Grandma's cookies
rating: +14+x

"Audio Log of Ashley May, 12th of April 2020"

"The higher-ups have finally given me my chance and now I'm in charge of researching one of their new voodoo contrap- uh… 'anomalous items'."

"What they've told me in short is that it's some oven that has cookies appear in it whenever they bring a glass of milk into the room. Why the fuck did they bring in a glass of milk in the first place?. Anyways uh… yeah after that if you dunk the cookies in the milk- again why was that their first instinct with all the health and safety we gotta go through here? Sorry, I'm getting side-tracked. But yeah if you eat some milk-dunked cookies you fall asleep a little while after and you wake up in a dream. There's just some old lady there who we don't think is a threat… hopefully. They say that stuff we hold when we sleep comes with us into the dream so a notepad should do for taking research notes while people are in there"

"I was fine with all of the wacky shit going on here but of course they had to give me fucking Jameson as my agent to send into the dreams. I feel bad for that poor old lady, she's gonna be dealing with his whiney ass for God knows how long now"

Todd Jameson looked his new boss in the eyes and then down at the glass of milk she told him to carry into the room.

"Let me get this again, its just some old fuckin' granny?"

"Yes, Todd. Its an old granny"

"I've spent sixteen years working as an agent for this damn Foundation." He mumbled. "I've seen portals to another world, tools which a single man could use to destroy a city in minutes, monsters I thought could only exist in nightmares. When they told me I was gettin' moved I thought it was gonna be something which puts that experience to the fucking test." He said louder and angrier. "Then they bring me here where my job is nothing more than eating cookies and drinkin' damn milk."

Ashley sighed to herself, but didn't respond in any way about how she'd been vying for this position for many, many years too. She knew that Todd would just be an ass no matter what she said.

"Just do as I've said, site command wants some notes from you looked over and filed by the end of the day and I'm really not looking to piss them off on my first day."

Todd let out a grunt, but still turned the handle and walked into the room. Straight away an oven lit up and let out a sharp ping. Todd closed the door behind him. Looking around in what was quite frankly a pretty claustrophobic room, there was an oven with a notepad, a pencil and oven mitts on top. To his right was a bed that made him envy the D-class holding cells. That shit's gonna feel like a rock to sleep on, I can just tell. There was no point in wasting time, so despite it making him look like a 50s housewife, he put on the mitts and pulled out a tray of cookies from the oven. A wave of heat threw itself onto him as he brought the tray from the fiery maw to the top of the oven. He closed the door and the oven turned off. Whoever this old bag was, they at least had the courtesy to put actual chocolate chips into their cookies rather than raisins.

"Here goes nothing" Todd groaned aloud.

He submerged the cookie halfway into the milk. No time was wasted and a bite was taken moments after. The cookie was soft but just a tiny bit chewy, the perfect warmth that allowed the chocolate chips to melt in the mouth and form small cocoa craters for the taste buds to revel in. The milk helped to counter any bitterness that the chocolate could give, and moistened the cookie to make the mouth feel like its in heaven for just those few seconds. They're alright I guess, he thought. For the next minute or so, Todd kept looking down at his watch… just waiting… and waiting… for the tiredness to kick in. Impatiently, he decided to go lay on the bed in the hopes that it would speed things up. Fuck… it did feel like a rock. Todd closed his eyes, and tried his best to get through this bullshit.

No use! He opened his eyes again and went to go tell Ashley that 'her cookies didn't do jack shit'. But very faintly he could hear something. Someone was humming. It definitely wasn't Ashley, her voice was way more squeaky and obnoxious than this voice. Wait a sec. This is the dream… isn't it?. At the oven, holding the tray Todd had just eaten from, was the "old granny" he was meant to talk to.

"Oh hello dearie!" She said turning around to face Todd sitting up on the bed. "Two visitors in the same week, I must be famous!"

"Uh huh. Listen can I just ask you some questions so I can call it a day?" Todd sighed impatiently.

