“There once was a bowl of ramen named Olivia Kokoefer. Olivia, no matter what, would never eat bread or sandwiches cut diagonally. Never.”
There once was a bowl of ramen named Olivia Kokoefer. Olivia, no matter what, would never eat bread or sandwiches cut diagonally. Never. She had kept this up for the 11 years she had been alive for. Olivia is unique. She also has unique qualities. For example, she can float magically from any height down to the ground with an umbrella, like Mary Poppins. Another one of her unique qualities is that her limbs are as skinny as a stick person’s. Although Olivia has some odd qualities, her appearance is mostly normal (other than the fact that she’s a bowl of ramen). She is the average height of an 11-year-old bowl of ramen and has short, wavy black hair.
Olivia doesn’t necessarily go to school. She just sits at home on the counter. For her it’s quite exciting. She finds it exciting mostly because her human mom won’t let anybody eat her, and Olivia finds it funny what people will do to resist eating her. Once somebody tried to kidnap her. After that, her mom just put other not alive bowls of ramen on the counter. It kind of worked. Now Olivia just floats away when somebody glances over their shoulder to look at her.
It may seem like Olivia lives her life without a care in the world, but that’s not true. Going to school is where most people meet their friends, and she kind of missed out on that, so now her only friend is her mom. You could consider her friends with the people who try to eat her because she sees them a lot, but Olivia doesn’t think about it that way. One day, she decided that having no friends was seriously getting to be an issue, so Olivia jumped off the counter and opened up her umbrella. It was time for an adventure (around her house, but still very exciting).
Whoosh, Olivia flew by holding onto her umbrella. Olivia does have feet. She just preferred the umbrella. When Olivia is in her Mary Poppins mode, she can control where the umbrella goes, straight, left, right, backwards, up, anywhere. Olivia flew by and took a few turns until she realized her mom went to work! She saw a truck and hopped onto the back. Now it was actually going to be an adventure.
Olivia made herself comfortable over the watermelons that were spread over the bed of the truck. It was a little hard because the watermelons were big, hard lumps. Olivia stays in her house 50 percent of the time, but her mom likes to take her to her work, and sometimes they go on tours around town. After awhile, Olivia started to recognize where she was, her mom’s work. The truck didn’t slow down. It was going around 25 miles per hour. She would have to jump. The thought that went through her mind was, If I can do this, I’ll have two ways of getting out of the car. Plus she was also thinking, Ahhhhhhhh! She took three deep breaths and jumped.
Olivia opened her eyes and saw white around her. She was in heaven. Olivia saw many relatives that had passed away.
“Grandma?” Olivia asked.
In her mind, she was in what she thought was heaven, while in reality she was just laying on the ground saying, “Grandma?”
People started to stare. When she opened her eyes and stood up, she saw she wasn’t in heaven. Olivia stood up and looked around. Suddenly, she saw her mom’s company, Clara and Kriss’s Upholstery. Clara was a good friend of her mom’s. They had started the company together. Olivia had to take two crosswalks to get to the building. But she wasn’t the kind of ramen that knew how to cross the street on her own. Her mom always carried her across. She just remembered to stay inside the striped lines on the ground, so she marched forward and figured nothing could happen. A car suddenly sped by right in front of her face.
The entire time Olivia was screaming, “Ahhhhhhhhh!”
She decided to run the rest of the crosswalk. When she approached the next crosswalk, there was a small white person in a black box. Plus everyone else was walking, so she decided to go. Finally, she reached the building. It was a tall, rectangular building that always smelled good. It was basically a really clean warehouse on the inside. Olivia never really understood why people needed doors, so she never really bothered to know what they look like or how to use them. She walked forward, stuck her little stick arms out, and walked straight into a wall. She fell flat on her back and tried again, this time in a different spot. She found what she thought was the door and walked towards it. Again, she fell flat on her back. She got up again and decided to ask somebody where the door was.
She walked into a crowd of people and asked gently, “Excuse me, could you point me in the direction of the door?”
A woman with long brown hair turned around and looked at Olivia. On the woman’s name tag were the words, Clara Tjen. Suddenly, Olivia recognized this person! It was her mom’s old business partner, until she left to do some other job that she didn’t tell them about. Clara suddenly picked her up and started running. At first, Olivia thought she was heading in the direction of the door, but then she put her in the back of a sketchy white van and drove away. Olivia started to get more nervous and worried as they got closer to their destination. All she was thinking was, Nothing good can come of this ‘adventure.’
Fifteen minutes later, the old, creaky sliding door slid open. Olivia got onto her feet, and she looked up to see a man with seriously messed up yellow teeth and a bad haircut.
