Friday, November 30, 2012

100 Words a Day 113

He swiped his debit card in the reader and pulled on the door handle. Nothing happened. Sighing in frustration he tried it again. When it didn’t work, he realized that the card reader required an unintuitive card position.

He didn’t understand that. Why were all the other readers set up one way, then the one used to access ATM doors was set up a different way?

He didn’t give it much thought beyond that though. He was thinking about what he was going to do with the money he took out. It was a Friday and he’d just gotten paid.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

100 Words a Day 112

The first snow of the year had fallen the night before. I was on the late shift; so I saw it snowing when I went to bed. I slept most of the day, getting up again to work the graveyard. I girded for battle with the howling winds and frigid temperatures, and do battle with them I did.

Only my eyes were exposed, and they ached from the moment I stepped outside. I shivered despite my layers, all the way to the bus stop, where I was greeted there by a small, warm piece of happiness. Someone built a snowman.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

100 Words a Day 111

A string of explosive coughs wracked his body, causing him to sit up and double over. Eventually he was able to draw in a shallow, ragged breath; anything more caused tightness in his chest. He exhaled and lay back down, resting his back against the soft pillows his mother had put behind him.

He tried to relax, but breathing hurt his raw throat and nasal passages. Closing his eyes, he imagined himself on a beach. It was warm and sunny, but he was in the shade. Birdsong wandered out from the jungle behind him. It was pleasant on his ear.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

100 Words a Day 110

The storm tossed the ship all about. The sailors hurried to furl the canvas, climbing the rigging with practiced ease, despite the wrath of the storm. They could feel the ship creak, but the noise was lost in the howling wind.

Jack made sure his knife was secured before ascending the ropes. Stories always had sailors holding the knife in their teeth. That was a great way to lose it, possibly in someone’s skull, but more likely over the side.

He wrapped his legs around the mast and began hauling the sail up. His fellow sailors were doing the same.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

100 Words a Day 109

He rushed into the courtyard and saw her sitting by the pond. He felt a sense of relief, but that was sluiced away as she turned him and he saw her face. It was running down her face like viscous, skin-colored mud. In place of eyes she had to black holes, and in place of her mouth was nothing but drippy flesh.

He could tell, despite her lack of a mouth, that she was smiling at him. It wasn’t a happy smile; it was superior, as though she had gotten the better of him. As he watched she continued melting.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

100 Words a Day 108

It was a great hardship when the horse ran away and very fortuitous when it came back with several other horses, one of which was a champion racer. His son was able to win a big race, which was good. He fell off in the next race though, and broke his leg, which was bad.

The son was unable to work in the fields while he healed and it was a great hardship for the rest of the family. A military press gang came through town and took the able-bodied young men, but they left the boy. He couldn’t march.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

100 Words a Day 107

George asked himself why he was spared when the guy behind him in line died.

There was no rhyme or reason to it. He happened to be first in line, but he could have easily been second.

It wasn’t fair. Why should somebody die just because George rushed to be the first in line that day? He had pushed past a troop of children for goodness sake! He shoved a bunch of kids out of the way and some guy died for it.

George sat on the stoop making mournful noises. He wished he’d never heard of the presidential pardon.

100 Words a Day 106

“Well, I guess Twinkies are gone forever,” Eric said with a sigh

“What?” Drew asked.

“Didn’t you see? Hostess went under.”

“No, but that makes no sense. Someone else will buy the rights to the products.”

“What if they don’t?” Eric asked, his voice saturated with concern and his eyes wide.

“Well, then I guess that’s what happens when everyone wants to make more on a product, spend less on a product, and the product doesn’t make enough money.” Drew said with a shrug.

“I’d better go buy some Twinkies,” Eric said, wringing his hands, “I need one last one.”

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

100 Words a Day 105

He lay completely still under the bush. Around him he could hear the strange, metallic communication of the robots hunting him. They reminded him of that droid that talked to C3PO right before he got shot in Empire.

That was a strange thought to have in a situation where he could easily be killed.

The robots continued to searching, metal feet creaking through the underbrush. He saw the feet of one of the constructs walking towards his bush; it had a single, wicked point at the end of its foot instead of toes. He tried backing further into the bush.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

100 Words a Day 104

He couldn’t remember how many drinks he’d had. That was good. He was on his way to forgetting her. She’d left him for a country far away. He couldn’t blame her, everyone had their priorities. If she had picked him, she wouldn’t have been happy. He wanted her to be happy.

