Food for Fiction

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

September 10, 2014

Carrot Ranch Flash FictionWhether it’s an idea to chew on or a recipe for a story, this week writers have used food to explore writing flash fiction. Food is nourishment, refreshment, problematic and inescapable. You need it on the frontier, in outer-space or the deepest jungles. It gets in our teeth, our bellies, our thoughts and our way.

Step up to the table and dine on this feast of flash fiction. Based on the September 3, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) include food in your story.

When Chow Becomes a Debris! by Ruchira Khanna

Leila rushed into the patio with a rolling pin in her hand; her mouth was giving away a foul language in a high pitch as she was moving the pin in an agitated way to drive that thing away, and never to return.

After a few minutes she was at peace with the situation.

Walked in to see the mess.

Nodded her head in dismay, as she pulled her hair back and took a mop and started cleaning up the goo caused by the spill of the red sauce from the pasta and the custard that had splattered everywhere.


Food Flash by Anne Goodwin

Kay clocked the cut-price stickers in her workmate’s trolley. “Bill’s roasting a salmon on Sunday. Why not join us? Bring the kids.”

Sharon demurred. “They eat like gannets.”

“Bill cooks for an army.”

Cooking to Impress on the marble counter, Bill plated the food. Three helpings later, Gareth asked for more. With a rictus smile, Kay popped a frozen lasagna in the microwave. Gareth wolfed it down in seconds.

“You can’t still be hungry,” hissed his mother.

“No problem,” said Bill. “I’ll cook whatever you fancy.”

“Scrambled eggs,” said Gareth. “Like Mum makes.”

“Shit! We’re clean out of eggs.”


Mr. Cool by Pete

Courage, they must have put in the soup today. Because when I saw Jill Cawthorne just after lunch, I didn’t duck away or hide. Instead, I slid one hand into my pocket, ignored the storm of nerves in my chest and strode right up to her locker. And I was on. She ate it up, her eyes like two ponds of shimmering fluorescence. I joked, she laughed, then the bell rang.

“Dude, were you just talking to Jill?” Jake asked in Chemistry. I felt my lips part.


“Because you have like a branch of broccoli in you teeth.”


Food for Thought by Larry LaForge

“You can’t be serious,” said chief academic officer Jeremy Roggins.

“Times are changing,” development officer Roger Caperly responded. “We have to roll with the times.”

“But we’re a university, not a vacation resort.”

Caperly shot back. “We have to be whatever our students want us to be. Otherwise, they’ll go somewhere else.”

President Wilson Cumbert reluctantly agreed with his development chief. With enrollment falling and costs rising, he plans to transfer significant funds from academics to student amenities.

The Board approved and President Cumbert announced their new strategic initiative to grow enrollment:

Gourmet food in all campus dining halls!

The 100-word version of this story is posted at larrylaforge100words on Flash Fiction Magazine.


Space Station Surprise by Sarah Unsicker

Mary maneuvered to the computer. She wondered what was wrong.

“Shouldn’t you be in school?” she scolded. Was he growing, or was it an illusion from Skype? She wouldn’t know until she returned in six months.

“Mom, it’s Saturday!” her son yelled. “And do you know what else?”

Her husband appeared with a beautifully decorated cake.

Her colleague brought out a cake with forty-one LED candles on top. Mary’s family and co-workers started singing together.

Mary’s eyes filled with tears. She had been so busy working in this foreign world, she had forgotten it was her birthday.


Losing Caleb by Sarah Brentyn

I lost him on a Monday. Caleb and I were digging for pretty rocks near Copper Brook. Mama packed us a thermos of sweet tea, plastic forks, and cheese sandwiches with mustard. I don’t know what the plastic forks were for but Mama always put them in our brown bag when we went out for the day. She knew where we were going. She gave us our lunch. But then she blamed me for going. For losing Caleb. Everyone blamed me. I was the older sister, supposed to be looking out for a toddler. But I didn’t blame me.