He picked her up and walked halfway to the door to hear Clara say, “I’ll be back later. There were sightings of a talking orange.”
The man nodded and kept walking towards the door. Olivia noticed that Clara had a strangely deep voice. She was also thinking, How dare they compare me to a talking orange! When the man opened the door, Olivia looked around and saw different foods with some sort of ability being tortured in some way, as if they were taking their powers! Tubes were coming out from their chests and into a huge watermelon. What are they doing? thought Olivia. She finally realized they were going to do the same thing to her! She had to make a run for it! She opened her umbrella and attempted to fly away. Sadly, she looked around, and she was still in the man’s arms. She tried again. No success. Until she finally flew!
“Sweet victory!” she yelled.
She was free! Then, she took a wrong turn and banged into one of the poles in this, well, interesting building. Olivia laid there for around 20 minutes. She glanced at her wrist, remembering she could never get a watch because her wrist was too small, and all the ones that did fit her were incredibly expensive. She looked around and noticed a clock on the wall. Since she never went to school, she never learned how to read time. And she never bothered to ask her mom how to read time, so let’s just say she wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Olivia thought to herself, I really should just go to school. That really would solve a lot of my problems! Olivia looked up to see the same man with five others looking at her too.
“Get back to work!” a tall woman who looked like she could beat anybody in a physical confrontation barked.
Like Clara, this woman also had a name tag, but her straight, black hair was blocking part of it, so all she saw was, Soph and ng. Olivia didn’t recognize her, but she also didn’t not recognize her. It’s like she was around when Olivia was just a small cup of ramen or something like that. The woman picked Olivia up, looked left and right, and headed for the bathroom. Was she trying to save her? The woman sat her down on the edge of the bathroom sink, looked at her closely, and looked all directions, even under the bathroom stalls.
“Run,” the woman said and then put Olivia on the floor and motioned for the door near the back of the room.
Olivia nodded and headed for the door.
I guess she was going too slow because the woman had to say, “Go, go now,” a lot.
Olivia began to pick up the pace, but again she never learned how to use a door, so she slammed right into it like she did with the other door, plus the pole too. Again she fell flat on her back. The woman sighed and shook her head. She ran over (it was actually more of a casual jog) and pushed the door open. Olivia watched her open the door for future reference. The woman motioned with her hand for her to go be free in the dark, scary alleyway. Olivia began down the road and looked back to say “thank you” to the woman, but she had already turned around. Her hair spun around and revealed more of her name tag. It read Sophia Wong. Though Olivia now knew this mysterious person’s name, she still was not sure who this person was.
Olivia continued down the alleyway until she heard a low growl coming from some old trash cans a few feet away. Olivia stopped and looked straight at the trash cans. There were no signs of movement. Then, Olivia heard the low growl again, only this time it sounded closer, much closer. She turned around and saw a huge black dog, slobber running from its snout. The dog looked rather skinny, as if it hadn’t eaten in a while. Olivia slowly started to walk in the other direction, then she turned around and began to run, still only looking at the dog. Bang! Olivia hit a fence. She thought to herself, How can such an awesome bowl of ramen hit so many things?! The dog crept closer. This time it seemed much more angry.
The dog kept creeping closer to Olivia, when a person suddenly said, “Frankie, don’t traumatize the ramen.”
The person got closer. It was hard for Olivia to get a good look at the person because the dog was blocking her view. The thing she could see was, like Clara and Sophia, he had a name tag, only she couldn’t read his. The man finally picked up the dog, and it turned out it was actually quite a small dog. The man was wearing a blazer and a turtle neck along with, what looked like, fancy pants. This man was not like the others. He had a nice haircut, smelled good, and had very straight, white teeth.
“Hello, Olivia,” the man said in a calm, evil voice, like the one bad guys in movies use. “I’ve been waiting for you.” He looked at Olivia and laughed quietly. “I have plans for you,” he said, along with his evil, slow laugh.
Olivia opened her eyes to see at least half a dozen men standing in a circle around something. She waited for her eyes to focus. Finally, she saw it. It was a talking orange with ropes wrapped around its arms and legs, plus duct tape over its mouth. Olivia was startled when she felt a hand touch her shoulder. She turned and saw the same man from before, the well dressed one. The man plopped her down next to the orange. The orange turned and looked directly into Olivia’s eyes. Chills went down her spine when she saw the fear in his eyes. A rush of adrenaline coursed through her veins, as if her body was telling her, Run!!! But Olivia refused to. Every bad scenario happened either because she hadn’t gone to school or because she attempted to run. She was going to stay put with this orange.
