Thursday, 26 May 2011

Bittersweet - Fridayflash

The soft-centred moo has just presented me with some chocolates. Well I 'spose you can't give a fellah flowers now can you? And she bought me a drill last Christmas, but that was a thinly veiled hint. I mean, I don't buy her darning thread and needles do I? Besides, if my heart has hardened, she's the sclerotic

"What have I done to deserve these?"

These in particular? A whole confection of sins for which I seek your absolution

"Mmm, these are good. I do love a good fondant"

Fond rather than fondant. Or fondle even. Melt me please. Melt my soft centre once again

"Umm, I love the way the two tastes and textures constantly swirl around the old tastebuds"

Like we used to do round one another

"No, don't tell me, let me work it out"

So you're prepared to work that out, but not the mystery ingredients in our marriage? You'll never guess it in a thousand years. Stake your life on it

"Okay, definitely something nutty there. Slightly bitter, would I be right in saying almonds?"

My almond eyes were one of the things you fell deeply in love with. You used to say you could stare into them forever, but I've twigged you were looking at the homunculus reflection of yourself

"And what's that subtle sweet undertaste? Vying hard not to be overwhelmed by the bitterness"

Not the taste of my skin that's for sure

"It's on the tip of my tongue. Peaches? Could that be it?"

My peachy complexion. Only darkening at cheeks, chin and nipples at your touch. When we made love

"Thanks love. These are divine. Are they Belgian?"

Yeah, I'm Lady Godiva and I am undressed for you

"Where did you buy them?"

The naive, the innocent, the unwary buy lies, but these choccies have taken in something equally toxic


"Another box of chocolates? I'll be piling on the calories!"

Your body has fully held its shape from our courtship days. Mine however, having produced our own soft centres with hard heads, has lost its chewy elasticity. I have become your vanilla wife. You have become saturated with me, yet I have not nearly had my fill of you

"No, thanks. I didn't mean to sound ungrateful. Just, what's the occasion?"

Whatever you select it to be. Three months since you last made me a cup of tea, having boiled the kettle for your own coffee. Nine months since you put the children to bed or read them a story. Fifteen months since you last filled my hollow centre with your nozzle. I've got as many anniversaries as it's going to take boxes of chocolates to make you come round to appreciating

"Are they the same as the last lot? They were so very moreish"

More, more, always wanting more. Whore, whore, whore, always wanting whore

"Yummy, thanks. Gotta be careful, last time I must have really pigged out cos I found some melted chocolate fused with my sock. Ruined it was, had to chuck the pair away"

Life's truffle hunter that you are, that would have been down to me. Need to be more careful with the darning needles then. After I've finished injecting my homemade fondant fancy inside, I have to ensure I've removed every last trace

"Wow, these have got a real bitter kick on them? Did you change the recipe?"

Last time you retired to bed and I watched you in your sleep. In the twilight, your skin had a pink tinge to it, like a salmon. But that was the extent of it. I realised you needed a bigger dose. I had originally considered using arsenic. I know it accretes in the hair and fingernails. It must also be excreted through the body's fluids. I did wonder if we chanced make love again, whether you would be reinjecting the arsenic back into me. So we could succumb together. A fanciful notion of course, since you'd never unpack that flesh drill of yours and bore deep into me. So I plumped for potassium cyanide. Did you know butterfly collectors use it to kill their prey in such a way so as to preserve their beauty? So the needle pinning them to the cork doesn't despoil them

"Ooh, I feel a bit light headed. Suddenly my breathing seems very... rapid?

Yes, my research reported that to be a symptom. But it's actually only the perception of your breath quickening. See the delight with this venom, is that it embodies a certain piquancy

"I'm chilled to the bone. I can't feel-"

The cold-blooded reptile. Again a mere sensation, but an apt one. Dentists are always saying too much chocolate is bad for your teeth. That's why they have to drill and fill. Just desserts.


alisonwells said...

What is the antidote to this lack of sentimentality! Pleasing wordplay and an unexpected ending.

pegjet said...

The thoughts as counterpoints to the spoken words--a touch of Manhattan by Woody Allen, only dark and delicious. I enjoyed the unique euphemisms in this one.

And, I learned something about preserving butterflies.

Tim VanSant Writes said...

Nice wordplay. Too bad they couldn't really communicate with each other.

Anonymous said...

'Fifteen months since you last filled my hollow centre with your nozzle'- ha! Nozzle is wonderful. Death by Dodgy Chocolate, great flash.


Vicky said...

Original, funny and a whole new use of the word bittersweet.

Jason Coggins said...

Oh yes, hyperkalemic death by metaphor!You drop a masterpiece each week and this was no exception.I nursed a suspected case of cyanide poisoning once and it was truly bizarre to meet such a literary favourite in person. Not a case of the butler did it all.

Sulci Collective said...

Wait scroll back a moment - You nursed a suspected case of cyanide poisoning Jason? Some details please? :-0

jim bronyaur said...

Yeah, you got me. I thought it was such a cool idea to have the basis of this breakup through chocolate... then the ending. So awesome. So damn awesome.

I love the formatting of the story too, looks great and works.


Jim Bronyaur <-- my #fridayflash!

Tony Noland said...

So much depends
on a box of

Lyrical and toxic - well done.

FARfetched said...

Beautiful! Running internal commentary juxtaposed with the spoken critique. Narcissism and homicidal madness go together like… peanut butter and chocolate?

Michael A Tate said...

You may have just ruined chocolate for me.

I loved the two POVs here and how they played off each other. Looks like it was probably fun to write and it came through on the page.

Mike Robertson said...

I must agree, there's a touch of genius in this little piece. Formatting, call and response, interior-exterior, male-female. All work perfectly. A poetic confession to the end of a marriage. And funny to boot. So well done.

Virginia Moffatt said...

Wonderful. Love it, particularly the ending.

Sonia said...

I love how you tell the story, thoughts with the spoken words, male and female, all of it! wonderful

Icy Sedgwick said...

This line did it for me "You used to say you could stare into them forever, but I've twigged you were looking at the homunculus reflection of yourself". God, I've been there.

Interestingly enough, they tried to poison Rasputin with a cake laced with cyanide. Problem was, the sugar in the cake counteracted the cyanide. And they say cake is bad for you!

Adam B said...

There are a few authors from whom I learn so much of the art and nuance of writing, and you are one of them. Such lyrical writing and stunning imagery.
Adam B @revhappiness

dijeratic said...

"but I've twigged you were looking at the homunculus reflection of yourself."

You may have summed up the spirit of our age here. Perfectly. Nothing sugar-coated about it at all.

Mari said...

I had the poisoning coming when he mentioned the frequency of chocolate gifts, but still I wanted to know how she'd do it. Funny that at first I thought she was the husband.

Her unexpressed feelings are overwhelming. As others said, great wordplay!

brainhaze said...

Hahaha I loved the ending to this; the pace; the dialog; and overall upbeat yet devastating ending - great work and play with words

Bukowski's Basement said...

What can I possibly add that hasn't been said? Love the structure here ... Wildy inventive.

Jen Brubacher said...

As soon as the taste of almonds came up I knew what you'd done. And you did it very, very well.

Deanna Schrayer said...

Marc, I LOVE this! Enough to say it's arguably your best work. The wordplay is, of course, outstanding, but the emotion...well, it's beyond outstanding. Excellent story! Perfect title too.

Sulci Collective said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. The thing about this piece is that I was a bit ubsure about it, not the overall thrust of it, but it never quite felt right to me even though I couldn't put my finger on why. So thank you all for such reassurance that it seems to work anyway.