Wednesday, October 31, 2012

100 Words a Day 87

It was a cupcake tasting. Each was bite-sized and ranged in quality from generic store brands up to artisanal.

She was able to tell the difference easily. The store brand cupcakes were dry and tasted of unfettered sugar. Even the sample sizes she ate didn’t sit well with her.

In contrast, the artisanal cupcakes lacked the same vulgar flavor. Their sugariness was sculpted. The tastes of the frosting blended perfectly with the cake and any toppings.

Her favorite was birthday cake flavored. The frosting tasted just like birthday cake ice cream and the cake itself had sprinkles baked into it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

100 Words a Day 86

Caprese salad was one of the better salads she decided, mulling the flavors. The fine olive oil mixed with the tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, creating a very palatable texture in her mouth. The three had a subtle flavor that contrasted with the basil and salt, which were bold by comparison.

After crunching the rock salt and chewing the other ingredients she swallowed. The mass of food was cooling in the summer heat. Aside from feeling generally cooler, the taste of the basil and mozzarella left her mouth feeling refreshed.

The next bite contained a kalamata olive. It was delightfully salty.

100 Words a Day 85

The Oreos were delicious. Well, they were at first. The chocolate was slightly crunchy and crumbly, mixing with the frosting as he chewed. The taste of each cookie was distinctly Oreo, a tasty mix of chocolate and sugar. That changed though.

He knew the one he just finished would be the best of the bag. He didn’t pause, reaching for another. He noticed the flavor was diminished as he chewed. Rather than making him want to stop eating, it drove him to eat more Oreos. He hoped each would recapture the deliciousness of the first cookie, but they did not.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

100 Words a Day 84

The first bite of the pickle was always the best. It was cool, crispy, and had a nice crunch. The texture of the seeds and the meat being mashed together was exquisite.

He smiled as he chewed. Brunch at the Jewish place always included pickles. That cool crunch of the initial bite was almost a flavor unto itself and he relished it as much as the salty crunching that followed.

Continuing to chew, he reflected that the Oreo Effect had a slower onset with pickles, which was good. The diminishing returns of the Oreo Effect ruined a lot of binges.

100 Words a Day 83

The beer was from the Midwest, so it had a distinct popcorn aftertaste. Consequently, it went well with the delicious popcorn he was eating. The beer was bubbly when it hit his tongue. The flavor wasn’t complex; it pretty much tasted like beer. The popcorn taste was subtle; one had to have a little experience with Midwest beers before it was noticeable, but then it became unmistakable.

That popcorn taste chased the beer, only manifesting after he had swallowed the brew. It made him smile, to know that he could taste a beer and know that it came from home.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

100 Words a Day 82

The flavor of the popcorn was lost on him. He continued to shovel it into his mouth anyway. His girlfriend convinced him to see this stupid scary movie. He forgot how.

He had been able to taste the popcorn at first; it wasn’t very flavorful. The butter gave it a rich, sickly taste that made his stomach churn a little. Now his stomach was churning for another reason; the movie was scary.

He ate the popcorn mechanically, frantically, hoping the tasteless fare would distract him long enough for the movie to end. He went on shoveling, chewing, and not tasting.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

100 Words a Day 81

The final bite of the meal was unusually sweet. The king couldn’t place the flavor. It wasn’t honey, sort of fruit, or anything he had tried from the New World. He chewed thoughtfully, turning the bite over in his mouth.

It was sweet, but it made his tongue tingle, a novel and pleasant sensation.­­ He continued to chew, savoring the final bite of a delicious meal, and decided he would have to commend the cook for a particularly exquisite dessert.

He was still pondering the flavor when his throat closed up and his eyes widened. Now he knew the taste.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

100 Words a Day 80

After ritual inspection of the wine she put the glass to her lips, taking an exploratory sip.

It was less tart and more smoky, but not as smoky as some she had tried. She could not determine the vintage as it rolled around her mouth, passing over her tongue. The flavor changed as the wine passed over her taste buds, and lingered after she swallowed. It settled pleasantly in her stomach.

A fruity taste wafted up her throat, gradually replacing the wine’s second taste. After saturating her mouth, she felt the fumes drift further upward and tickle her nose slightly.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

100 Words a Day 79

He mixed the white rice with the giardiniera peppers and put a forkful in his mouth. The rice was soft, and he didn’t notice the giardiniera as he chewed. The rice tasted sweet on his tongue. In contrast, the peppers were hot. They made his mouth tingle, but to him it was a pleasant sensation. The flavor and the sensation combined delightfully as he continued to chew.

