Sharp Barrel

“It’s empty,” Karen said. She tilted the white cookie jar forward to show Janice the empty, dark interior. As she tilted it forward, she noticed #09 written on the bottom in red numbers.

The pair of new friend’s sat in Janice’s small kitchen for the first of what was planned to be a weekly brunch. Janice moved into the neighborhood two weeks ago and she hit it off immediately with Karen. They had a surprising amount in common despite Karen being the mother of three and Janice living single and child free. That was the main reason they chose to meet at Janice’s; Karen jumped at the chance for a scheduled weekly break.

“It’s only empty until you put your hand in,” Janice said with a smirk. Karen thought for a moment, then giggled as she put the lid back on the jar. A pair of red scissors decorated the top of the ceramic lid.

“You’re more of a smart-ass than I thought,” she said.

“What?” Janice didn’t quite get what Karen meant and took a moment to think. “Oh! That’s not what I meant,” Janice reached for the cookie jar and removed the lid. She reached her hand in to pull out some of the chocolate chip cookies for Karen. She offered her three, then asked if she wanted more.

“How’d you do that? That was just empty.”

“Have you heard of a company named Sharp Development?” Janice asked. She put the lid back on the jar after Karen declined any more.

“No,” Karen replied. “Why?”

“Just curious,” Janice said. “They were all over back in my old city, I was wondering if they had any presence here. Sorry, the thought kind of popped up at the same time. But, the cookie jar; that’s just plain old magic,” she said.

“Magic?” Karen asked. She tilted her head at Janice in curiosity. “You know magic?” Janice shook her head.

“I bought it off someone. Look,” Janice pulled the lid off and showed Karen the black inside. “Go ahead,” she encouraged.

Karen was half-sure it was some sort of trick, but she assumed the fastest way to find that out was to go along with it. She reached her hand into the jar, then immediately yanked it out. Two things happened at the exact moment. Karen’s hand disappeared completely into the darkness. At the same moment, her fingertips brushed up against something when she expected nothing.

Janice giggled, but did not say anything nor move the jar away. Karen realized she touched some cookies, then reached her hand back into the darkness. This time she was ready for her fingertips bumping into the dry, dusty texture of a cookie. She felt it out and grabbed it. Then, she withdrew her hand, cookie and all.

“Nice,” Karen said. “So, what makes it magic? Just that fancy optical illusion that it’s empty?”

“Oh, no. It never runs out.”

“Ever?” Karen asked. Janice shrugged.

“It hasn’t in about five years, I’m guessing it won’t ever.”

“Whoa…,” Karen replied. If she hadn’t seen evidence with her own eyes she’d be more skeptical. “… can you get another one? For me? I’d save a ton of money on treats for the kids if it’s not too expensive.”

“You’ve been so nice to me since I moved here,” Janice said. “Go ahead and take the one home with you today. I can replace it pretty easily.”

“Really? You’re just giving this to me?”

“Sure,” Janice nodded. “Congratulations. Now you own a magic cookie jar. No matter how many cookies you eat, it’s never empty.”

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