the cheese factory.

He remembered him and his classmates peering over the railing above the equipment. They ooo-ed and ahh-ed over the stainless-steel vats of stirring milk. The teacher led them along the rail to the packaging area where blocks of yellow cheddar zoomed through a narrow terminal. They jerked to a stop in front of a worker and a machine that wrapped the cheese in plastic and sucked out the air with a gasp and a click.

The woman was old enough to be the wicked witch of the west. She wore no hairnet, so Jimmy could see her charcoal-gray hair shine from a thick layer of grease. He recoiled when he saw the same grease covering her face from the root of her damp hair, past her crooked green teeth, and plastered down her neck.

She didn’t wear any gloves, but handled the cheese with her bare, wrinkled hands. She wiped sweat off her forehead with the back of her wrist. Then to his horror, she scratched her head and put her now grease-soaked fingers back on the block of cheese. No one but Jimmy noticed a single strand of hair get caught under her jagged nail. The strand flowed in the air as it followed her finger to the cheese as she pushed it through the machine.

Jimmy knew the same women hadn’t touched the cheese that was on his pizza – well, he thought he knew, but he couldn’t really be sure – but whenever he saw cheese, he imagined it coated in hair grease. He thought of this when he saw melted cheese glisten with wetness. 

He tried to swallow the huge gob of mozzarella in his mouth, insisting to himself that it wasn’t filled with strands of old lady hair, or jagged fingernails, or crooked teeth. The cheese got caught in the back of his throat and he gagged.

“Are you okay?” asked Julie.

Jimmy forced the mouthful down with a vengeance. He put the rest of his piece down, unable to eat anymore.

“My stomach doesn’t feel the best,” he mumbled. “The pepperoni is too strong and it made me feel nauseous.” He thought he sounded lame, but Julie rubbed his arm and gave him a look of sympathy.

“I have some spaghetti in the fridge. Would you like that instead?”

Jimmy sighed with relief as she went to the kitchen. He picked up his math book and heard the refrigerator door open.

“Would you like parmesan cheese on your spaghetti?” she asked.


Jimmy cleared his throat. “I mean, no thank you.”

Show and NO Tell- Entry #3

Click here for the contest description.  The task was to answer the question: Why does Jimmy hate pizza? 

Why does Jimmy hate Pizza?
By Darrell B. Nelson

Brian pulled up to the old mansion and pulled up the hood of his Pizza Joint jacket, “I hope he tips good, asking for a delivery in the middle of a thunder storm.”

He grabbed the warming bag that contained the customer's pizza and jogged from his little Sentra to the front door as fast as he could without harming the contents of the bag. Even with his hood up he could
feel himself getting soaked as he waited for the owner to answer the door.

“Come in, Come in,” the old man in the white lab coat said when he opened the door.

Brian wiped the water off the bag and opened it. He pulled out the extra large pizza making sure it had stayed safe from the downpour. It had, “That will be $22.56. Mr. Stein.”

“Call me Frank.” The man took the pizza and set it on the table next to the door, opened the box and looked it over, “Did you put all the ingredients in the right proportions as I asked?”

“It was one of our tougher pizzas but our cook is really good.”

“We will see.” The man pulled out a fifty dollar bill, “This is yours if you did it correctly. Come with me.”

“I'm not allowed to go more than a few feet passed the front door,” Brain said. “Company Policy.”

“For a $27 tip you can make an exception.”

A huge clap of thunder hurt Brian's ears and he could hear the front door being battered by an insane amount of rain, “I guess I could.”

He started following Frank and heard a child's voice yell out from the other side of the main hall, “Are we having pizza?”

Brian looked to see a 10 year-old enter the hall smiling and holding a small poodle.

“No Jimmy, this is for the experiment,” Frank told the child.

“Everything is for the experiment, I never get anything.” Jimmy frowned.

“If this works you will have everything, Jimmy.” Frank said.

“Why can't you be nice like Fluffy.” Jimmy hugged his poodle.

“I'm on the verge of the biggest medical breakthrough in history of mankind, that's why.” Frank opened the door off the main hall to reveal a huge lab with beakers bubbling and a Jacob's Ladder sending arcs of electricity up its length. He quickly moved to the center of the lab and slid the pizza out of the box onto the exam table. He poked numerous wires into the crust and sprinkled a liquid over it.

“Now we just have to wait for a lightning bolt to hit.” Frank smiled.

“Okay?” Brian was about to ask for his money and leave with or without tip when a huge flash of lightning filled the main hall with light and he heard the thunderbolt at the exact same time.

When his eyes readjusted he saw the pizza was moving. It was flipping the sides of its crust trying to undo the wires that were poking into it.

“Its Alive, Alive!” Frank yelled.

Fluffy broke free from Jimmy's arms and ran over to bark at the unholy animation.

Frank quickly released the living pizza from the restraining wires and threw his hands up in the air, “I have broken the bounds between life and death. This pizza will bring a new dawn for humanity.”

