by Cheryl Secomb
Holly stared into the whirlpool of colors. Streaks of green, pink, and violet blended together as she whipped the mixture inside the bowl. The more she beat the brew, the brighter the colors became, hypnotizing and drawing her deeper. She tried to resist, but the pull grew stronger as faster and faster the shimmering liquid swirled. It blurred before her eyes, her head began to swim. Lost in its spell, a sense of euphoria rippled through her. Holly’s cares melted away and she floated on a cloud of bliss.
Suddenly the lights went out, jolting her back to reality. She stood alone in the kitchen, the electric mixer in her hand dead, deprived of power. She pulled it from the bowl and set it on the counter, the batter dripping from its whisks.
She must have tripped a breaker. Holly took a deep breath and collapsed in the bar stool nearby. What in the world was happening to her? With a trembling hand she picked up the yellowed recipe card she’d found that morning in her grandmother’s trunk.
“Happy, Hypnotic Cookies”
She shrugged. Seemed innocent enough. But after that experience… Her fingers tapped a drum roll on the counter. Something told her that there was more to Grandma than met the eye.
After resetting the breaker, Holly ran upstairs to the attic. She hoisted the trunk from its dusty corner and set it closer to the hanging light bulb. As she sifted through the trunk’s contents, she came across a tattered, old book. She gently opened it and skimmed through the pages. It was a cookbook. The cookie recipe must have fallen out as there were other recipe cards tucked inside. Their titles intrigued her.
“Heavenly Haunting Hash”
“Ladles of Love Potion Punch”
“Mister Matrimony Muffins”
Holly flipped over the last card. A faded note had been scribbled in the column. “Try on Wilfred tonight.”
Wilfred? As in Grandpa Wilfred? A knowing smile spread across her face. Why Grandma, you’re just full of surprises!
Holly closed the book and tucked it safely away inside the chest. She slipped the muffin recipe into her pocket and returned the trunk to its secluded corner. Gregory, her boyfriend of five years, was coming to dinner that night. She held up her left hand and noted the naked ring finger. Gregory loved muffins.
Holly patted the recipe card in her pocket and skipped downstairs, humming all the way to the kitchen.