The cell was stifling.
But It wasn’t the heat that made a river run down my back.
Nor was it the close proximity of the other occupants of this temporary holding cell.
Look at them cowering in the corner like green school boys who just broke the rules for the first time. No, my sweating was the result of going cold turkey. Three days now, I’m not sure how long I can hold out. It wasn’t my fault that I was hooked. It wasn’t my fault that it was illegal to eat them now either.
Who would have thought it? the world running out of its greatest commodity. The recipe dying out among the great bakers of the world. Who would have thought that five years ago at the world baking awards, a mad gunman would manage to get in and kill the whole fucking place?
Tragic if you ask me. After that, shit really got real.
I mean, it wasn’t like yesteryear when cookies were everywhere. All different shapes and flavors. I remember as a child my father taking me to the bakery in town to see a new collection of cookies that were being made. Double chocolate chip.
My mouth is watering at the thought.
The security guards at the doors seemed like giants to my small frame. The scanners bleeped as people went through the metal gates.
That was the first time I did it. I didn’t mean for it to happen. It just, well happened. Up until then, I was your ordinary run of the mill seven-year-old boy.
A shiny trolley was going from the cook room to the vault, surrounded by bigger guards in black tight clothes. Guns hanging at their hips. One of the brutes pushed a man who had tried to reach for the trolley. The man stumped backward and went down taking a few bystanders with him. The cart was knocked by one of the guards trying to come to the aid of his colleague.
In all the commotion, no one noticed a new double choc chip cookie fall from the silver tray and roll unhindered to my feet.
My father had worked hard all his life and had only ever had a cookie once, as a wedding gift from a rich uncle.
And here at my feet, was the thing man waged wars for.
Before I knew it, I had bent down and crammed that cookie into my mouth. The sweet crumbling biscuit grinding down between my teeth. The chocolate melting and binding it all together.
My fate was sealed at the point, my destiny was chosen.
Growing up I tried to deny my urges, tried to reassemble the experience as a dream, so I could believe it had never happened.
I took on more sports to help deter my obsession. Nevertheless, I still found myself night after night under my bed covers drawing pictures of that cookie in my diary. I thought somehow that putting the image to paper would lessen the cravings. Make it stick to that rough canvas instead of my mind.
Nothing seemed to work.
High school was the greatest time of my life. Halfway through school I found a little Sunday job cleaning up at the local bakery.
My job was to clean the toilets. It was shit pay, pun intended, but someone had to do it.
The best part of that job was the smell, and I don’t mean the toilets.
When I walked up to the first floor where the cookies were made, I would get a good whiff of their delicious scent.
It was enough to drive me mad, but the smell was also enough to satisfy my needs.
Security was tight as you would expect, and they had no love for me. However, as the little guy, I went about unnoticed. That’s when I met Joe, he was just out of high school and seemed to take a liking to me.
He had the job of taking out the bin. I found out that he had a coup going with someone on the inside, and that he could get crumbs from the dust off at the end of the day. He would hook me up if I did odd jobs for him. Nothing major. A little-roughing someone up here. Maybe a stolen item there. Nothing too big.
We started a beautiful relationship. I had everything I could have wished for.
Even so, like all good things it had to end. Someone had found out about the inside man, and all shit broke loose. I got the sack alone with Joe. They found my stash in my locker. I think I hit rock bottom then but little did I know about the path that laid before me.
My schooling started to suffer and eventually, I quit altogether. I was in pretty deep by then. Not a second went by that I didn’t think about a cookie, or where I would find my next hit.
That when I decided to venture out on my own. After doing little jobs for Joe, I thought it would be easy. I was a little rusty at first, but I soon found that I was really good at stealing other people’s cookies. I knew that the bakehouses were out of my league. I got by on what I managed to steal and with a contact, I moved some on the black market.
I was doing well for myself.
After the award massacre of 2010, things really got tight. Cookie stores started to run dry. Bakeries closed up left, right and center.
I would hear rumors of rich nobles having cookie parties with their toffee-nosed friends.
It made me so angry.
So one night I thought I would do something about it. That when I took my first life. I was terrified at first, but once he laid at my feet the feeling soon passed. They had no right to have the cookies. They were we not worthy of their seductive texture.
I’ve lost count on the number of souls I’ve sent to the afterlife in my pursuit of the righteous dough.
That when the media got hold of the stories. After the 4th attack, the media branded me the “Cookie Monster.” It was funny at first but the longer I think about it, the more it seems fitting.
Still, that all seems like a thing of the past now. The craving has got me to a seriously low place right. I don’t know if I am dreaming or awake. This place, the bars, the cellmates. The cookies that are floating before my eyes.
I need to get out of this place if the sweats don’t take me.
I need to get back to the real world and the cookies that are still out there. I will find the last ones.
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