Olivia turned and caught a glimpse of somebody tied up in the closet. Who was that? Olivia thought to herself. The evil man strode by Olivia and the orange. He kept walking until he reached a wooden door. He wrenched it open and disappeared into the room. Finally somebody walked out. It was Clara! She’s here to save me! Olivia hoped, until she remembered Clara was the one who snatched her into the van in the first place.
Three hours later, Olivia was starting to get hungry. She looked around and didn’t see anything. She stood up but fell back down because the orange pulled her down, plus she was tied up with ropes too. The orange gestured to the duct tape covering his mouth. She got the hint and ripped it off when no one was looking.
He whispered into Olivia’s ear, “I have a plan.”
“You want to do what?!” Olivia exclaimed a little too loudly.
One of the men in the circle around them turned around but didn’t seem to have heard anything.
“You want to do what?” Olivia said quieter this time.
The orange shot her a look clearly saying, Was I not clear?
Olivia looked around and thought, Is this a good idea? She finally decided.
Olivia leaned over and whispered into the orange’s ear, “Let’s do this thing.”
The orange smiled from ear to ear. They were ready.
After ‘rehearsing’ several times, the plan was in motion.
“Remember, you fly away and distract the men while I run into the escape hole.” The orange gestured to a small hole, big enough for a bowl of ramen and an orange, but too small for a human. “Then I’ll distract the men while you run into the hole, and we’ll have sweet victory!”
Olivia nodded, remembering the time she thought she had sweet victory. She wasn’t sure if the plan would work, but she didn’t want to tamp down the orange’s enthusiasm, and she did not want to have to make up a plan of her own, so she went with it.
Olivia took three deep breaths and thought, Go big and go home. First, she untied the orange. It was a bit of a struggle to try and untie him with stick arms, plus trying to do it without being seen. It was a little easier than it would’ve been if she didn’t have stick arms, because who can tightly tie stick arms together? The orange pretended like he was still tied up, then he nodded to the direction of the dining room table behind the wall of men watching a football game and drinking beer, gesturing to fly over there. Then, one of them stood up, creating an opening. Consequently, Olivia opened up her umbrella and glided right in between them. She wanted them to notice her, but not quite yet. Sadly, she accidentally clipped one of the men’s ears and caught their attention a little too soon. She looked behind the men to try and see whether or not the orange had made it in the escape hole that the rats use, and yes there are rats! At first she couldn’t see him, but then she looked at the spot where they were tied up before and saw his big foot stuck in the edge of the carpet. She had to save him or else the men would get both of them. Suddenly, she had a plan.
Swoop in, grab the orange, and fly to the escape hole. Swoop in, grab the orange, and fly to the escape hole. Olivia repeated to herself over and over. She didn’t have much time to rethink her plan because half the men were just starting to realize Olivia was free and just hovering in the air, while the other half of the men were processing the fact that the orange was attempting to escape. All in all, they could agree the “very well-thought-out” plan was failing miserably. Olivia flew through the small crowd of clueless men and grabbed the orange’s hand. To Olivia’s surprise, the orange came out of the crack really easily.
“Well, that was a close one!” Olivia exclaimed.
She was so surprised by how easy it was. She accidentally went out a door and into the world. However, this was better than the hole, much better. Olivia landed in a nearby park. When she looked behind her, she realized she wasn’t holding onto the orange’s hand. She was holding onto a smooth twig. You have got to be kidding me! Who holds a twig in the air! Olivia, without even thinking, flew back to the building. She landed on the window sill and tiptoed in through the door, as not to alarm anybody. When she looked left and right, there was nobody there. She flew backwards to notice she went to the wrong building. Olivia jumped out the doorway and headed out the window. She flew to the right building this time and did the same thing. She landed on the window sill and quietly headed in the doorway. She looked left and right again. This time she saw the men flinging something into the closet where she saw the other thing or person from before. The orange! Olivia thought and, well, hoped. She raced in through the crack in the doorway before it closed.
“What was that?!” one of the men asked, but then didn’t seem to care after a while.
Olivia glanced around the corner. Nothing. Then, around the other corner. Nothing. She walked forward and, yet again, bumped into something. Olivia fell flat on her face.
“Oh my god, are you okay?” a voice said from the shadows.
Olivia, rubbing her bowl, looked up to see a very slim figure that seemed to be sitting on a chair.
“Mmm hmm,” Olivia mumbled.
She looked closely at the figure. Again she couldn’t make out when or where she might’ve encountered this person before. Olivia realized one of the only solutions would be to use her communication skills.
“Hello?” Olivia mumbled/whispered.
She could see the figure readjusting in their seat. The more Olivia examined this person, the more she came to the conclusion it was a woman whom she’d met before.
“Yes?” the woman replied hopefully.