The Enchanted Tea Room by Tally Pendragon

“So, you will go then? You’ve decided?”

“All but, yes.” She grinned. It made her realise how much she was looking forward to a new adventure. With a man. With Brian.

Their lunch arrived. Salmon sandwiches, with the crusts cut off, cut into fours and placed on … a doily? Who used doilies these days? She noticed that the china was just that, china. Lifting the lid of the teapot she noticed that it was full of real tea leaves, and realised that the tea must have been poured through that strainer in its silver holder on the maid’s counter.


Again by Charli Mills

After the gym, the trio met up at Frutta. Meg babbled about “Baby Einstein” and Jade mistook it for the unborn baby’s name.

“Silly, it’s a learning program. Jacob Marcus Green III will have every educational advantage.”

Bre was browsing her Kindle Fire, slurping a cranberry wheatgrass smoothie. She mumbled, “…black youth killed…riots in the streets…militia called in…thousands homeless…”

“What’s that about?” Meg sipped her carrot juice sweetened with organic pressed apples.

“Sounds like Ferguson.”

“Huh?” Bre looked up to wide blue eyes set in canned-tan faces. “Don’t worry. Just reading one of those 100 Years Ago Today articles.


To Die For by Sherri Matthews

“Mmmm…so good…” groaned Adam as he shoved most of his double-double cheeseburger into his mouth.

Reaching across the table he grabbed a fistful of Janine’s fries mumbling, “Mind if I have some?” without waiting for her reply.

Mayonnaise dripped down Adam’s chin to Janine’s disgust.

“Want some?” he offered later on at the movie theatre as he plonked the super-size popcorn container on her lap.


Adam clutched his chest in agony just as the movie started.

In the restroom, Janine called her best friend. “I swear, if he doesn’t quit filling his face, he’ll have a heart attack!”


Deadly Dinner by Amber Prince

As usual, she began preparing dinner, but today she carried on in a new calm manner. At first she thought to make his favorite but that would lead to suspect after last night. Spaghetti was too soft anyway.

No, she was making her favorite instead, chicken fried steak smothered in gravy, the earthy smell of boiling potatoes already permeating the air.

Her decision came easily after seeing her reflection in the now broken mirror. Carefully, she ground the glass and combined it with the flour, setting aside some for the potatoes.

Tonight was her turn to leave a mark.


A Full Belly by Charli Mills

Cob sprawled in the four-poster bed. He’d picked up enough carpentry skills from his father to build a solid frame. Sarah rested her cheek on his hairy chest. He snugged her close.

“There’s nothing like a full belly.” Cob sighed, drifting toward sleep. Sarah stiffened. She had eaten some stale bread sopped in milk along with a mealy apple from the station.

“Possum pie with the first sweet potatoes from the garden. Fried apple rings. Corn fritters. Cold milk from that cow Leroy brought over for Mary to make sweet cream butter.”

Sarah sat upright. “Hickok stopped by today…”


Flash Fiction: Food by Irene Waters

Handed to us on a banana leaf to eat with our hands was an unpalatable greyish barely lukewarm mass. The dish, made from the flour obtained by pulverising the starchy tuberous root of the manioc tree, then mixed with coconut milk until it formed a soft paste, was baked wrapped in banana leaves in an earth oven. Unfortunately it had the consistency and taste of congealed gelatine. It was a feast. From politeness it had to be eaten.

“No I won’t eat it.” My companion pushed it away, his nose turned up.

The drumming started. Instead, we ate him.


Something to Chew on by Geoff Le Pard

‘Where are you going, Penny?’

‘Great Aunt Alison is dying…’

‘She’s not your Aunt.’

‘What is she then?’

Mary couldn’t say ‘Grandpa’s mistress’.

‘Please Mum. She’s old and ill.’ A tear slipped down Penny’s cheek.



Rupert answered. ‘Do you want to help with supper?’

Mary watched Penny spoon food into Angela’s slack mouth. She looked dreadful.