When he swallowed, the sweet taste of the white rice disappeared. All that remained was the tingling spiciness of the giardiniera peppers. When his food hit his stomach, the peppers warmed it nicely.

100 Words a Day 78

The outside of the steak was delightfully crunchy. It was cooked in a pan, but that didn’t diminish the flavor. He could taste the rosemary, slightly burnt by the cooking process, as he chewed. The flavors: rosemary, salt, olive oil, combined with the texture of the meat, medium rare, as it should be, and made a delectable bite.

Each bite of the steak was delicious and he lamented when it was done. The taste lingered in his mouth. He spent the rest of the party reminiscing on the flavor; the taste of the steak juice and the rosemary he’d eaten.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

100 Words a Day 77

He bit into the ripe, red strawberry. It had a complex sweetness owing to the fact that he had sprinkled them with sugar. It was just a miserly amount, but it enhanced the flavor considerably.

The strawberries were on the cusp of spoiling and had no tartness to them, instead tasting a bit fermented.

As he mashed the berries with his teeth, the flavor continued to wash over his tongue. Finally he swallowed the mushy concoction, and felt refreshed.

He selected another strawberry from the bowl, red and ripe like the first and began eating it.

It wasn’t as good.

100 Words a Day 76

Sometimes you don’t realize what you have given up until long after it is gone.

 He learned that the moment he began chewing the rice. The soft grains shed their flavor as he ate: saffron, clams, shrimp, the list went on.

He had forgotten the feeling that place gave him. The food took him back there. The thought of what he had given up brought tears to his eyes.

He continued eating, savoring every bite. Now he could taste the chorizo; he could never get it like this at home. The flavor was unique, just the way he remembered it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

100 Words a Day 75

The small village was situated among the mountain peaks. It guarded the pass from east to west, but not on purpose. It was simply the best spot for a village. There was a convenient source of water and the land could be terraced for farming.

The villagers lived there in peace. While it was the only pass through the mountains for miles, it wasn’t an important one and people left the villagers to themselves.

For their part, the villagers were happy to be left alone. They lived simple lives, working in the fields and taking their ease with homemade wine.

100 Words a Day 74

The door creaked open on rusted hinges, causing the men to wince.

“Ah. The conservatory,” the first man said to the second.

“What’s that?”

“It is the place where things are hidden.”

The two men entered, padding across the room on robber feet, careful not to disturb anything.

“What exactly is hidden here?” the rear man asked.

“I don’t know, but we will find out.”

The men slunk to the far corner of the room and began running their fingers along the heavy stone that made up the wall.

A crash from the house drew their eyes to the door

The True Story of the Little Mermaid

As I swam lazily through the sapphire water, I reflected back on my life. I’d achieved many things: long swims across open ocean, dalliances with beautiful turtlesses, and a small home on an exotic beach. But those feats are but sand on the sea bottom compared to my greatest success, writing The Little Mermaid for Disney.

A lot of people think Ron Clements and John Musker wrote the story, and that’s sort of true. You see, I’m John Musker. At least, that’s my penname. I actually gave the original tale to Mr. Andersen, but that’s another story.

Ronnie and I were having some beers, discussing some pitches for Disney when Andersen came up. I don’t remember how. I suggested he do The Little Mermaid, to which he responded the ending was too sad.

“No problem,” I told him. “I can rewrite it, drop in a few contemporary characters, maybe some musical numbers, and there we go.”

“The studio won’t take it without a name on it,” he told me.

“So put your name on it too. I’m a turtle. What would I do with the money anyways?”

We worked out a few more details and before long, it was approved and underway. The project ran into a few snags here and there, but ultimately the addition of Sebastian and the Caribbean music, at the suggestion of Howard Ashman, really tied the whole thing together. 

100 Words a Day 73

She planted the first rambling rose bush for her son and the second for her daughter. All four grew fast. She shaped her children much the same way she shaped the bushes, but without shears.

That changed today. Her children were off to their first year of college; she was moving.

She watched them pile into their friend’s car from the porch, next to the bushes, tears in her eyes.