Who is that? Olivia kept thinking to herself. She felt somebody pick her up and put her on their lap. The woman leaned forward and turned on the light in the small closet.
Olivia put her stick arm up to block the blinding light. She finally took her arm away. She saw a woman with long, wavy brown hair. Olivia looked at this person as if it was someone she used to be very close friends with.
“Do I know you?” Olivia said, hoping for an answer.
“That hurts,” the woman mumbled. “I am your mom’s business partner.”
Olivia racked her brain to think of who this person might be. Finally, a name popped into her head. Was it Clara?
“Clara?” Olivia asked, “Clara Tjen?” Olivia then thought, No, it can’t be her. She left here earlier!
“Yes!” Clara laughed with joy.
“But you left here earlier. How are you here?” Olivia asked.
Clara sighed and said, “Let me explain.”
“Uh-huh, you expect me to believe that you were kidnapped and shoved in this closet while a man put on your clothes?” Olivia asked as she sat in Clara’s lap.
“This is why I don’t chat with talking food anymore,” Clara mumbled.
“What was that?” Olivia asked.
“Have you seen a talking orange recently?”
“You mean that one?” Clara asked as she pointed to the back of the room.
Olivia turned her head to see an orange duct taped to a wall.
“You duct taped him to a wall?” Olivia asked.
“Yep,” Clara replied.
Olivia nodded, and then they high-fived.
“Nice job,” Olivia told her old friend.
“We need a plan to get out of here,” Clara said. “You guys had an interesting plan I watched play out a while ago.”
Olivia looked over to the orange and asked, “Who holds a super smooth stick in the air?”
“Did you keep it?” he asked
“Nope, I threw it out the window. It didn’t appear useful in any way.” Olivia smiled at the orange as if to say, Ha.
“Back to making a plan, people. We need to get out of here, those people are monsters!” Clara encouraged. “Who came up with that last plan?”
“I did the first one. The ‘rescue mission’ one was her idea,” the orange replied.
“So, Olivia is the better plan maker,” Clara said.
“Why don’t we just sneak out the window right on the other side of this door? It’s like right there,” Olivia replied, agreeing with Clara that she was the better plan maker.
“Sure, why not?” Clara asked.
The orange stayed taped to the wall in awe by how simple and flaw-ful their plan was.
“I’d like to see how that turns out for you two,” the orange added.
“Oh no, mister, you’re coming with us,” Clara and Olivia said in unison.
Clara walked to the back of the closet and untaped the orange. Clara held the orange as Olivia quietly crept over to the door.
“Now, there could be a group of men right there, so be cautious,” Olivia warned.
Olivia very quietly crept the door open, as Clara tiptoed up next to her. Olivia peered out of the opening between the door and the doorway. Nothing. Where is everybody? Clara peered out above Olivia and also saw nothing.
“They must be on their lunch break!” Clara said, nodding her head.
“Really, you knew they had a lunch break the whole time?!” Olivia asked.
Clara just shrugged and motioned for Olivia to go towards the window. Olivia hurried to the window and sat on the ledge and waited for Clara and the orange to get there.
“Let’s go, let’s go, people!” Olivia rushed.
Clara and the orange ran over.
“Hold on to me somewhere, and I’ll fly us to wherever you guys want to go,” Olivia said.
Clara grabbed onto Olivia’s leg, and the orange grabbed onto Olivia’s other leg. Olivia opened up her umbrella, and they flew!
“Where to, orange?” Olivia asked as if she were a bus driver.
“Right here on top of that house,” the orange replied.
Olivia looked to the right and saw a whole bunch of oranges standing on the roof of a short building waving their arms side to side. Olivia landed right next to the parade of oranges and set the orange down.
“Thank you!” the oranges told Olivia.
“No problem,” Olivia replied as she flew away. “Where to, Clara?”
“Over there,” Clara exclaimed as she pointed to a tall apartment building next to a grocery store.
Olivia landed on the top and said her final goodbyes to Clara as she flew off to her house.
A few minutes later, she was in her house knocking on the door. Her mom opened the door and greeted her with a huge hug.
“I missed you!” her mom told her as they were hugging. “But it’s time to go to bed, so shoo shoo.”
Olivia headed upstairs to go to bed. She got under the covers and said, “Oh well, one day I’ll have some friends.”
“Hello?” a muffled voice asked.
Olivia sat up.
“Yes?” she said. “Who’s there?”
“Us!” they said.
Olivia looked around but couldn’t seem to see anything.
“Up here, in your bowl!” one voice said.
Olivia looked in her mirror and saw a whole bunch of foods in her bowl waving. Olivia smiled. She had friends!