The 3 Step Process

By Benji Elkins:


Johnny Abrahams had just exited the restaurant with a grin. He had had a wonderful meal, a wonderful conversation with his friends, and in the end, they even offered to pay the whole bill! He couldn’t help but fantasize about the meal, its taste still lingering in his mouth. He licked his lips with the idea of the full and juicy burrito he had eaten, filled to the brim with beans and skirt steak, glazed with drippings of salsa and guacamole, and perfectly dashed off with a hint of lime. The wrap was so good he didn’t even bother remembering the thirty consequential minutes he had spent in the bathroom, clutching his gut while his friends reluctantly split the bill. All he could think about was the burrito, oh, and also that delicious chocolate chip cookie he had afterwards. Melted and gooey, sugary and sweet with just the right amount of bitterness, he had gotten melted chocolate all over his face! He couldn't believe the food he had just had.


He hailed a cab, told the driver to take him home, and mindlessly looked out the window. His nose itched, and as he brought his hand up to scratch his itchy nostrils, out of the corner of his eye, he spotted a dark brown speck on his hand. Immediately he froze. Rapidly, he swung his hand away from his face and glanced at it from a distance. There it was, a small brown dot on the knuckle of his index finger, maybe a half an inch in diameter. Instantly, his mind began racing, to his friends, to the burrito, to the check, and to the cookie. He looked at his hand in fear, and a thought crossed his mind.


“Is that poop, or chocolate on my hand?!”


He was freaking out! Get a grip on yourself! he thought to himself. He knew what he had to do: The Three Step Test.


The three step process was a scientific test Johnny had devised a long time ago that was foolproof in deciding whether something is delicious chocolate, or human feces. Abrahams knew, that with no sink in sight, and stuck in the back of a taxi cab, he would have to put his all in to truly deciphering the content on his hand.


Step 1: The color test

Johnny stared at the culprit, analyzing its color. Green and Red are not to be fed, but purple, blue, and white are yummy to sight. He always felt like rhymes helped him in times of need, yet unfortunately the speck was neither purple, blue, green, red or white, but a dark a smooth brown, a color that would force him onto the second step.


Step 2: The smell test

Slowly, he brought his hand to his nose, barely hovering it under his nostrils, careful not to make any movement. Usually, step two was enough to end the inner debate, but in extreme circumstances, a decision still could not be made - this seemed to be an extreme decision; Johnny could not make out a scent beyond the extreme smell of Axe body spray coming from the cab driver in front of him. He would have to move onto step 3.


Step 3: The taste test

He couldn’t believe he had reached the third and final step. Usually, he was able to make a decision in just the first, or even second part of the process, but it seemed that he had no choice but to move onto the third. He looked down at his hand and winced. He didn’t think he could bring himself to do it. He moved his hand once again, back up to his face, and slowly settled it before his lips. Like molasses, he etched his tongue gradually out of his mouth, ever towards the brown speck on his hand in front of him. It became closer and closer, only separated by inches, then centimeters, and the millimeters. Johnny closed his eyes, for he dared not to look. Then, contact.


A wave of joy overcame him as the familiar taste of sweet sugar seeped into his taste buds. It was chocolate! He couldn’t help but weep with joy, disregarding the confused glances coming from the cab driver in the rearview mirror. It seemed that the day would end with a happy ending after all, that is of course until a few hours later when after dinner he asked himself,


“Is that blood or tomato sauce on my hand?”


It was neither.

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©2018 by The Milking Cat.