“You’re late again Mr. Tomson!! This is unacceptable!!!” his lecturer scolded. Bowing his head in shame he began to beg for forgiveness, “Mi scusi signora! I live kind of far so walking through the rain was-” he was cut off. “Yeah yeah whatever you say Justin just get to your seat!“. Walking with a lot more pep in his step he replied, “Sì signora!” in a very high pitched tone. Justin sat at attention, this was one of his favorite classes after all. His top 3 were Language Skills, specifically Italian. He was the king of the class and he liked taking it for fun~. Home Economics, specifically Cooking and the class he was in right now. “Haaa~” he sighed “Biology, Botany, oh how I love thee~” he remarked. That day they studied poisons, plant poisons in particular and the teacher handed out poison samples for the students to analyze. Cyanide, the one they learnt of today. It was in a seasoning bottle marked ‘Almond Flavoring’, it was scary identical to the real thing. It even had a similar scent. “As you remember,” the professor said, “this is called Formonitrile, also known as Cyanide. Specifically Sodium Cyanide. Only a bit of this can be deadly so please don’t loose it, and be careful”. Justin’s hand shot up like a rocket, everyone knew what was about to happen since that cheeky smile was plastered on his face. “Yes Justin?”. He stood up, adjusted his uniform and began to speak, “Now prof, it seems to me that we weren’t supposed to have these. This is breaking some rules I’m sure, but you gave it to us anyways because Botany is either just that important to you or you want their to be a crime committed by one of your very own students!”. As if on que, everyone gasped, adding a pinch of spice to his already over the top performance. ”Or,” Justin continued, “You really really really REALLY REALLY want to quit hmm?” Justin wiggled his eyebrows and grinned with cat-like glossy eyes, his curly brown hair somehow adding to the illusion. He walked towards his professor, “’Don’t loose it’? Isn’t it strange that among that ‘precaution’ there isn’t one on what to do if ever a teacher caught us with said harmful chemical? That tells me, prof, that you want to be fired~”. Everyone started to murmur among themselves, adding wood to Justin’s blazing inferno of gossip. His professor was used to his antics by the point and had dealt with it many times but she was never able to win. Justin concluded, “Your lack of a response is telling! You my dear teacher, are a drug addict~“. He snapped his fingers and as he did ‘Ring Ring Ring!!’ the school day was over. Everyone including the teacher laughed at Justin’s “conclusion”. By this point Justin’s little outbursts have become the best way to end the school week and kick off into the weekend, everyone loved him.
He lived off campus with his two roommates, Mark and Alex. They were all friends and got along fairly well, they even had a basic agreement for living with one another. Since Justin was the only one that could cook, he would prep all the meals and snacks whenever needed. Alex was great at cleaning so she was the house maid, they even bought her a maid dress and now she always wore it as she cleaned. Mark was amazingly efficient at managing money, so every month they got a budget from Big Bro Mark. “I’m home!” yelled Justin. Alex popped her head out from the kitchen, hands covered in soap bubbles, “Well if it isn’t our little botanist! Welcome home plant boy”. Justin chuckled playfully hitting Alex’s shoulder, “What’s on the brain for lunch and dinner today? Anything particular?” he questioned, putting soap bubbles on Alex’s face. That’s when Mark popped his head up from on the couch yelling, “ALMOND SOOUUPPPP!!! IT’S RAINING WE DESERVE IT!” however, Justin protested, “AGAIN!? WE EAT THAT EVERY FRIDAY- PICK SOMETHING DIFFERENT DAM IT!“. Wiping the soap from her face, Alex chuckled, “Ah yes~ the daily lovers quarrel”. In the end, they agreed on almond soup for lunch and pizza for dinner. Dawning his apron, Justin began to prepare all the ingredients for his almond soup. He’d need;
Flour, butter, water, milk, salt, pepper, cream, shaved almonds and fresh ones, as well as his own touches such as celery, green onions and some chadon beni.