Humanity's new dawn took the opportunity to leap from the table and completely envelop the poodle that was barking at it.

“Fluffy!” Jimmy cried out.

Brian ran over and tried to pull the pizza off the helpless dog, but it had become much tougher than a pizza had any right to be.

“Stand back!” Frank yelled starting up the bone saw, “This abomination was my creation, and I alone must deal with it. It was my folly to believe that I could tamper with the laws of god and the universe. This should be a lesson to all mankind...”

“Could you help already and give your speech later?” Brian interrupted Frank as the pizza had turned on him and grabbed his arm.

“Oh yeah, that might be a good idea.” Frank started cutting up the pizza with the bone saw. After cutting half the pizza into one inch slices it grew weak enough for Brian to pry loose his arm.

Frank and Brian wrestled with the pizza and finally killed it, but it was too late for Fluffy who was now just cheese covered hair and a tail. The pizza had dissolved the rest of the body.

Brian looked over at little Jimmy who was in tears.

“I'm really sorry,” Brian said. “If it will make it any better I can talk to my manager, Bernie, about getting you another pizza.”

“I hate Pizza!” Jimmy shouted. “Pizza ate my dog.”

Show and NO Tell- Entry #2

Click here for the contest description.  The task was to answer the question: Why does Jimmy hate pizza? 

Mr. Pizza
by Luis Vendrell

The cafeteria was acrid with pubescent sweat.  Boys, those who had yet to realize that deodorant is more than a courtesy, filled the seats around him. Girls who understood the intricacies of bathing clung to the edges, far away from the almost visible cloud of pungent stink emitted by the males. Jimmy wished he had the courage to join them. Anything to get away from the barbaric guys who thought punching him in the gut was the funniest thing they last farted.

The stench wafted at him from all directions. He could feel the grease cling to his face and soak into his skin.

As if he needed anything else to add to the blotched wasteland of his face.

Jimmy poked at the food on his plate. How could he have forgotten his lunch? He was under strict orders from his dermatologist: Do not stray from this diet. Well, that was, if he didn't want to end up looking like that guy from Machete. But, here he was, faced with the only food in the world that mirrored his face. The one food that could mock him simply with its existence.

Pizza. It made him all too aware of the three new pimples that had sprung up on his forehead over night. Each with a white bulb fresh for the popping. He had resisted the urge to do so, but only barely. The debate as to whether a pearl of puss or a seeping red hole was worse went on for fifteen minutes while he stared at himself in the mirror.

Whatever cosmic entity had decided to crap on him today has certainly done its homework. Grease oozed red from the pepperoni and mixed with its clear counterpoint from the cheese. He imagined touching it, the way the viscous fluid would adhere to his fingertips. Traces would remain even after wiping it away. No napkin stood a chance against that mess. Still, he had an army of the things set before him -- a vain hope that maybe he could win this battle.

With a sigh Jimmy plucked one from the top of the pile. Then, unsure if a lone sheet could handle the task, he grabbed several more. He dabbed at the top of the slice. The action started timid, but turned determined as the white paper became translucent. It was more like kicking a dog than discarding a used napkin when he slapped the sodden mass into the cup cut-out of his Styrofoam tray. Orange specks spattered and speckled the ringed top edge. His stomach groaned at the sight while his mind made the corollary between the visage and his face.

At least that is over, he thought and looked upon his lunch. More oil had seeped out of the places he had already wiped.

"Really?" He asked the air.

"Who yah talkin' to Jay?"  Jorge Valdez, the kid seated next to him, turned towards Jimmy, his lips shined with the sheen of his already eaten pizza. A smear crept up from his mouth in a diagonal across his cheek. Jimmy imagined a line of white-heads using the grease as fuel to finally breach the surface of his skin. That was, if Jorge had ever had to struggle against blemishes. His tanned skin was flawless.

"No one," Jimmy said and grabbed several more napkins. It was futile. The stupid slice of pizza seemed to have an infinite supply of grease. In despair he pinched the bridge of his nose, before quickly retracting his hand, but the damage was done. Like a second parasitic skin the stickiness of his fingerprints burned. How many blemishes would come from that inadvertent action?

One step closer to you Mr. Pizza, he thought with a glare at triangular slab in front of him.

A voice broke though his melancholy, "Yah goin' to eat that?" Jorge pointed at the tramped down slice.

"No." Jimmy shook his head.

"Can I have it?"

"It's all yours, man." He pushed the tray towards Jorge.

"Sweet." Jorge reached towards the pizza with gleaming fingers. The corner of his mouth curved up slightly when he held the floppy thing to the rest of the table.

If Jimmy had known what he would do next, maybe he would have left before it happened.

The imbecile folded the slice in half. It was a poor imitation of a mouth. "Hey everybody! I'm Jimmy." Jorge traitorous words spoke for the pizza. He then held the slice a few inches from
Jimmy's face. "It's like lookin' in a mirror huh?"

Before Jimmy could stand up and flee the scene Jorge slammed the slice right into his face. Long gone cold from Jimmy's inability to eat it, the pizza still managed to secrete its damning venom onto his flesh.

