Fifteen Minute Ficlets (#15MF) is a weekly Sunday writing challenge hosted here on The Literary Phoenix. Based on a single word, write a short story in fifteen minutes. The word count is irrelevant. Just write your heart out for 15 minutes and be inspired by the word. You never know what you’ll end up with!
1. a color intermediate between red and blue.
1. of a color intermediate between red and blue.
1. become or make purple in color.
Charlotte wrapped her fingers around the purple forget-me-nots and deeply inhaled their earthly aroma. Fresh from the garden, they were still raw and alive, as though they had tiny beating hearts deep in their stems. With great care, she wound thick beige twine around the little bouquet and looped them over a hook on the wall. They lay there, innocent and lonesome, a dark violet swatch against the dirty white paint. Smiling, she wiped her hands on her dirt-streaked jeans and walked out of the mudroom.
She thought that being alone in the house would make it feel empty, but never had she felt so alive and free. From the freshly trimmed twigs of autumn leaves to the permeating aroma of Jordan’s latest baking venture, her world smelled of forests of cinnamon and moss-covered stones and it awakened something deep and passionate in her heart. For the first time in her life, her house felt like a home.
A cold rush of air, and a translucent figure breezed in, brown eyes sparkling and hands busy with a large copper pot. “Dinner!” Jordan said with a grin before disappearing back into the kitchen. Obediently, Charlotte seated herself at the large rectangular table, settling in the middle and laying a cream-colored cloth napkin over her lap. Jordan reappeared a moment later with two bursting sweet potatoes, twice the size of her fist. He set one on a plate in front of her. The marshmallow topping still bubbled from the broiler and sharp swirls of brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg kissed her nostrils. The sweet potatoes explained why the house smelled like Thanksgiving dinner.
Charlotte reached for the ladle, but Jordan gently slapped the back of her hand. “I look forward to this all day,” he admonished, and scooped two spoonfuls of rich beef stew into the bowl before her. Her stomach rumbled.
Jordan served an identical serving for himself, and swirled around to the other side of the table where he settled into the seat. He smiled gently, then closed his eyes. Charlotte looked away – she didn’t like to watch this part. Having been dead for nearly ten years, Jordan had mastered some of the aspects of being a ghost, but for all his time and experience, he had difficulty materializing fully into a solid form. He managed it once a week, saving all his strength for that time, and to him, it was well worth it. In life, Jordan never took advantage of the finer pleasures and he enjoyed the culinary arts in his afterlife. He spent hours perfecting a dish so that for one short hour, he could enjoy it.
And for one short hour, Charlotte had a true companion.
When the air settled, losing its unnatural chill, Charlotte looked back. There was Jordan, sitting in front of her as though he was alive and well, and not wasting a moment. His first forkful of sweet potato had already bee devoured and he hastily blew over her stew.
“I know it’s an odd mixture,” he apologized through his food, “but the potatoes were so plump and lucious, I decided on them last minute.”
Charlotte smiled and blew over her food. She wondered if her breath and Jordan’s ghostly breath mingled on the table between the two of them, wrapping together until it was indistinguishable whose was whose. “It’s perfect,” she said, and look her first bite.
And it was.
My latest idea, Ashes to Ashes, is about a girl with an extraordinary gift and the ghost who is her best friend. In a world that is changing and beginning to call out for the removal of all witches, her peaceful life is about to become drastically different. This scene takes place before the start of the book, but the Sunday night dinners are a regular occurrence throughout the story.
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Remember to read everyone’s ficlets, and to have fun! 🙂