Monday, 10 May 2010
FFF#31 'Chef's Special'
Cormac Brown chose five words (Batch, Catch, Latch, Patch and Coriander) for this week's Friday Flash Fiction challenge. Our mission was to incorporate them, in any order, to create a story.
Here's my offering :
Megan’s wrist became the pivot of her existence for a few brief moments, her fingers locked around the wooden spoon, directing its repeated circumnavigations of the pan. The fragrance of coriander wafting up on the trails of rising steam was lost on her olfactory senses – her mind elsewhere, contemplating other issues.
Just another normal day. She gazed beyond the small window to the world outside. The sun was shining, the sky an unbelievable blue canopy punctuated by the efflorescence of green on budding twigs that suggested Spring was on its way.
Just another normal Thursday morning; preparing for the lunchtime rush.
Life goes on, she thought. Keep moving, keep going. More coriander.
Mustn’t let the soup catch on the bottom of the pan. Damn him. Turn the heat down. What’s the point? One last twist of the wrist; set the spoon down.
Walk to the pantry, lift the latch. Why did he have to go and leave her? Remind Penny to check off the stock for re-ordering.
Organic veggies. That had been his new idea. That would turn the business round. Grow our own, he’d said. Hadn’t lasted long. They’d found him face down in the earth, in the carrot patch. Heart attack.
She closed the door and wandered back out into the kitchen, grabbing the marker pen to write up the ‘Specials’ menu. “Soup of the day – Carrot and Coriander”. A tear sequestered itself at the corner of her eye. Carrots. She wouldn’t be making it anymore; this would be the last batch. Too many memories.
She wandered back to the stove and checked the pan; talked and walked herself through the procedures, mentally ticking off all the chores. A normal day. Keep it normal, leave no clues. Switch off the heat. Wipe the counter. Don’t leave a mess.
A final check. Menus printed, tables laid. Penny would be arriving to open up properly in half an hour.
She walked back through the door marked ‘Private’ and heard the lock snap on the catch. Done. Finished. Climb the stairs. Close the door. Shut out the world.
The tablets weren’t so hard to swallow. Looking at the handful before her she hoped she’d kept back enough.
She wondered if the soup needed more coriander. Just a hint. Take away the odd taste. Would anyone notice?
Of course they’d notice. Too late, though.
Just another day. Another normal day.
But not for her.