Grabbing a huge pot and filling it half way with water, he let that boil as he grabbed his cutting knife and started breaking apart the almonds. One Christmas, Mark decided to get them all gifts; for Justin it was a cutlery set and for Alex, a feather duster. Justin loved cooking even more after that. He chopped the celery, green onions and chadon beni, tossing them all in the pot. As it started to bubble it was time for the cream but he couldn’t find it anywhere. “ALEX!” he shouted with his head in the fridge, “WHAT DO YOU WANT HIPPI-” Alex was responding but was cut off by Justin yelling back “CREAM ALEX, I NEED CREAM!“. This yelling continued for some while until Mark scolded them for being to loud. The aroma of almonds filled their home, bringing a smile to everyone’s face. As the rain pitter pattered, Justin poured a serving of soup into 3 bowls. Mark strolled into the kitchen, tucking Justin’s long curls over his shoulder, hugging him from behind, “Mmmmm~ That smells lovely darling~” he teased. Justin’s eyes narrowed and he smiled, “You know I’m not done right~?“. Mark immediately recoiled, “SORRY SORRY!! I WON’T DISTURB YOU YOUR HIGHNESS-” and then he disappeared. Justin sprinkled in some more salt, drops of almond butter and garnished with a mint leaf. “Some more shaved almonds wouldn’t hurt,” he thought, when he went for them though, there were 2 bottles. “Probably a restock” he thought, one was almost empty and knowing Mark it made sense. Grabbing the lesser one, he sprinkled a healthy helping into the 3 bowls. “Was it almost spoiled?” questioned Justin, it had a bit of a bitter smell. By this point, it was 7 p.m. so he yelled, “Dinner’s ready my love~!” winking at Mark. Alex was at the store getting things for the pizza so they decided to eat without her. Mark dug in as Justin cleaned up and suddenly remember the cyanide his professor gave him. He hadn’t seen it in a while. “Hey Mark?” Justin asked, “Have you seen a uh- almost empty bottle of... ′Almond Flavoring?’. Mark replied confused, his mouth still filled with soup, “You mean like the one in the cupboard? Alex said something about finding it in your bag and-” Justin went cold. He dropped all the pots and pans and rushed to the pantry. “It couldn’t be... right?” paranoia washing over him. He grabbed both flavor bottles, the one from his teacher had a mark on the bottom, a P. “MARK WAIT!” Justin yelled. Looking at him bizarrely he laughed saying, “Come on man, what are you gonna tell me now ‘I love you~’? Let me eat in-” Mark was cut off. Justin clapped his hands over his mouth in shock. “Mark?!” he yelled. “Oh god!” Mark started to foam at the mouth and seize, his eyes rolling back into his skull. “No! Please stop! I’m sorry!!“. Justin panicked, he didn’t mean to do it, it was an accident. He ran to his roommates side, blood had started seeping from Mark’s mouth, “H-hey...” whimpered Justin, “It’s alright... y-you’ll be fine...“. With the last ounce of his strength, Mark reached up to try and hold Justin’s face, but his body was still shaking. Justin’s breathe became rapid, “No... NO!!! PLEASE! DON’T LEAVE ME!” he exclaimed when suddenly all his panic drained from him. He stared at Mark in his arms, watching him... dance. He found himself giddy. His sporadic, unnatural, jerky motions really intrigued Justin. Not long after, Mark died and Justin was left feeling empty happiness as his friend stopped dancing. “...Ha...HahaHAHAHAA, AHAHAHAHAHAHAAA” Justin started laughing, “THAT WAS AMAZING!! BRAVO BRAVO!” he yelled as he applauded the show. He wanted to see it again, he had too. “Hahaha~ sorry not sorry Alex,” he said. He picked up his cyanide, sprinkling more into Alex’s bowl. Realizing he’d become the butt of his own joke earlier he chuckled and started waltzing with Marks recently dead, still warm body, “Let’s dance darling~“.