So, here’s my short story about a meal and I hope it’s worth reading!
Swirls of yellow grease trailed behind Jenny’s spoon as she trawled through the lamb stew, searching for something that looked vaguely edible.
“Stop playing with your food, Child!” snapped Aunt Sophie, “hasn’t your mother ever told you it’s bad manners?”
“Sorry, Aunt. I’m not feeling too well…” said Jenny, hopeful that she’d be excused.
“Well, eat up. There’s nothing of you, Child. No wonder you’re so peaky.”
Jenny sighed. There would be no escape from the lamb stew.
Lamb spew, she thought with disgust.
When Mother had delivered her at Aunt Sophie’s an hour ago, the house was redolent with the smell of cooking. Not like the delicious aromas that filled Mother’s kitchen. No, this was the stink of cheap ingredients being boiled to oblivion – and beyond.
“I’ll be as fast as I can,” Mother had whispered when she kissed Jenny goodbye.
Hurry up, please! thought Jenny.
A piece of potato stood above the gravy, like a volcano rising out of the sea. She couldn’t imagine how it had retained its shape after being stewed to submission. Certainly most of the other vegetables had turned to an unrecognisable mush – their colour and consistency having leached away. Jenny fished out the potato lump and held it against the side of the bowl to allow the grease to slide back into the gravy. She placed it gingerly in her mouth where it spontaneously collapsed to an oily, texture-less sludge and she swallowed quickly, fighting the urge to gag.
The more she moved her spoon through the gravy, the more the vegetables disintegrated into an amorphous, grey slop. She hadn’t considered the similarity between the two words ‘Grey’ and ‘Gravy’ before, but now, she stared into the ‘Grey-vy’, wondering how much longer she could just move it about before Aunt Sophie got cross.
A piece of meat bobbed to the surface and Jenny scooped it up in her spoon. Like the gravy, it too, was grey, with a knobbly vein of gristle running through it and she buried it quickly beneath the sludge.
“Come on, Child. What is the matter with you? There’ll be no dessert unless you eat up every scrap of your lunch.”
Well, there was a silver lining, Jenny decided. At least she wouldn’t have to eat the glutinous, frog spawn-like tapioca pudding she spotted earlier in the kitchen.
If you liked that, you might like to read some other stories, which you can find here.
Or you might like my ebook ‘Daffodil and the Thin Place’, available from Muse It Up Publishing, which you can find here.
To find out what the other Muse It Up authors wrote, click here to go to the Muse It Up Sunday Musings.