written by Carlos Perez | illustrated by Vaso Michailidou
The man paced back and forth in the kitchen, amazed at what he’d seen. He’d been dining in the living room and dropped his fork, and just as he bent down to pick it up, the carpet opened up and swallowed it. Searching for any signs of movement, he carefully stepped onto the carpet. Nothing happened. You must have imagined it, he thought. The landlady warned you about the carpet, but you know she meant not to spill things on it. He looked back down at the carpet where the fork had disappeared. Maybe it only likes forks, he mused. Half smiling to himself, the man strode back into the kitchen and rummaged through the drawers until he found another fork. He placed the new fork gently on the rug and waited. Nothing happened. Great, he thought. I am going nuts. He yelled at the carpet. “Eat that fork! You did it before!” Still nothing happened. Quickly snatching up the fork, he threw it against the wall; it rebounded against a picture, cracking the glass slightly, before falling to the carpet. At that instant, the carpet once again opened up and swallowed the fork. The man giggled and quickly ran back into the linoleum-floored kitchen. “I knew. I knew it!” He peeked back out at the carpet and, once again, slowly stepped back on it. He crept over to where the second fork had disappeared. He knelt down, spread his fingers over the carpet, and spoke softly. “Have I gone crazy?” He thought for a minute, then picked up a coaster sitting on the coffee table and dropped it. The carpet swallowed it. The man screamed with delight and began picking things up. The remote control — gone. A pack of Lucky Strikes — gone. The ashtray, the Yellow Pages — all of them swallowed. Staring at the carpet, he wondered if it only ate inanimate things. He ran to the kitchen, searching through the cupboard under the sink. Dashing back into the living room, he tipped over a white Dixie cup he held in his hands. A cockroach dropped from the cup, and upon landing on the carpet quickly disappeared. The man scrambled about the room, grabbing items and letting them fall on the carpet, staring in awe at the carpet’s frayed toothless mouth and the endless moist black cavern beneath it. At three a.m., the man stopped and looked about the living room. There was nothing left to drop. He thought of calling a friend but realized he’d dropped the phone over an hour ago. Exhausted, the man fell back on the couch and closed his eyes. A few minutes later he fell asleep. Unaccustomed to sleeping on the couch, the man tossed restlessly back and forth. Suddenly he rolled off the couch.
About the artists:
Vaso Michailidou is a freelance illustrator based in Greece. She graduated from Coventry University with an Illustration degree in 2014. She loves drawing buildings, girls and fluffy eyebrows.
Carlos Perez, M.A. in English. Published plays: Caught Between Two Worlds and Folktales for Fun. Published books: Tales from a Disturbed Mind, 24 Tales to Pass the Time, and School Days.