Comfort Food

Charli Mills’ May 4th Flash Fiction Challenge was to write a story in 99 words (no more, no less) about comfort food. How can this familiarity influence a story or character? Is it something unusual like Twinkies from the 1970’s? Or is it something from home, from another place or time? As always, she suggests we go where the prompt leads us.

Last year, Carrie and her very wise Granny were characters of a 99 word story I’d written about a catastrophic chocolate cake recipe. It seemed to me these two may know a thing or two about the prompted subject so I invited them back to star in this week’s flash fiction.

For additional inspiration, I decided to ask the staff at the physiotherapy clinic I was at this afternoon, what was their favorite comfort food. Not only did they respond, we even engaged all the patients and people started calling out their favorites. The office was happy (and hungry) by the time I left. Here are some of the treasured foods they vocalized: grilled cheese sandwiches, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, sheppard’s pie, fettuccini, stew, French fries, lasagna, chicken soup and pizza (everyone’s favorite) to chocolate ice cream, pancakes, Oreo cookies, apple pie and hot gooey cinnamon buns.

So without further ado, here are Carrie and her enlightened Granny with their say on the subject of comfort food.

***

Carrie sank deeper into the armchair and sighed. “Granny, being here feels like a heaping bowl o’ comfort food. Why is that? ”

Granny sipped her tea and smiled knowingly.

“The recipe is quite simple really. I’ll teach it to you. You take a heap of patience, a gallon of understanding and an armful of hugs. Add large cozy chairs, soft cuddly comforters and freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Mix it all with a load of love, a dash of faith and barrels of laughter. Stir in kindness, hope and forgiveness. And your home becomes comfort food for the soul.”

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The Hope Chest

Martha side-steps her way past the busy work tables toward the back of the wood-shop. “Tom, where are you? Tom!”   

“Mom, you’re early.”  

“I know, but we gotta go. Pew, it smells in here,” says Martha brushing sawdust from her sleeves.

“That’s the tung oil wood finish reacting with maple. It’ll dissipate. Wanna see what I made?”

“Maybe next time,” and Martha suddenly gasps when she sees the exquisite hope chest with birds, hearts and the word ‘MOM’ engraved on the lid.

“Tom?”

 “It’s something for you to store your hopes in Mom, so you won’t ever lose them.”

***

I wrote this in response to Charli Mill’s April 27th Flash Fiction Challenge. In 99 words (not more, not less) write a story that includes oil. As always, she suggests we go where the prompt leads us.

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