Rupert whispered urgently. ‘She needs proper care.’

Mary nodded, understanding why they had challenged her father’s will. ‘I…’

Alison started gagging, her eyes bulging. Rupert lunged for his mother as Mary pulled Penny from the room.

‘What have I done, Mum?’


Food? by Norah Colvin

His eyes widened, flitting across the table, scanning the feast, a smorgasbord of sensory delights. His mouth moistened and tummy growled.

Where to start? A bit of this. A little of that. A whole lot of that! Mmmm!

He rubbed his belly and licked his lips.
Suddenly he was marched away and slammed onto a hard wooden bench. A bowl of colourless pap was flung at him. “Eat this!”

He recoiled.

“Eat it!”

The overfilled spoon was shoved between tightened teeth.

He gagged.

“It’s good for you!”

He spluttered.

Over time he learned. “Not so bad,” he thought.


New prompt on Wednesday. All writers welcome!

(Bootsy has been eating her kibble in the garage for 6 days in a row. Maybe food will get her to stay.)

Bootsy Sept 2014

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  1. ruchira

    Loved the compilation. It makes it so much easier to read and appreciate 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      The compilation is my favorite part. It’s like each flash is a thread of creativity that wraps the prompt. Thanks for your contribution!

  2. vishalbheeroo

    Loove the different stories. Makes me so hungry to gulp good food, like love:)

    • Charli Mills

      Food makes for a good companion to any story! Especially a good love story!

  3. TanGental

    always edible; thanks Charli – not sure I say this often enough – for all your time setting us up each week 🙂

    • Charli Mills

      It’s equally mine to say thanks! But thanks for saying, so! 🙂

  4. Sarah Brentyn

    Darn it all! I missed this week. Good food flash here. 🙂 I’m adding a 99 flash because I’m stubborn and don’t want to admit my “busy” life got the better of me.

    Losing Caleb

    I lost him on a Monday. Caleb and I were digging for pretty rocks near Copper Brook. Mama packed us a thermos of sweet tea, plastic forks, and cheese sandwiches with mustard. I don’t know what the plastic forks were for but Mama always put them in our brown bag when we went out for the day. She knew where we were going. She gave us our lunch. But then she blamed me for going. For losing Caleb. Everyone blamed me. I was the older sister, supposed to be looking out for a toddler. But I didn’t blame me.

    • Charli Mills

      Sarah, that’s the hardest part for me–admitting that I’m “too busy.” I guess we are both stubborn, then! 🙂 Another powerful flash, driven by stubbornness, perhaps! It reminds me of a woman I met when I first left home. She wore wigs to cover up her bald head. I was shocked to find out she was 18 years old, like me. She had three children already and had run away from home after her family blamed her for her younger brother’s disappearance. He drowned. Her hair fell out and never grew back. Blame does terrible things to us.

      • Sarah Brentyn

        Oh my gosh, that is horrible! Blame is underrated. We focus on so many other negative emotions and feelings but, really, blame holds so much in it (guilt, anger, hatred, regret, self-worth…) I wonder what would happen to my character if I changed the ending. I almost had five different words ending this. I love doing this 99 word flash. Five words (ONE word) changes the entire story.

        Yes, I am stubborn. Glad to be in such good company. 🙂

      • Charli Mills

        It was sad. You’re so right about blame being underrated, and we as writers tend to have a short list of emotions that we use for our stories. Love that idea of changing the ending to compare what it does to the first! Gives me a prompt idea on both accounts…:-)

        Stubborn writers will survive! 🙂

  5. Sherri

    Another wonderful compilation Charli…thanks again for giving us another flash idea to get our teeth into… I know, I’m sorry, just had to say it 😛

    • Charli Mills

      Ha, ha! The prompt puns are fun–especially in the deft hands of creative writers! 😀

      • Sherri


  6. Norah

    Great compilation, Charli. I loved reading all the stories. Such a variety. Lovely to hear news of Bootsy and see his photo too! 🙂

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