Pulling into the driveway of her new house; she noticed there were two empty spots on either side of the porch, matching the two empty spots in the back seat.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

100 Words a Day: Guest Post

Today's guest post is by J.P. who describes himself as a part-time author and full-time awesome.

She was late. But that was OK. You wouldn't mind waiting a little longer. The cafe was warm, its interior glowing with the kind of cozy light that only a rainy evening can produce. You could feel, more than hear, the roar of the raindrops, like a hundred master pianists running their fingers across the shingles of the roof. You knew the light from the door, and the single low window of the cafe, was leaking softly from its confines, illuminating the slick cobblestones and providing some evidence of life to the slumped passerby in the little side alley outside.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

100 Words a Day 72

The pair stepped out into the bright Chicago night.

Inhaling deeply and smiling, Chris turned to his coworker:

“There’s nothing quite as marvelous as a pleasant night in downtown Chicago.”

The two waited for the bus. The breeze brushed their shoulders as they stood, watching the bright lights of passing cars mingle with the starlight. Well-dressed people passed them without noticing the pair, on their way home from work or shopping. Blue and red lights flashed down Michigan Avenue, but the sound of the police siren blended seamlessly into the melody of the city night.

“What a town,” Chris said.

Monday, October 15, 2012

100 Words a Day 71

The rough men hoisted the corpse on a rope. They left it dangling on a branch, hanging over their campfire, buffeted by rising laughter. It swayed in the darkness and flickering flame, as though the dead man’s shade hovered over their celebration, unable to escape their gloating. The laughter turned to singing and the men began to dance, lifting their steins into the air, saluting the swaying carcass.

The young recruit lifted his mug, but it trembled. He felt the gaze of the corpse, creaking in the tree, fall upon him. It was a gaze full of revenge; he thought.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

100 Words a Day 70

Chris really was in hot water this time, quite literally. The natives who had captured the great explorer had him tied up and in a large pot; apparently he was going to be the main course.

Oddly enough, there was another man in a pot next to him, also in the process of being boiled alive. Unlike Chris though, he was a native.

Chris had been amazed to find these people practiced cannibalism, morally repugnant as it was, but his shocked when they selected a member of their own tribe, probably related to everyone in the camp, to be cooked.

100 Words a Day 69

The big, blue bus was crowded and everyone on it was an big idiot. No one moved to the back, which was empty, as they boarded. Instead they stood near the door so the long line of people behind them couldn’t get on the bus. The fat bus driver was nearly having a fit trying to get people to move to the back. They were worse than sheep, because at least sheep can be herded. It wasn’t that they were malicious; it was that they were more like camels, obstinate and smelly, and really in need of a good punching. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

100 Words a Day 68

The speaker was droning on, endlessly. John couldn’t even remember what he was talking about. The meeting had started hours ago and showed no signs of ending. The lights were dim so it was easier to see the image being projected on the whiteboard, but they also made John drowsy.

A quick glance around showed several other people with droopy eyes.

That wasn’t the worst of it. It was hot too. He was just on the verge of sweating and falling asleep. A check of his watch told him that less than a minute had passed since the last check.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

100 Words a Day 67

Everything was ready. His shirt and pants were pressed, his tie straight, his hair combed. After taking one last look in the mirror he strolled out the door, grabbing the rose he’d bought earlier that day.

The spring air was fresh, but pleasantly warm. He opened up his lungs, taking in as much air as he could, and smiled as he exhaled. Elated, he continued down the block.

He arrived at the corner before her. He waited under the streetlamp expectantly.

The first sign of her presence was her perfume. He turned around and she was there. She was beautiful.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

100 Words a Day 66

He didn't remember the pain, or the ride in the ambulance. People told him he had been talking the whole time. He didn't remember anything before waking up later that night.

Truth be told, any amount of physical pain would have been preferable to what he was feeling now.

He was a cripple. His dreams were lying back at the scene of the accident, mixing with his blood as the two were washed away by the rain.

Any dreams that were left streamed down his cheeks. His tears ran through his mangled hands, and landed on his coarse hospital blanket.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

100 Words a Day 65

He jumped as the twig snapped. Turning quickly he peered across the campfire into the darkness. Realizing his mistake, he swore softly and turned from the fire but it was too late.

He looked out beyond his small camp; all he could see was darkness. His night vision had been spoiled by looking at the light.

He tried to use his ears to hear the movement of whatever had broken the twig, but all he could hear was his own heartbeat.

