The pasta spiral bounced off the wall and onto the floor. The dog ate it. Milly watched him, wondering obscurely what the dried dog food pasta bits were actually made from. She doubted it was pasta. The dog took the spiral to the corner of the room and lay down, holding the pasta between his feet and licking it.

Milly checked her watch again. Another minute had passed. Using the fork, she fished out another spiral and threw it against the wall. It bounced off and behind the stove.

‘What the hell are you doing?’ Milly’s mother stood at the door, hands on hips.

‘Checking that the pasta is ready. When it’s ready, it sticks to the wall.’

‘I’ll stick you to the wall in a moment. What about all the rats that will come to eat the mess you leave?’

Milly shrugged sullenly. Her mother marched across the room and stirred the sauced in the pan. She made a small sound of approval in the back of her throat. Milly handed her mother a clean spoon and her mother sampled the sauce. Taking a moment to savour the flavour, she reached for the salt.

‘Go wash your hands and set the table.’

Milly slouched out. Her mother waited until she was gone and put the salt down. The sauce didn’t need salt. It was perfect. Better than her own.

She fished out a piece of pasta and threw it at the wall. It stuck. She raised an eyebrow, grabbed the pasta and dropped it on the floor for the dog. Milly was getting too good at cooking. Soon, there would be nothing left for her mother to do.


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