Well, he usually did. Right now he wanted her to be there to help him to bed and take care of him when he had a hangover tomorrow. He drank more, that the pain in his head would exceed the one in his heart. It would help him forget.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

100 Words a Day 103

The traffic went on forever. Stan was bouncing with energy, barely contained by his seatbelt.

“Are we almost there?”

“I don’t know, baby. There’s a lot of traffic and it isn’t moving very fast.”

“But are we almost there?”

Stan’s mom sighed, “I don’t know, Stan.”

The car was hot, the air stagnant. The only thing moving was Stan. He was shaking with excitement and impatience.

“Mom, we aren’t going to make it! We’re going to miss the circus,” he cried.

Stan’s mom wiped a bead of sweat off her brow, “I’m sure we’ll make it.”

Stan’s expression was dubious.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

100 Words a Day 102

The TV channels changed under the absentminded command of his thumb. It was mostly infomercials he had already seen the previous night.

There was an empty six pack of 312 on the coffee table. That wasn’t helping either. It just made him stumble to the bathroom every few minutes. He picked up the last bottle of beer and shook it, determining there was none left.

The beer had actually made him warmer and that had made things worse. He was too hot to sleep now, despite the valiant efforts of his fan. So he sat there in his own sweat.

100 Words a Day 101

The bookshelf was tall and black. Its height and color were its only distinguishing features. There really was not anything special about it. There isn’t anything special about most bookshelves if you think about it.

It’s the contents of bookshelves that are valuable. This particular bookshelf contained the treasured tomes of one reader, a unique collection of books kept on the most generic of storage units.

The contents of the shelf could roughly be described as adventure books. There were classics like 20,000 Leagues and Captain Blood next to contemporary books like Dragons of Autumn’s Twilight and Dies the Fire.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

100 Words a Day 100

He bit into the pesto-cheese garlic bread. It was as delicious as he remembered. No one made garlic bread like Village Pizzeria. The cheese was warm and its flavor blended marvelously with the pesto and garlic.

The pesto was the most intense he had ever tasted. It had been the first pesto he had ever tasted, and all other pestos had failed to measure up since. It was loaded with flavor and the texture was perfect.

As he chewed, he lamented that he wouldn’t have the bread again for a whole year. It made the food taste all the sweeter.

100 Words a Day 99

The spinach was delicious. It was soft, but not mushy, having been cooked correctly. The garlic sauce that had been added to it was excellent, blending scrumptiously with the steamed green.

As he chewed he noticed, as always, that the spinach left his teeth feeling particularly smooth. He wasn’t sure why this happened. It was only with spinach. His mother experienced the opposite, her teeth always felt sandy after eating spinach.

He ran his tongue over his teeth, reveling in the smooth sensation. His grandmother said spinach wore your teeth down somehow. That made very little sense to the boy.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

100 Words a Day 98

The bottle of carbonated water opened with a sharp, short hiss. The condensation on the bottle was chilly, as cold as the water that poured out of the bottle after he brought it to his lips. The water flowed over his tongue, leaving cool relief as it went down his throat. Rehydrated, the inside of his mouth felt dry by comparison. He pursed reflexively, trying to spread the remnants of the water around his cheeks before taking another sip.

This sip he swished around his mouth, closing his eyes in relief. The bubbles left a harsh aftertaste in his mouth.

100 Words a Day 97

Her whole life her father bought generic red apples. Consequently, she never liked apples. They weren’t juicy and lacked flavor. Worse, they were mealy and not enjoyable to chew. On a lark she bought an apple from a fruit stand.

She could hardly believe it was an apple. As she chewed it to mush, she tasted the sweet fruit juice. The flavor was intense, but not cloying like artificially sweetened things. It quenched her thirst, instead of making her thirstier as the cheap apples had. The swallowed bite left a light, refreshed feeling in her mouth and a pleasant aftertaste.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

100 Words a Day 96

It is often said the key to good pizza is crust. I could not agree more. Pizza with a hard crust makes finishing a chore. Generally a too hard crust is also tasteless, and possibly crumbly, which defeat the point of eating or create an annoying mess. A too soft crust also has disastrous consequences for the eating experience. Adjectives like soggy and chewy come to mind.