The only thing louder than the resultant laughs from everyone in the cafeteria, was the scream of his shame.

Show and NO Tell- Entry #1

Click here for the contest description.  The task was to answer the question: Why does Jimmy hate pizza?

The first entry, from Jenny (http://telecate.blogspot.com/):

"Do we have to have pizza again?" Jimmy Boyd asked his mother as they pulled into Romano's for the seventeenth week in a row. "We always get the same kind, and it's not like Dad can even have any."

"I don't care," his mother said serenely. "If you want to see your father, go get the pizza. Here, you can get a dessert pizza, too, if you want." She handed over an extra five, and after a moment Jimmy accepted it and went inside, waving back to the cashier. Romano’s had already started prepping his order when they saw his mom’s Mazda pull in.

As usual, Jimmy held the steaming box on his lap in the car, trying to hold out longer and longer before he moved it for relief. The first few weeks he'd only made it to Lombard Street, but now he could reach Oregon, sometimes even Packard before he gave in. Today, he forced himself to wait until Packard had flashed by and they had actually turned onto 34th before he rescued his thighs from the burning.

They parked in their usual spot in front of the prison. Jimmy carried the pizza box, his legs still stinging, while his mother signed them in and surrendered her ID, though the prison staff knew them, too. Lana was at the desk today, while John took them down the corridor and into the visitors' room. "He'll be here in a few minutes," John said as he opened the door to their cubicle. Jimmy's mother smiled and thanked him.

In the promised few minutes, the door behind the plastic panel opened, and Jimmy's father appeared, clad in the usual orange scrubs. The guard with him, Leon, nodded politely to them both as he closed the door.

"Hi there," his father said, dropping into his chair and leaning forward. He looked exhausted, as usual, but he smiled at Jimmy.

"Hi." Jimmy sat down and put the pizza box on the other chair, knowing his mother would insist on standing behind him. "I got a B+ on my history paper! The one I was telling you about, on Egypt? I thought I was toasted when the teacher started talking about plagiarism, but it turned out she just meant you weren't supposed to use quotes without saying where you got them, not that you couldn't use them."

"That's great! What about your math test? Wasn't that today?"

"Yeah...it didn't go so hot. But hey, check it out. I was studying with Marc last night, and we--"

"Eat something," his mother interposed, opening up the Romano's box.

"I'm not hungry," Jimmy said. "So Marc and I--"

His mother pushed the box in front of him, placing the lid between him and his father, and lowered her voice to a spitting whisper. "Eat something or we're going home."

"All right." Jimmy took a slice and folded it up so he could eat twice as fast. His mother lowered the box to the counter and took out her own slice. "So Marc and I were thinking..."

He went on with the story, and his father listened, both of them doing their best to ignore his mother eating her own pizza slowly and languorously, leaning against the wall of the cubicle. "Time to go," she said when they were done, interrupting Jimmy's description of what Desiree Mills had gotten in trouble for wearing last Thursday. He would have liked to talk about other girls, specifically Raina Lee, but he wasn't quite sure what to say, and anyway there was no way while his mother was standing there.

"Can't we stay a few more minutes?" he said, though he knew the answer.

"No." She rang the bell for John to come get them.

"See you next week," his father told him, rising.

Jimmy glanced at the pizza box. "See you next week," he echoed.

His mother gave the rest of the pizza to the staff at the desk, as usual. "Can we get pepperoni next time?" John called after them as they left.

"He means thank you," Lana yelled.

They said nothing in the car, as had become usual the past month or so. At home, Jimmy told his mother he had homework and escaped to his room, where he had a box of cheese crackers and some beef jerky stashed. He threw a few crackers in his mouth and lay down on his bed.

He woke up in the dark sometime later, his mouth still tasting like powdered cheese. His alarm clock said ten-fifty-one. He pushed himself upright and went downstairs to get a drink.

The living room light was on, and on the couch his mother was slumped where she must have fallen asleep by accident just as he had. Before her were newspaper clippings and a note written on paper with the Romano's logo on it. He stepped over to look, though he knew what they were. The papers and the local news had covered his father's trial gleefully, some awful punster even calling it "a pizza bad luck all around." There was the photograph of his father and mother from a few years back. There was the separate picture of Todd the pizza guy, "who Boyd discovered was delivering more than just a hot pie to his wife," according to the local news anchor, whom Jimmy could no longer stand to listen to. There was even a photo of himself eating a piece of pizza. And on the Romano's letterhead, in Todd's handwriting: "Julie: I'll be by tomorrow at ten. I'll bring our new special, the Sausage Sizzler."

He reached forward to crumple the papers, but his mother stirred, and he stopped. Anyway, he shouldn't. He wanted to see his dad next week. He had to be on good behavior until his dad was free. He'd be out in another...let's see...five years times fifty-two was two hundred sixty weeks, minus seventeen was two-hundred forty-three pizzas. Weeks. Two-hundred forty-three weeks.