Short Story: The Jam Jar

The jam jar fell from the kitchen worktop. She saw it fall, as though in slow motion, but her dive to catch it did nothing to save it. It smashed on the floor with a crash and a splat. The thick, purple lava spread slowly, crawling across the floor and climbing over glass fragments like a predator.

Mel ground her teeth and glared down at the seemingly insolent jam until finally, the tension cracked and she roared an angry scream that turned her throat raw and her face a beetroot red. She kicked the kitchen cupboard in frustration.

“Stupid,” KICK, “f-ing,” KICK, “jam,” KICK. “Stupid,” KICK, “f-ing,” KICK, “life!” With a final kick and a little whimper at her now bruised toes, she doubled over, clutching the counter top, exhausted but with just a twinge of relief that you can only possibly achieve with a good scream.

face-161080_960_720“You alright love?” a bright voice asked as a smiley face popped around the doorframe. You know the type of face – the type you want to smash with a frying pan when everything’s going wrong and they can’t seem to see it. Gordon was a cheery soul and rarely understood Mel’s temper tantrums. Needless to say, his chirpy nature didn’t help.

“Yes,” Mel snapped. “I’m fine. The stupid bloody stupid jam jumped off the side,” she explained, holding her hand out to the spreading purple goo on the floor. She rolled off a bunch of paper towels and climbed to her knees.

“Jumped, love?” Gordon asked with a smirk. “Do you mean you knocked it off, or did it fall all by itself?”

Her head snapped up and she glared at him, growling. He held his hands up in submission. “Hey, I’m only saying you can’t blame the poor jam. It’s not the jam’s fault. You’ve got to own up to your own mistakes.” His body rounded the door to join his happy head and he got down to his knees to help his angry wife with her jammy dilemma.

“I can bloody well blame the jam as much as I bloody well like. It’s not my fault it fell off the counter,” she snapped, “and you’re not bloody well helping!”

“What’s up, love?”

“There’s pissing jam all over the pissing floor, that’s what’s up!” she said, before adding with a sarcastic smile, “Love!”

“That’s it? It’s only the jam?” Gordon was bewildered. Smashed jam would never make him so angry.

She growled and threw her soaked and sticky paper towel into the pile of already-used paper towels. She stood up.

“Where’re you going?” Gordon asked. “We’ve got to clean this up!” With a final glare, complete with clenched teeth and wide eyes, Mel stormed out of the room, leaving poor Gordon to clean up the sticky mess that just seemed to be getting worse the more he wiped. The floor would be like Velcro for days. Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, he thought with sigh.

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