The dim glow of the streetlights barely influenced the darkened street. Kelly couldn’t help feeling like she was being watched as she walked along the quiet route that led to her house. She instinctively quickened her pace. She was always anxious when returning from the gym at night, but today felt different. Slipping her right hand into her pocket, she reached for her keys; hoping that would signal to any follower that she was almost home. As she pulled the keys out of her pocket, her “Kello’s” key ring snagged on her button. Kello’s was the name of her store. She’d started with a stand in the market only a year before, but it had grown quickly and was now a small shop on the high street, buzzing with customers every day.
The keys fell to the floor.
Kelly froze, then quickly stooped down and grabbed them from the concrete that glistened from earlier rainfall. Before she fully stood up a hand was on her right shoulder – then immediately another on her left. She screamed as she felt herself being dragged down to the floor, but something was placed over her head and her muffled panic was hopeless. Next she felt herself being lifted into a vehicle; her kicking and punching seeming to have no effect on the muscular attacker. Thud. A door slammed shut. Kelly pulled the cover from her face but it made no difference to what she could see. Pushing her hands out in front of her she came in contact with the inside of the boot door. She was breathing heavily. Her whole body was sweating, and her heart was beating so hard she thought she might die. She screamed the whole journey; yet hardly expected it to achieve anything.
She tried to work out where she was going at the same time. Left, left, right, straight on. But soon they had taken too many turns and Kelly wasn’t at all sure where she was. The vehicle stopped on a silent street. The boot door opened. Kelly had planned to kick out and attack, but instead she froze with fear as the enormous man loomed over her. He picked her up with ease. She looked around. She was in a dark alleyway; on the one side was a hair salon, and on the other was a dark red door with a large gold number 3 on the middle. She knew she would have to remember that if she had any chance to use her phone. She also took a moment to wonder why this was number three when there weren’t any other houses around. The man put Kelly over his left shoulder with ease, and used his right hand to take a single silver key out of his trouser pocket. The door creaked as it opened. They came into a small living room, and through a doorway without a door was a kitchen. There were pots and pans all over the place. Some had sticky remnants of red, green and orange.
The man led Kelly to a chair and tied her hands behind her back. By this stage she realized it was futile to resist. She figured if she felt her life threatened, more than it already seemed; if there truly was nothing to lose, she would fight with all her strength. But for now, perhaps cooperation was her best choice.
Finishing the knot in the ropes, the man walked towards the kitchen cupboards. He pulled out a saucepan, a packet of sugar, some small bottles of colored liquid and a small glass jug. He walked towards Kelly and placed them on the coffee table. He returned to the cupboards and pulled out some white packets.
“Tell me,” the man said. It was the first time Kelly had heard his voice. The calmness and kindness surprised her.
“Tell you what?” she replied, hoping it wouldn’t anger him.
The man reached into the back pocket of his black jeans. He pulled out Kelly’s keys. He held one of the key rings aloft, between his thumb and index finger. It was Kelly’s work key ring. “Kello’s Jello” it read.
“This is your store right?” he asked. Kelly didn’t say anything.
“You make THE best jello I have ever tasted.” Kelly’s face contorted.
“Tell me how to make it!” snapped the man.
“I…. I can’t believe it,” said Kelly. She felt herself getting hot. Her fear was turning to anger very quickly. “This – this is about jello!?” She was raising her voice now, forgetting her concern for her safety.
At that moment a door to the left opened, that Kelly hadn’t even noticed. A small lady with dark curly hair walked in. She looked about 50 years old.
“Kelvin!” she yelled in a strong New York accent. “Are you crazy son?” She picked up a newspaper and walked towards the man. She couldn’t have been 5 feet tall, and looked almost half the size of Kelvin. Rolling the newspaper up she began hitting the man, who put both his hands up and cowered against the wall.
“I knew you were a big fan of Jello but this takes it way too far!” she said, still hitting the man.
Kelly was still in disbelief. The woman stopped hitting the man and walked towards her. She untied the ropes whilst muttering something about sending that stupid son to London.
“Go,” she said. Kelly walked towards the door. She placed her hand on the cold brass handle, then stopped. She turned to Kelvin.
“Kelvin?” she said. “That works. Kelly and Kelvin. Kello’s Jello.”
The man raised his eyebrows. He looked at Kelly, and glanced across at the older woman periodically as if he expected her to come and beat him with the newspaper again at any moment.
“Meet me at the store tomorrow morning,” she said, stunning both Kelvin and the woman. “What you did tonight, it’s crazy,” said Kelly. “But I can certainly use someone with that much passion for jello.”
“Kello’s Jello” is the first installment in an Endever prompt challenge that passes writing prompts from one in-house author to the next on every other Friday. The challenge? Authors are limited to only a 1,000 words or less. Can you guess the prompt given to Jon? Hint, it was actually a piece of dialogue- “Write a short story that includes the line ‘I knew you were a big fan of Jello but this takes it way too far!'” How do you think he did?
Get pumped for the second installment which will come out March 24th. Jon has nominated Christie Lambert to go next and his prompt for her is- “Write a children’s story that includes a scene with a man jumping off a cliff into the sea.” (Ooooo Christie, how do you feel about THAT!?) This is going to get interesting…