A good crust should be hard enough to bite, but moist enough that is doesn’t crumble like old brick. A crust in that Goldilocks zone puts a delightful cap on the pizza experience. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

100 Words a Day 95

The chef began chewing slowly. He turned the food over in his mouth, letting the sauce and spices touch each part of his tongue. He analyzed the tastes with practiced skill. He exhaled a little, to get the smell of the food.

Some of the flavors were simple. Rosemary was easy to detect. It was the first thing the chef found. Its pungent odor and bold flavor stood out from the rest of the food.

He felt a slight puckering of his cheeks. He recognized it as lemon.

With two flavors identified, he had a framework to ascertain the others.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

100 Words a Day 94

He had been thirsty, sort of, so he ate the ice cream in the fridge. If he had known it was lemon he would not have bothered. He ate the ice cream voraciously initially, and he briefly felt better. Any feeling of satiety was quickly overshadowed by returning thirst. The ice cream dried his lips and tongue, compelling him to eat more.

The lemon flavor caused him to pucker as he continued eating. It felt as though the water was being squeezed out of his mouth, making him increasingly uncomfortable. His lips became dry and eating the ice cream uncomfortable.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

100 Words a Day 93

She had anticipated this moment all year, when she would sit down at In-n-Out and enjoy a delicious, delectable, and delightful hamburger. The burgers in Cleveland were okay, but they were no In-n-Out. They weren’t as juicy; they didn’t taste like home.

She took a slow bite of her burger, savoring the texture and anticipating how tasty the whole experience was going to be. After a moment she stopped, assessed the taste of the burger and realized it wasn’t how she remembered it. She swallowed then took another bite and, frowning, came to a decision. It just wasn’t that good.

100 Words a Day 92

A lot of people spit out the seeds of pomegranates, he never understood why. Sure the meat of the pomegranate was tart and sweet. It was a juicy fruit, in a way. His favorite part of the fruit was definitely the seeds. They were great to chew, like nature’s gum. You could chew them forever. Detractors of seeds said it was like cud, but cows are sacred in India and pomegranate seeds are delicious everywhere.

He felt that a true connoisseur didn’t mind eating the webby stuff that separated the seeds into chambers of sorts. It was an acquired taste.

Monday, November 5, 2012

100 Words a Day 91

Some people talk about the addictiveness of sugary drinks, or spicy Cheetos, but he couldn’t get enough olives. Delightfully salty, the olive was what he turned to after a hard day. He ate them one by one, chewing slowly and savoring the way it made his taste buds fire. The experience went beyond taste; it was like having his brain massaged.

They caused a slight puckering of his lips and curling in his tongue, like a lemon, but better. It was a sensation that nothing else replicated exactly, or made pleasurably. He found olives addictive, but society did not care.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

100 Words a Day 90

He raised the glass to his lips and drank deeply of the cold water. It passed through his mouth and down his throat, rinsing away the dust of the road. He reflected that the flavor of cold water was indescribable but the feeling was unforgettable. Taking the glass from his lips, he let out a satisfied Ah.

The cold water left his mouth feeling cool and cleansed, free of the sour taste of uncleaned teeth, however briefly. The cool feeling was mirrored in the pit of his stomach and slowly radiating throughout his body. He took another pull of water.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

100 Words a Day 89

She could taste the ocean in the clams. She realized how cliché that sounded, but it was the truth. She didn’t mind that she would get an occasional grain of sand with her bivalve; it let you know they really came out of the water.

The clams were salty. They were cooked with onions, garlic, and tomatoes, which softened the salt water taste and added a contrasting texture that she thoroughly enjoyed. It was easy to overcook this particular clam dish, which left the clams rubbery and somehow ruined their natural flavor, but done correctly they were soft and succulent.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

100 Words a Day 88

There are two types of pears I have encountered.

The first is the worst. This pear is largely flavorless and crunchy. Biting into it is akin to biting into Styrofoam. Like Styrofoam, the crunchy pear lacks anything resembling sugary delight. That this type of pear is even called a fruit is baffling.

The second is the best. This pear is soft and juicy. When you bite into it, the juices flow liberally, delighting the eater with their subtlety and grace. The texture of the juicy pear is soft, a pleasure to chew.

And those are the two types of pears.