Unsplash© Pixzolo Photography, Some Rights Reserved, Unsplash

I was sitting in a booth at a McDonalds when it all began. A blank expression rested on my dull face showing my obvious boredom. I occasionally glanced to my left to peer through the reflective window into the play area. A young child was standing on the used cushion of the booth next to mine with the barrier of the wall between us. He was busy knocking his new toy on the glass by my head and smiling with a wide grin that lit up his face.

I checked the clock hanging on the wall. As 5:30pm stared back at me, I thought to myself. ‘Just about thirty-five minutes or so until I have to leave.’ I wasn’t exactly looking forward to playing in the pep band in the basketball game at my high school. I had to be there around 6:30pm, but I always felt comfort in arriving a little early. I was bored as I waited there in the small seat.

Staring down at the empty McNugget box that rested on the table before me, I took a sip of my Coke. The trash that lied in waiting on my tray was beginning to disturb me. Empty barbeque sauce packets filled the empty french fry cartridge, smothering the insides with the little sauce that had been marooned. A few unused napkins had been discarded onto the tray along with the receipt of my order, now covered in the brown goo.

Then, I saw the ketchup…

It rested in a quaint paper cup within the emptiness of the McNugget box and taunted me with its mere being. Its vibrant red color stood out from the bland white surrounding it, and the way it stood in the cup reminded me of the gloppy texture of the substance. Oh, the temptations… The shiny texture gleamed in the reflection of my eyes as evil thoughts brewed through my mind.

A vicious smile spread across my face as I finished drinking from the cup in my hand. I stared at the cup, then back to the ketchup in the McNugget box. I slowly closed the carton’s lid over the condiment, capturing my prey in its prison. It could not escape me now! “Die!” I quietly whispered as I forcefully brought the cup down upon the closed box. “Gahhh!” I repeatedly smashed my McDonalds cup onto the lid, leaving large dents in the top. I could feel the tiny paper cup of ketchup squish under my palm. Wickedness was alive in my dark eyes as I smashed, forcing the container of liquid to kill my tomato-like prey.

“Ha, ha,” I slightly chuckled as I realized that I had not only destroyed my ketchup container, but the cup and box along with it. I placed my crushed cup onto the table and noticed the dents and gashes along the sides. I ended its misery by purposely suffocating it until the cap and straw popped off. The same grim fate had met with the box, however I was anxious to see the treasure that was hidden inside.

Next, I opened the box lid to see the damage that I had inflicted on my intended prisoner. As the thin cardboard was peeled back, I revealed a red mess that was spread throughout the interior walls. The small, paper cup lied flat along the box’s bottom and oozed out the final drops of ketchup. The grotesque scene made me grin once more with delight and satisfaction. Complacency rose within me as I closed the lid and pounded on the ketchup once more.

As I drew my sleeved arm back, I noticed an imperfection on the white fabric. I turned my left wrist to face me and noticed the red stain the ketchup had left on me.

The war…had begun!

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