Flash Fiction: Rice would be Nice

emmylgant

‘We’re out of potatoes,’ my mother said, in a voice I wanted to mend.

I dragged my father’s garden spade (he’d taken the fork) to the vegetable patch. It hadn’t rained for months; his brassicas had gone to seed and his onions were flowering.

I jabbed at the ground, remembering the pale, earthy potatoes my father had let me find, like golden treasure hidden in the dark. I knelt and scrabbled, stuck my hands in the soil, my fingers discovering only a wet, rotten mess.

‘Rice,’ I said to my mother. ‘Rice would be nice.’

***

This is a 100-word story inspired by the picture above. This week, my mind decided to go in the opposite direction to the picture: gardens and heat, despite my best intentions. Thanks to Emmy L Gant for the picture, and to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for leading the Friday Fictioneers. Click here to join in, or here to read other people’s stories.

***

It’s been a little over a year since my debut novel, Our Endless Numbered Days was published by Penguin. I wrote a blog post about the good and the not so good things that have happened since then.

53 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Rice would be Nice

  1. Funny how a simple, non-related phrase gives you the back story. “he’d taken the fork” lets the reader know that it’s not a bereavement we’re reading about here. Very well done, Claire.

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  2. Oh superb phrase ‘in a voice I wanted to mend’ … agree with Sandra that ‘he’d taken the fork’ is fab succinct but meaningful back story – although of course I’m contemplating what dark fate involving said fork has occured😉

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  3. Whoa! The memories that story brought. We had a drought when I was 13 and Mom had planted potatoes. They baked black in the ground. She always made me dig them. No wonder!
    Fine work, Claire!

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  4. Claire, this is lovely. The sense of many things ended or ending is palpable. I could see not only a garden curling and withering into itself, but a girl witnessing the same thing happening to her mother. I love the line (as many of us do, it turns out!), “in a voice I wanted to mend.” I love how much you say with so little.
    Thank you.

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