[Catch up on missed chapters by starting at the beginning here.]
God followed Miranda through the door. He shook his head. Of all the doors for her to have chosen. There was no mistaking this vast lobby filled with marble pillars and granite floors.
“Hey kiddo, whatcha say we try another door,” God motioned as he kept one hand on the doorknob and the other waving towards Miranda as she skipped across the gold-veined, pink floors.
Miranda gazed up at the expansive ceiling and the huge gold doors of the elevators that ran up and down the lobby and she shook her head, “You said I had to find us the way out and this place is great. This will be sure to take us to Room 129 in no time.” She paused in front of one of the elevators and fingered the intricately carved figures inlaid in the gold.
God smacked his hand across his forehead and walked towards Miranda, “I was speaking figuratively. Your house isn’t actually in Room 129, besides these aren’t in connection to the doors out in the hall, these are floor levels.” God said as he watched Miranda press one of the down buttons, which glowed deep red indicating that an elevator was on its way.
“Then where are these taking us?’ Miranda asked as she stepped inside the elevator. God paused in front of the door and contemplated whether or not he was going to enter. “What are you waiting for,” she motioned with her finger poised over the button, “Lets go!”
God cautiously stepped inside. “Fine, if we must. But lets not muck around down there. I know where we’ll end up no matter what floor we stop on, so why don’t we just take the short cut.” God reached into his vest pocket and brought out a small silver key. He inserted it into the lock next to a big letter B and turned it to the left. Quickly, the elevator jerked into motion and dropped swiftly down the shaft zooming past floor levels with ease and tenacity. Miranda barely had time to daydream about marshmallow cookies which her tummy was gurgling for, before they came to a sudden halt.
The doors swung open and God removed his key from the slot placing it back into his breast pocket. Light gleamed in through massive floor to ceiling windows that surrounded them on either side. It was so bright they could hardly make out the scenery beyond the windows. Miranda shielded her eyes and stepped into the room. It was a large post-modern house full of steel and white furniture. The couches were long, rectangular and flat. Miranda was filled with a strange urge to roll across the top of them. The walls were white, the carpets were white, the paintings were even white. There was a strange discordant music piping through the house, some sort of strange atonal opera. Miranda thought it was hideous. But there was one thing she liked about this strange house, there was delicious smelling food coming from somewhere and if Miranda could trust her nose worth its salt, she knew exactly where it was coming from.
Mira headed down the white hall and stumbled upon the treasure trove she had been looking for. In an alabaster room there was a sleek glass table laid out with rich delicacies. There was fresh sashimi with big, round fish eggs adorning the plate. She saw plump pomegranates torn apart with the seeds dripping onto the sterling silver serving trays. Perfect little cupcakes with perfectly iced tops sat in a ring in the center of the table. Everything looked like it was from a posh bakery in a quaint little city neighborhood.
There was a menu printed up on accrue colored paper with disheveled edges and a matte finish. The top of the menu simply read, “Eat Me,” and below it the names of each food item followed:
Sweetbreads with an orange jus served with Chanterelles soaked in Bourbon
Honeycomb topped with minced escargot and a side of carrot pilaf
Skinks on a skewer served with Arugula and Roma tomatoes
Huhu salad with blue cheese crumbles and a sherry vinaigrette
Borewor sandwich smothered in barbeque sauce and covered with melted jack cheese
Miranda stopped reading. She had no idea what any of it was but it all sounded delicious and everything on the table smelled so good. She was sure that Gus would have loved it. Mira reached her hand out for a cookie that had “Eat Me” written across the top of it with white icing. As she was about to put the cookie to her lips, God knocked it from her hand and sent the cookie flying across the room.
“Why’d you do that?” Mira shouted.
“You can’t eat anything here. That’s why.”
“But they all say ‘Eat Me’,” Miranda whined.
“That’s the point. To get you to eat them.”
“Then why can’t I eat them?” Miranda was becoming more and more perturbed.
“Because then you’ll be trapped here forever,” God reached for the white napkins along the table and began laying them over the food as to remove temptation.
“So why do they tell me to eat them then? Why don’t they all say in delicious white frosting, ‘Don’t Eat Me,’ instead?”
“Because that’s what they want—to trap more souls.”
“Who are They?!!! And why are They so confusing.”
At that a beautiful woman entered the room. She had stick straight blonde hair that hung down to the middle of her back. She wore a perfectly tailored grey suit jacket and skirt to match. Her shoes had points at the toes that could kill a man and if that didn’t finish him off the stiletto heels would. She wore chic rectangular glasses with sharp black frames and she carried a portfolio in her arms. “I see you’ve found my cookies. How are they?” the woman asked.
“I wouldn’t know. I didn’t have a chance to try them,” Mira grumbled.
“Maybe the cookie didn’t suit you. Try this,” the woman said crossing to the table and grabbing a cupcake.
God stepped between Miranda and the woman. “Persephone, we’re not here to eat. We were just stepping through.”
“Well, if it isn’t Mr. Elohim himself, stopping by to pay little ole me a visit. If I had known I would have had a proper feast ready. This is just a little snack I set up for a business meeting.”
“This is quite sufficient, Perse. Really you’ve outdone yourself.” While God was stuck bantering with the fair woman, Miranda tiptoed away from his reach and snuck to what she could only assume was the kitchen door. She could smell even more beautiful cooking smells piping from beneath the frame. Mira swung the door open and was instantly struck with the blast of multiple running ovens. There were about fifty people within the small confines of the kitchen who all halted with fear when the door was thrown back. Spoons stopped stirring, mixers stopped whirring, knives stopped chopping. The heat was unbearable and the kitchen glowed with the deep orange red of more than one stove lit at one time in the small space.
“Girl!” Persephone shouted. “Shut that door!”
Miranda let the door swing shut and she instantly dropped her guilty hand to her side. A small bead of perspiration broke out across Persephone’s otherwise flawless complexion. She forced a small laugh. “I didn’t mean to scare you, darling, really.” She crossed the room and took Miranda into her arms. “I just wasn’t expecting anyone to go into that room. So unkempt. You know how help is these days. Always making a horrible mess,” she laughed again. “Why don’t you both follow me out to the porch. I think we all need some fresh air,” she smirked at God as she led Miranda away.