I finished this short story a few days ago (in a notebook with a pen - specifically a fine point pen, because they're so much nicer to write with) and it just took a while to get it polished up enough for the blog. I'll be showing it to my writer's group next week which will mean even more changes and hopefully it will be my next submission - and the winning submission I hope - for an upcoming flash fiction contest. Please share your thoughts on the blog, or with a private message/email. Thank you as always for your support!
"Honey, are you sure you're feeling okay?"
"YES. Why do you keep asking?"
"Oh...no reason really...you just don't seem yourself."
...furnace kicks in with a whirrr...
....plip...plop...the faucet must be leaking again...
The same conversation that always leaves the room feeling large and empty. I imagine that most couples start the day with a good morning kiss or enduring exchange. We did in the beginning.
I wanted to ask Phil more questions but that always resulted in a fight. I may as well get back to things in my world and stop fretting about him and my suspicions that he was having an affair.
2 1/2 Cups of flour
1 Cup of butter (unsalted & cut into 1/2" cubes)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6-8 Tablespoons of ice water
The rolling pin had originally been a gift from Father to Mother. I helped him pick it out the Christmas I turned eight. Heavy marble with wooden handles. We bought the wooden stand to hold it in. It was too lovely to toss in a drawer and it matched the marble canisters, cutting board, and other kitchen accessories we bought Mother the year before. I had been so proud when she passed the rolling pin on to me. I felt like an accomplished chef with the cool weight of it in my hands - rolling my pie crusts rhythmically as familiar Christmas tunes played on the iPod.
This was the first Thanksgiving in a long time that we were hosting. Our children wouldn't be coming, but Phillip's large family would fill the table. I love cooking for his family. No one watches their diet or asks me to skimp on butter, sugar, or salt. For some families, six pies for nine people might be a waste. I was confident Phillip's Dad would set the example with one slice of pumpkin and a slice of apple (and possibly a slice of cherry after a little after dinner nap). Last week I dropped off a mince meat pie and he ate it in a single day - at least someone appreciated my baking and love of the kitchen.
"I'm headed out for a run. Did you want to come dear?"
"Phillip. Really? I run only if being chased by something larger than myself."
He muttered something about not living in Africa (in reference to my ample thighs and round middle). it had been years since he called me an elephant, but it was obviously still his issue. He smiled as if I hadn't heard.
"Well - I'm off. Enjoy your pastry."
I smiled despite the insult. His insults should hurt, but I enjoy being a size 18 and my weight has never bothered me a bit. In spite, I popped one of the butter cubes in my mouth enjoying the temperature, texture, and flavor of the pure creamy substance.
"It smells amazing in here Savannah! What are you making today?" inquired my neighbor Cathy as she tucked her feet under herself and settled into the love seat for our weekly chat.
"Thank you. The answer is...Pies! Lots and lots of pies! I have pumpkin, cherry, apple, and sour cream with raisin. You'll take one home, won't you love?"
"I really shouldn't. I'm still seeing the mystery man I told you about and he's a health nut."
"I know that story all too well. You're tiny though Cath. Certainly he can't think YOU are fat?"
"That's the thing - he talks about how amazing my body is but he's always comparing this relationship to his failed marriage. He says his wife had a hard body and she let herself get disgusting. It worries me that he's too obsessed with size."
"Have you seen any pictures of her?"
"No. I asked though. He said she went from being my size to being larger than - oh what's her name? That celebrity on Cheers who has the pretty face?"
"That's it! What size do you think she is anyway?"
"She's got to be my size, like an 18 or so...I wouldn't say she's disgusting."
"Me either. He never says the word 'fat' but he refers to her as being slightly smaller than an African Elephant. I can't imagine calling someone you love an elephant."
"Savannah, what's wrong?"
"Nothing Cathy. I'm sure you're right, you probably should skip the pie."