Story Contest 2017 #1 - Outstanding Stories » Dancing Noodle
“Dancing Noodle” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2017 written by Dancing Noodle by Casey Vieira, USA.
Previous to this day, February 2nd 2017, I had never seen a noodle move. I mean, it wasn’t an everyday thing, to see a non-living thing just move on its own. But here I was in a prestigious Italian restaurant, sitting in a stiff chair, observing a noodle which was squirming around on my plate. It would be an understatement to say that I was stunned at the spectacle. I did not know what to make of it. Of course I had to pry my eyes off of my ceramic dish. I had a family who was chatting away about frivolous things. We had a moving noodle here! Conversing about our new aunt’s dog seemed pretty unnecessary. But of course they wouldn’t know that there were much bigger things to take care of. Maybe I shouldn’t let anyone know about the noodle. I could take it home and examine it in the comfort and safety of my own bedroom.
I glanced around the table. Everyone was absorbed in his or her conversations. No one would notice little old me slipping a noodle in a napkin. And that is what I did. When I was sure no one was looking, I slid the tiny noodle (which was at this point flopping around silently) in a perfectly white napkin. I carefully snuggled the bundle into my backpack seated on the carpeted floor. I rose from my hunched position rapidly, a bit paranoid that I had taken too long to hide the specimen. As I suspected, the human contents of the table were staring me down, perhaps trying to figure out what exactly I was doing.
“Marina, you’ve been awfully quiet, do you have anything to add?” My mother said slowly, as if I needed an extra second to comprehend the words that flew from her lips.
I maneuvered my mouth is awkward positions. I was completely at a loss of words. What should I say? I had no clue.
“Um, no, nothing to add.” I stammered.
My mother smiled, nodded, and returned back to her conversation, a look of suspicion still spread across her face.
I waited patiently for dinner to end. Each moment was agonizing as I visualized the tiny worm squirming about in my bag. But finally, dinner did indeed end. I raced out of the restaurant, clambered into the car and stared out of the window as we drove home. The minute we pulled up to our house, I bolted to the front door. Fortunately, my older sister who was studying for finals graciously opened the door for me. She didn’t question me as I ran messily up the wooden stairs.
Once I was in my bedroom, I slammed the door, sending shivers through the house. I ignored them and practically threw my bag upon my bed. I then cringed as I realized that I should probably be more careful. I slowed down my actions. I carefully unzipped the bag and searched its contents for the noodle. I spotted the white napkin bundle, and took it out.
A stream of relief flew through me as I felt the noodle moving in the napkin.
I set the napkin on my desk. Taking a seat at my spinning office chair (which made me feel very powerful), I unwrapped the napkin. There it was, a perfect little noodle just dancing about.
“Huh.” I said out loud. My voice was soft and gentle for the creature before me. “I wonder if it responds to things.”
I pondered over my next actions, looking around the room for something to stimulate the little guy. I then spotted a glass of water sitting at the edge of the desk. I reached for it, my hands were nearly long enough, but somehow I couldn’t grab it.
I took a deep breath in, and tried again. I couldn’t get up, if the noodle somehow scrambled off of the table I could never forgive myself. It didn’t look like it had eyes.
Finally, I grazed the cool glass with my fingerprints. Almost there, just a few more…
Splash! In an instant, the glass tipped over, the water streamed down the table, it was uncontrollable, unstoppable. At that moment, there was nothing I could do. I just sat there and watched the water tumble down.
Soon enough, it hit the noodle. The coldness caused him to squirm a bit, but there was something else going on. I could hear cracking, sounds much like the crinkling of a plastic wrapper, but I couldn’t distinguish where it was coming from.
I looked down in shock. But as soon as I looked down, I had to look up as well.
The noodle was growing before my very eyes. It was still moving, but its size was increasing at an incredible rate. I was stunned to see it molt multiple layers of skin in just a few seconds.
It finally stopped growing when it reached about the size of my pillow.
There the creature was, flopping around on top of the wooden surface of my desk. Thoughts ran rapidly through my mind.
What do I do? What do I do? What could I possibly do now?
Whatever I was going to do, I knew that I had to decrease the size of the noodle before anyone could see it. I didn’t need people to get involved in this already hectic dilemma.
Looking around me, I saw a glass of milk. I poured it hesitantly on the creature. Nothing.
So, cold water made the creature grow, what would shrink it?
I stood up abruptly, knocking the table.
“Hot water!” I exclaimed.
I raced to the bathroom and turned on the water. I grabbed the empty glass and waiting for steam to rise delicately out of the flowing water. I stuck the cup under, and watched the glass fill up with hot water.
I scurried to my bedroom and stood before the creature. In one quick move I dumped the contents of the glass onto the noodle.
After a bit of squirming, it shrunk back to its original size.
I held the small being in my hand and carried it to my window. I opened the window and set the noodle on top of the slated roof right outside. It danced away happily.
I plopped onto my bed with a sigh of relief.
The table was wet, I said goodbye to my noodle friend, but at least I didn’t get caught!