The Muffin That Changed My Life

The Muffin That Changed My Life

By: Kaylin Calvert

So you see, it all happened because of that stupid muffin.

What do you mean, you didn’t catch all of that?  You want me to start over?  It won’t make any more sense the second time, but if it gets me out of here, fine.  I’ll start from the beginning again.  Just pay attention this time, would you?

Okay, so it started this morning when I woke up.  The neighbor downstairs has this annoying little Pomeranian that hates me.  I’m not sure what he was barking at yesterday evening, but he wouldn’t stop, and I didn’t have enough reason to call and complain.  It wasn’t an ungodly hour, I just go to bed early.

I didn’t sleep well, and Steve Holy started singing Good Morning, Beautiful at 3:30 AM, just as he has for every workday for the past year and a half.  I work in a bakery, so every day has an early start.  I don’t know what it was about this morning, exactly, but I just couldn’t motivate myself to get out of bed.  Now, I know that sounds lazy, but I’m just telling you the truth.  It was scorching outside to begin with, and the ovens in the bakery made it even hotter.  Maybe that’s why my half-conscious brain decided to go back to sleep.  If you’re superstitious, I guess you could claim that everything that happened today was destiny or some such, but if so, then destiny has a twisted sense of humor.

Anyway, the fact is, I turned off the alarm on my phone, rolled over, covered my head, and slept for another four hours.  When I finally woke up and checked the time, I just about had a panic attack.  I don’t particularly love my job, but it pays the bills, y’know?  It was after I jumped out of bed that I realized that it wasn’t really worth going to work today.  I had already missed half of my shift, and I probably wouldn’t be in any more trouble if I missed the rest of it.  I figured I’d come up with some excuse for skipping — if I wasn’t fired, that is. Besides, it would be nice to have a day to myself.

So I grabbed a shower, got dressed, and headed out the door.  I drove to that bookstore and coffee shop in town, planning to spend my day drinking iced lattes and reading to my heart’s content.

I walked in and ordered a triple shot white chocolate mocha in the largest size available, along with a poppy seed muffin.  I found a table, which wasn’t at all hard at that time of the morning, and glanced at the shelves while I unwrapped my breakfast.  I took a bite and was about to crumple up the paper liner when something caught my eye.

It was writing.  On the inside of my muffin wrapper.

It didn’t say much.  195, Vision of the Future by Timothy Zahn.  I assumed it was a page number and a title.  If I had been smart, I would have laughed it off as an oddity, wadded up the wrapper, and thrown it in the nearest trash can.  Of course, as you already know, I had to go check it out.  Maybe it’s because I had a Sherlock marathon the other day, but I knew I would never be satisfied until I looked at that book.

Taking my mocha and the unusual notepad with me, I started to browse the many titles.  Considering the title, I figured it was probably in fiction.  It felt like forever before I finally found it in the sci-fi section, but it was likely only half an hour.  I nearly missed the title, as I hadn’t expected to see it under the Star Wars brand name.  It was a hard-cover copy of the book, but obviously not new.  Its dust jacket was more than a little beat up, and when I pulled it off the shelf, I noticed that the pages were yellowed.  I turned to page 195, and what I saw almost made me drop the book.

It wasn’t the events of the book itself, no that was normal Star Wars stuff, I guess.  The main feature was a newspaper clipping that was even yellower than the edges of the pages.  It was an obituary cut out of a Michigan newspaper.  There was no picture, but the date was April 6th, 1927.  I can’t remember what it said exactly, but it talked about a seventy-eight year old woman being killed by a train.  It was a fairly long article that talked about her work in the community and listing her descendents.  Even though I’m sure it was interesting, I wasn’t paying much attention to the article itself at that point, because there was one thing I just couldn’t get over.

The name on the obituary was mine.

Now, I know that’s ridiculous, but I’m telling you the truth.  At first I tried to deny it, telling myself that it was just a coincidence.  But who could have known that I would go to that coffee shop this morning?  Further, who could have known that I would get a poppy seed muffin, and why would they leave me a clue to find such an unnerving article?

I decided to find out the only way I knew how.  I cut in front of the rush hour line of caffeine addicts and asked the guy at the register what the heck he did to my muffin.

He didn’t look confused, nor did he get angry.  Instead, he smiled, reaching one of his fingers out to touch my collarbone.

Next thing I knew, I broke through the awning in front of the Kelly Brothers’ Dry Goods store, you arrested me, and you’re telling me it’s 1873.

Honestly, officer, that’s all I know.  Now, you can either believe me or throw me in jail, I don’t care.  Just please don’t feed me a muffin.

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