COOKIE-SHAPED CHARCOAL • by Andrew Rodgers

Midway through a fascinating article about converting goose poop into biofuel, Michael smelled smoke coming from the kitchen. The cookies! He’d totally forgotten about the special “I’m sorry for calling you a fascist” treat he was baking for Liam.

With the oven fire out, he discovered the snickerdoodles were burned beyond recognition. But there was some good news. The hideous lace curtains above the sink, now brown and charred, were completely ruined. Also, the half-empty bottle of chardonnay he’d hidden in the vegetable crisper was perfectly chilled.

Best of all, with no functioning smoke detectors in the house, Liam remained oblivious to the carnage in their kitchen. Odds were he was downstairs still happily engrossed in a game of Fortnite or some other equally ridiculous thing for a man his age.

The smoke eventually cleared, but the smell was another matter. Even with the range hood going full blast and the back door open, the campfire-like odor was unmistakable. But maybe Liam wouldn’t notice, Michael thought as he took another sip.

A quick search revealed the fancy grocery store three blocks away was still open, and better yet, offered free delivery. So Michael arranged for an assortment of charmingly elaborate and overpriced desserts to arrive within the hour.

Maybe it was the wine talking, he thought, but this might just work.

Then Liam appeared. Standing at the open basement door, he surveyed the room and sniffed the air. Shaking his head, he walked over and kissed Michael on the cheek.

“You know, I always hated those curtains.”


Andrew Rodgers is a writer and filmmaker in Denver, Colorado. His film Crooked Candy premiered at the New York Film Festival and played more than 30 festivals worldwide. He’s written for Our State, SOMA, and the Chicago Tribune.


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