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Spiralize Me!

Nicky Drayden is a Systems Analyst who dabbles in prose when she's not buried in code. She resides in Austin, Texas where being weird is highly encouraged, if not required. You can see more of her work at nickydrayden.com.

I stare at my sleek, new veggie spiralizer with disdain. It's a simple contraption--dual funnels attached at the narrow ends, with severely sharp blades tucked inside, promising to turn any vegetable into long strings of gluten-free goodness. But I don't care how much meat sauce I dump on it, there's no way zucchini noodles will satisfy me like the hearty chew of durum wheat spaghetti.
Effin' Paleo diet.
I insert my firm zucchini into the dark hole, and with each twist of my wrist, I cuss my doctor, cuss my waning willpower, cuss that perky receptionist at work who told me how she never craves bread anymore, not even a little bit, and kept raving over how this veggie spiralizer would "open up a whole new world of pasta-bilities." I say an extra cuss for her.
I snap out of my funk just in time to avoid slicing the hell out of my fingers. On my plate should be a pile of detoxifying, metabolism-boosting vegetable noodles, but there's nothing. Not a shred, not a scrap. I pull out my zucchini nub and peer deep inside the funnel. I should see my kitchen counter through the other end, but instead I marvel at tiny galaxies spinning, stars hot and white. My head starts spinning as well. Maybe my cravings have finally gotten the best of me. Maybe this hellish week of low-carb lunacy has burnt out my synapses. I rub my eyes and look again, mesmerized by the siren call of a graceful nebula, all the right shades of red and yellow and blue. In my hands I hold my own personal wormhole, ready to whisk me off to a new world... maybe one where the vegetables know better than to try to rise above their station.
Carefully, I place my hand into the spiralizer, wondering where it will take me, dreaming of all of the possibilities. I hesitate.
What if it doesn't work? What if the only place it sends me is to the E.R.? Honestly, I can deal with sliced up knuckles. What I can't deal with are the lunchtime stares and the receptionist's pouty, disappointed lips every time I bite into egg salad with bacon bits surrounded by two soft slices of sourdough. No effin' way.
I stare at my sleek, new veggie spiralizer, and with childlike anticipation, I twist.
The End
This story was first published on Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Author Comments

This story was born from a Space Squid writing contest with the word "zucchini" as the prompt, and full disclosure: I think Paleo is effin' awesome.

- Nicky Drayden
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