This short story was written with the following prompt in mind: Write a scene that makes no sense at all (even though this story does end up making sense somehow). For more writing prompts by Sarah Selecky, follow her on Twitter (@sarahselecky) or see her website.
No sense. Nor good, nor bad. Just a plain, short, bread story. Of a girl trying to automatically type things in a foreign language, thinking of doughnuts round her head, vomiting words on a too clean screen.
She would be the kind of girl who keeps avoiding cracks, even tracks. In fact, she would be avoidant of anything. The mirrors had all been wrapped already, as if a stare would put her at stake.
A steak. What about cooking something? Anyway, mom would call soon. And she needed to be stuffed to be able to talk to her. I mean, to listen to her.
Now, to her grumblings, her stomach’s.
What was I writing again? Ah, yes, being a good dough. Being tough to myself, though. Punching myself in a hole when full. Scraping myself when in need. Nothing really wanted, nothing really lost then. Nothing gained either, just pain, and food. And life, maybe.
I gotta breed. Uh, breathe. These haspiration sounds are ‘ard to make.
The call came. She wasn’t stuffed. She couldn’t stand it but sat down anyway, and lied. Even her tiny yesses were full lies, flies biting her mom like a filled doughnut. You know, the ones you eat and then you get all this whipped cream and custard cream and whatever-it’s-called cream all over your chin and nose, so that you can’t breathe anymore? Let alone talk.
Leave me alone. Talk.
That’s what she would say if her mouth wasn’t already chewing and squeezing. In fact, she was just squeezing her teeth together – only her saliva’s dreams were chewy.
There’s a plot in there. Her life had to be more deconstructed, and going nowhere.
Did I ever mention the bread?
Well, the birds did it. They crawled on her while she was panting, the phone hung around her neck, her mom’s voice violently crying over the tv’s. She had goosebumps, which looked like breadcrumbs to the birds’ limited eyesight.
It didn’t taste any good though. And it didn’t make her any good.
This conversation – would aversion be a more appropriate term? – could go on forever, and she wouldn’t even know. Her eyes were screwed into a screen, apparently moving, but not going forward anymore.
It looks like I’m seeing my whole life all over again. Like I’m losing track all over. I’m giving all.
In: A mess. Too much crunchy bread soaked in wine. Is this what we call luxury?
Up: A god, maybe. A mass for her in Heaven, with the birds dropping crumbs on her as she walks up the aisle.
She wakes up, always too late. I almost ate the receiver, she excused herself, dabbing and pampering the phone with a napkin.
Oh, that’s a word I had not expected to come out. Or to let out. Whatever the subject may be.
And there comes the banana. Underripe as her soul, overripe as her body, stained with goosebumps. She had better put herself in the freezer immediately.
But her saliva would freeze around her mouth if she did so.
No more sensation. No more sense. No more!, would she cry, her eyes and sensitivity uplifted.
She lifted herself up on a stool, and reached out for ingredients to season her life: Every single one had an exotic name and she didn’t want them. Paprika sounded like paperwork. Safran, like suffering. And cinnamon, like sour lemon. She would have preferred strict acid, that is to say.
Where was the mom? Lying on her floor, somewhere, on her round belly, not seeing her child doing foolish things again. Was this child ever born anyway?
I gotta not listen to anyone ever. Anything hardly makes sense anyway, she kept lulling herself, standing on her not-made-for-rocking chair.
A sense? She finally found some vanilla. Essence, that’s it. That’ll fuel her, that’ll give her gas.
A car came pulling at her. She felt it rolling inside her, actually grasping her side and stretching it out, out, out… Her skin was already flying outside, while her pain remained whole, not so refined after all. She felt like a pouch, a pouching bag.
Can a punch fly?
The questions in her head were burning incensively. They were too slow, too sticky, too antigravitational. How strange was it to feel like a hippy while simmering in a pot. Her hand got caught and slapped in a jar when she tried to pull at her turn, at a car-shaped biscuit.
Her mom furiously shouted something about colourless green ideas sleeping. I know you!, she answered. There’s no use for a non-American name!
A tree dropped its branches in a cascade from her head, all her words purposely running to their proper place. The words sounded like a thousand syntax notebooks dispersing themselves in the years. With more hard work, she could have bloomed out of the cement. But instead, she has been eating cookies, as her books have kept the secret in the shape of brown stars squeezed in between pages and words.
She was still as unripe, as green as her ideas. She would let them go before she even tried to tame them. Too many vibrancies where rushing through her, using her body as an instrument to fulfil their dreams, too loud so she had to fulfil her stomach. And then peace would come, in the shape of a bird song. The bird wouldn’t fry; instead she would steal it and fly.
What about the mom, crying over an empty phone, left out by herself while the kitchen was being taken control of?
I don’t know. I don’t know of her, yet. She might take care of me, and not just control. But I gotta roll with it first, let pastries pace my days and paste a devastated picture of myself on my wall.
Her mouth was dry. She had run out of substance. The birds had flown away with the jar, full of words.