"Oh yes of course go ahead sweetie. Cookie?" She offered, holding the tray to him.

"No thanks, I uh- don't like cookies all that much."

"Are you sure? I've never heard of someone who would turn down a cookie."

"Really, I'll pass."

"If you insist. I'll leave the tray here in case you change your mind, eh?" She puts the tray back onto the oven.

"Firstly- lets see here… uh." Todd skimmed through the things Ashley wanted him to find out. "Can I get your name?"

"It's Doris, Doris Gardener. But please, call me Nana." She smiled. "And you are?"

"Todd. Todd Jameson". "Well… Nana" He said reluctantly, "what year were you born?"

"Ooo let's see here. A long time ago I can tell you that." She laughed to herself. "Ninteen- uh… forty three? Yeah that's it!"

Todd jotted down the year and read the next question. "If you're able to remember, how did you end up being in this.. how do i put it? Dream? And how did you end up connected with this oven?"

Nana looked down solemnly with a distant stare in her eyes. "I'm not sure when I stopped being real, I stopped keeping track of time many years ago. Before I ended up like this, I remember that my grandson, Roy would love to visit me all the time. He loved those cookies and always had them with a nice glass of milk. I baked them for him every time. After a while though-". Nana stopped and took a deep breath. Todd raised an eyebrow but kept listening. "After a while he just… stopped coming." There was now a thin coating of water on her eyes, glistening with the light hanging from the ceiling. "I don't know if it was something I did. Or if maybe he just got bored of me. After that though, I was alone. So… so long I was alone."

Something in Todd's attitude changed. The bored blank face and rolling eyes stopped. His mouth opened just a little and his eyes widened as he looked back up to her. His face was half in shock, half in sorrow.

"O-oh I'm sorry to hear that. Would you mind elaborating further?" Instead of being a grunt or a snarl, his tone changed to more of that of a friend. No, he couldn't really be getting all sappy over this could he? This was the same man who'd seen portals to another world. The same man who'd seen tools which a single man could use to destroy a city in minutes. Monsters he only thought were in nightmares! He wasn't gonna let that all go over some sob story… right?

"Every day I baked a fresh batch of cookies… just in the hopes that one day he'd be back to enjoy them. But he never came, nobody did. I stayed in the house after then. Just me and my oven. Baking for nobody. That was until you people found me! I can't tell you how much having you here means to me dearie."

"Thank you, Nana" Todd said. This time he was happy to say the name. "That's all I needed to know."

"I'm glad I could be of some help" She said to him, the water in her eyes greater than before.

The notepad said that Todd was meant to just lay back down on the bed and he'll wake up in reality. He almost didn't want to read those words. "Wake up". Not like I wanna stay here or anything. I uh… hate doing this job. He said to himself, knowing it was a lie.

"I'll be going now." He took a pause to think and sharpley turned back to Nana. "Could I…" God this is embarrasing "have a cookie before I do?"

Nana smiled and handed him the tray. This time the cookie tasted a hundred times better. "Keep safe" she told him. "You… will be back yes?"

Todd smiled (something that nobody had known for him to do for a long time) and nodded to Nana, before laying back down.

He opened his eyes again. Nana was gone. He was back. Notepad in hand, he opened the door where Ashley was waiting for him.

"Finally! You're out" She sighed. "Listen I've got some good news for you and me; site command says they'll be happy to move you to another project that 'puts your experience to the test'."

Todd's chest tightened hearing that. "N-no I don't think. Uh. It would be uhm… detrimental to the project if somebody else took my position. I'll… I'll bear the brunt of this one I guess." He let out a nervous laugh towards the end.

Ashley smirked, knowing something had happened while he was in there. "Sure thing Todd, I'm sure this is your biggest challenge yet after all you've faced." She said in a patronising voice.

"Fuck off. Not like I wanna keep doing this!" Todd barked.

"You sure? I can get someone else to do it if you want." Ashley teased.

"I-" Todd had nothing to say. He grew red with embarrassment and Ashley laughed as she walked away.

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