Good times – Writing Prompt #161 “Collage 24”

“Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith.” Margaret Shepard

collage-24

“Drink me.”

“Eat me.”

Alice stared at the buffet-laden table. The sausage rolls, the pork pies, the little triangular sandwiches with their crusts cut off, the cheese and pineapple cubes speared on cocktail sticks, the trifle, the jelly, the little clementine segments floating in their sweet, sticky juice, the bottles of cherryade and ginger beer, they grew in size, reached for the ceiling, loomed towards her menacingly. ‘No, no, invitingly’, she forced herself to think up a better word than the one that towered in her mind.

She gulped, panic turning her throat to sandpaper, gluing her tongue to the roof of her mouth. She took slow, steady breaths, just as she had been taught.

“Darling, isn’t this wonderful? All your favourite foods from ‘The Best Christmas Ever!’ Do you remember? We struggled so hard that year, what with your dad on 3 day weeks and no money to speak of, but it was the best one ever, for you. We were so happy!”

“Thanks, Mum,” Alice whispered, clenching her fists, magicking up a smile. Mum was doing her best, they were all doing their best.

She reached for a cheese and pineapple morsel, closed her eyes and took a tiny bite, the cheese clagging itself to the roof of her mouth, the pineapple tang making the back of her jaw tingle with the sweet, acidic bite she had barely thought of in years.

Suddenly, she was transported back in time to the 1970s, to laughter, to fun, to warmth and comfort, to when food was a joy and not a monster to be battled with every day.

‘One bite at a time,’ she thought, her therapist’s words echoing in her ears. ‘One bite at a time.’

 


And this time, thanks to Michael for inspiring me to take part in this prompt, hosted by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The initial prompt is the quote above, this week form Margaret Shepard, and then to provide more inspiration, we have a little tableaux of beautiful images to ponder as well.

I hope you enjoy my piece and do head on over to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie to read other contributions and… take part!

 

Special sauce

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“I like hats.”

That’s what Donald said the day before Sally was murdered..

It seemed like a totally random comment, unless you knew Donald, and indeed, unless you knew Sally. You see, she would never, ever, not in a million years, ever wear a hat. Don’t laugh, she often said she wouldn’t be seen dead in one. Which, unfortunately for her and her nearest and dearest, she was.

Artfully arranged on the kitchen floor of Mo’s Diner she was, looking so darned relaxed, even pretty, except for the pool of blackened blood that had turned sticky and gelatinous what with the heat blasting out from the grimy old range cooker and all. She’d been fixing up a Mexican chili when she had a slice taken right out of her. Shame. I’d have loved to dig in, but it was evidence, according to Officer Gonzalez. Yeah, right. Evidence of his expanding waste-line, the smear of tomato sauce at the side of his mouth and settling in the creases of his fat forefinger.

The hat, the offending accessory that Sally just couldn’t get past was one of those cloches, you know, like from the 1920s. It perfectly suited her short, graduated bob – the deep red of the felt set off the jet black sheen of her hair so darned well. Such a shame. She’d have owned that look, for sure.

Donald’s wife wore hats, but she didn’t suit them. And I knew that Donald was offended that his favourite women’s accessory made his wife look like a bulldog at a fancy dress party (my words, not his, but still, he was a sensitive and passionate man, so I reckon he’d have agreed with my assessment). I think that was the problem. Plus, Margaret had this habit of spitting. God alone knew why and how on earth they’d managed to get hitched and stay that way for so long.

Margaret’s brother Morgan on the other hand was elegance personified. And whilst I don’t think that Donald was that way inclined, I do remember his face softening in some kind of brotherly desire every time Morgan donned his fedora and tilted it to a jaunty angle. Such a dashing, beautiful man.

And I wanted him, so, so badly. Trouble was, Morgan wanted Sally, Sally wanted Donald, but he couldn’t get past the hat thing.

And Margaret knew that. And I owed her, big time. So, you know, the old switcheroo with the kitchen knives, it was easy enough to lay a trail straight back to Donald.

Margaret knew what Donald’s opinion was of her, she knew I’d swiped a few hundred from the tills, she knew I couldn’t bear to have Morgan find out I was nothing more than a common thief.

But you know what? Sticking a knife into Sally’s side felt kinda familiar. Like slicing brisket for her famous Mexican chili.

Officer Gonzalez really enjoyed that by the way. I wonder if it was the fine brisket, or the slice of Sally that set his tastebuds a-jangling?

Guess we’ll never know.

SoCS Feb 27/16 -food

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He drooled. He actually drooled.

There I was, minding my own business at my usual window seat in Mokka. Saturday morning (early, of course), this was my ritual. Large latte, pain au chocolat, a glass of water. Yes, I know, indulgent, but heck, I work hard all week. This is me time, before I head off into town, to pay bills, do the weekly shop and then return home to take Lizzy to hockey practice, collect Saul from choir practice, and dismally, if I’m lucky, sit down for ten minutes before preparing dinner. We all eat at different times now that the kids are somewhat independent. But most of my non-work life still revolves around them and their wants and needs.

But I digress. The boy was drooling. Watching every morsel and sip that passed my lips. At first, it was an annoyance, this close scrutiny. But then the fact that I was still wearing my scarf, even inside the coffee shop, that my super-insulated gloves were laid out neatly on the table and this little boy was only wearing a ratty old T-shirt and threadbare jogging trousers niggled at my conscience.

I made a quick detour to the counter and ventured outside. The little boy was trudging down the street in front of me.

“Hey!”

He turned round, his guilty look and the fear in his eyes haunted me.

“Sorry missus. Didn’t mean to…” He looked down, shuffling his feet.

I held out my hand. The triple pack of sandwiches balanced on my palm. “For you.”

He looked and frowned. “Don’t like cheese.”

I bit back the words. Ungrateful little sod! But no. He was only a boy, after all. A hungry, cold, little boy.

“Will ham do?”

“Yes, ta. Fanks.”

He wiped at his runny nose with his bare, skinny arm.  “And some chocolate? And a drink?”

We all need to survive, somehow.

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Here’s this week’s entry into Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Please head on over to Linda’s blog to read all the delicious creativity that can be found there. This week, it’s all about food! I love food, and it loves reminding me of its presence by clinging to my hips and tummy! So, I thought I’d take a look at those who aren’t lucky enough to enjoy it in the same way. I hope you enjoyed the read.

Thank you once again to Linda for creating this vibrant community!