‘Make jam,’ they said. ‘It’ll be fun,’ they said. ‘You’ll be so relaxed!’
They were wrong.
It was nice at first, I’ll admit. Handing in my notice was liberating. Telling people I was starting my own business was thrilling. And there was something soothing about knowing that, every morning without fail, I would wake up with the sole purpose of making and selling jam out of my own kitchen. No ghastly 7 a.m. commute. No soulless office block and squint-inducing computer screen glare. No staff room politics or having to eat dried-up sandwiches out of a Tupperware. Instead, it was just me and the jam and the radio.
Me and the jam and the radio. Me and the radio and the jam. The jam and the radio and me. That’s it.
That, and a house that smells like stewed fruit 24 hours a day. And throbbing little burns all over my hands and arms where my skin has been bitten by bubbling fruit and sugar. A garage packed to the rafters with empty jars because it was cheaper to buy them in bulk and I was oh-so enthusiastic when this whole shit show kicked off. And all the measuring and the pouring and the stirring and the sterilising and the jarring and the labelling, day after day after day until my mind is so deadened that I could happily jump into a scorching hot vat of summer fruits and sugar and end it all…
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The noodles writhe in the bowl like worms. Jeb blinks at them repeatedly, wondering if it’s his eyes playing tricks on him.
“Hunger does funny things to our brains,” mutters the old woman from her armchair. “Eat up, lad. It’s delicious.”
It was hunger that had driven him towards the cottage. Hunger which had forced his knuckles to rap on the front door. Hunger which had made him ask for some scraps. Hunger had which pushed him into the home of a stranger despite his gut squeezing and churning in objection.
Jeb smiles at the old woman, who eagerly shovels noodles from her own bowl into her mouth.
Hunger had already done some daft things. Not much of a surprise, then, that it could make a benign bowl of noodles wriggle like a mound of worms…
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Dear Lost Forks,
I’d like to begin by thanking you for your vital, if short-lived, service. Over the past few months, you have done important work in aid of my taste buds and my stomach. You helped me to shovel pasta into my mouth at a rate that is almost superhuman. You allowed me to mash avocado onto toast so beautifully that my Instagram followers were driven wild. You even helped me to tackle the ring pulls on my Diet Cokes when I was afraid of breaking a nail, a task that is far beyond your intended role.
I know that I haven’t always been kind. Many a time I woke you from your slumber in the cutlery drawer, only for you to lay idle beside my plate as I threw my manners out the window and ate my food with my hands. You didn’t pass judgement on this lewd behaviour of mine, even when I ate so viciously that you were splattered with sauce and crumbs like mere placemats. Following this, and to my shame, I would simply mark you as ‘unused’ and replace you, unwashed, in the cutlery drawer.
Without a doubt, it is antics of this nature which have forced you to leave without saying goodbye…
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Yeah, I’m writing on Medium! I’m hoping to post one new post -either fiction or silly non-fiction such as this – each week, so be sure to Follow me if you’re a Medium member. I’m looking forward to connecting with more people over there, too, so let me know if you’re a Medium writer.
“The soup’s too thin!” the head chef squawked, over and over until the junior chef thought she could take it no more.
She’d done her best. She’d tried to reduce it. She’d tried adding cornflour. She’d tried dolloping in cream. And still the meat soup didn’t live up to the head chef’s standards. Continue reading “Soup | Microfiction”
“I’m the most vital ingredient in this dish.”
“Rubbish!” cried Tom. “I’m a beef tomato. Like, the king of tomatoes.”
“You’re just the fat tomato,” sneered Moz, “that’s all. Meanwhile, I’m buffalo mozzarella. Buffalo beats cow any day.” Continue reading “Food Poisoning | Microfiction”
John lets himself through his front door, tosses his key on the hallway table, and nudges the door shut behind him with his heel.
“I’m back!” he yells into the house.
His wife’s head pops out of the living room doorway. She screams. Continue reading “Just Popped Out | Flash Fiction”
“Stop running around like a blue-arsed fly and sit down on the blanket!”
The child froze, then turned to his mother and pouted. “But I’m bored.”
“I’m bored of your whinging.”
“But I’m hungry.”
“So sit on the blanket and eat some berries.” His mother raised her brows to let the child know that there would be dire consequences if he disobeyed. Continue reading “Today’s The Day”
“So, we’ve tenderized the meat, we’ve smothered it in a delicious coating of egg, flour, and breadcrumbs – seasoned to perfection, I might add – so what’s next?”
The audience remained quiet. The chef waited a few moments to allow them to marinate in their own silence, hoping they would realise how disrespectful they were being. Continue reading “Schnitzel”