He thought he heard the crackling of dry leaves and turned, hoping to locate the source of the noise.

Monday, October 8, 2012

100 Words a Day 64

The building had a large neon sign, Abbot Hotel, flickering in pink. The exterior was dirty. It looked as though it had been built fifty years ago and never cleaned. Parts of the corners had cracked off and the windows were unclean. A lonely air conditioning unit sagged from a window near the top floor. Through the glass entrance doors, a strange, greasy man could be seen sitting behind the concierge desk.

If all that wasn’t unsettling enough, it was across the street from a church. It was large, built in the gothic style, full of gargoyles and imagined horrors.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

100 Words a Day 63

Michael sent the pizza dough spinning over his head. It was a little lopsided, so its spin was irregular, causing it to stretch unevenly. He frowned as it came back down, landing unceremoniously on the table. He grudgingly reached for his rolling pin.

“If only the damn refrigerator hadn’t broken,” he muttered to himself.

That was the problem. The refrigerator had broken so he had been forced to store the dough in an ice chest, making it too cold. Taking it out an hour early was not sufficient to allow it to soften sufficiently, making it hard to work with.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

100 Words a Day 62

The dead snake’s stomach contents lay in a mess, the half-digested remains of a mouse among them.

“Now the eggs I guess.”

“Yeah,” the other mouse said, gripping his hammer and walking towards the nest.

There were a dozen eggs and they mice smashed them all.

The embryotic fluid mixed with the dirt the mice had accumulated climbing the steep walls to the nest, leaving them sticky and dirty. They panted from the exertion of smashing the shells, but were rewarded by the sight of the dead, half-formed snaklings that would never grow up and threaten travelers on the road.

Friday, October 5, 2012

100 Words a Day 61

The tea was delicious. Josh always drank iced tea at the Brunch N Punch. It was his Sunday ritual, have a tea and brunch while watching the amateur boxing matches. The matches were always in the morning. People arrived for brunch and stay the whole afternoon to watch the fights. It was something of a community, strange, but close knit. It had grown in recently, after Danny “The Hammer” went pro and credited his fights here to making him such a well-rounded fighter. Josh remembered watching him getting the piss beaten out of him while drinking the same great tea.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

100 Words a Day 60

The sound of the duct tape was comforting. The feel of it coming off the roll was reassuring, like shaking hands with an old friend. He wrapped it around the unconscious man’s mouth, an action as familiar as tying the laces on his favorite pair of shoes. After that, he duct taped the man’s hands and feet together while humming a little ditty. His sunshine demeanor contrasted with their subterranean surroundings. The man, bloody and beaten, was lying on the cold cement. Despite the presence of his familiar friend, the duct tape, the new surroundings made him uncomfortable, and mad.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

100 Words a Day 59

The red curtains were too long for the height of the white ceiling, but they had neither the money nor knowhow to shorten them. That was okay though, they didn’t really care either. They’d gotten them for cheap when their neighbor moved. They thought the curtains went with their walls, which were blue. The curtains, despite being cheap, had a sort of, shimmery quality to them. They liked that. They were striking when compared to the rest of the apartment. It had hardwood floors that went well with the curtains and the walls. The whole place fit together unexpectedly well.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

100 Words a Day 58

The snake slithered silently through the soft sward. Its tongue flicked out as it glided along, tracking a mouse. The blades of grass rippled as the snake passed between them, indistinguishable from the ripples created by the soft breeze. As it neared the mouse, the snake could smell the seeds it was gathering. Without a thought it slowed and crept forward, as much as a snake can creep, in silence. It froze when it smelled the mouse within striking distance, collapsing itself slightly in preparation to spring. The mouse was oblivious, continuing to gnaw at the seed in its mouth.

Monday, October 1, 2012

100 Words a Day 57

“Did you see the video of the octopus? It steals a bait canister!”

“Okay? What’s the big deal?”

“Dude, it unclips three freakin’ things and steals this bait canister.”

“Again, who cares?”

“It does it while holding a small shark away from the food. It’s awesome!”

“Okay, so there’s a video of a genius octopus taking some food.”

“It’s not a genius octopus. That’s what’s so crazy. It’s a regular octopus.”

“Still not convinced.”

“Mark my words. You have just witnessed the first event that will lead to the conquest of the world by the octopi nation. Just you wait.”