Do you ever think about the best pizza you ever had? There’s something about a flat round of dough smothered in sauce, cheese, and toppings that captivates attention like the moon in the sky. Maybe you aren’t partial to pizza but it reminds you of family gathering, pitchers of beer (soda), or similar flatbread food.
This week, we asked writers to think about pizza. How do stories pan out from a global perspective? We’ll let the collection speak for itself.
The following is based on the April 2, 2020, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes pizza.
PART I (10-minute read)
Once Upon a Time in Sicily by Paula Puolakka
One of the reasons why the Sicilian housewives had strong arms was the lifelong practice in the pizza dough kneading. Before the era of the modern gyms and fitness cults, the daily house chores were enough to keep women in shape: the beauty standards were down-to-earth and natural.
The pizzas were usually thin and crispy. Sometimes they lacked either cheese or tomato sauce, and they could have been called “burnt bread and vegetables.”
Once upon a time in Sicily, pizza rose to become the food of every family. It made the gap between the rich and the poor disappear.
War and Pizza Store Menu by Doug Jacquier
PETA special – Contains no animal products but please note that wheat screams when it’s harvested.
Four Seasons – Perfect for the procrustinator
Meet Lovers – Could be anything but comes PDQ
Blonde – Toasted open sandwich (they’ll never know)
Neapolitan – Ice-cream pizza you can spoon
Deep dish – Intellectuals special
Frutti di mare – Italian for pretentious
Viagra – No droop, all satisfaction
Hawaiian – Take-away only, for the benefit of sensitive in-house diners
Carbonara – For that burnt crust taste
Pizza Cake – Easy combination of main and dessert
Aussie – with a dozen eggs, half a pig, beetroot, tomato sauce and attitude
OCD – exactly 17 olives
Romantic Evening in Quarantine by Liz Husebye Hartmann
“How long ago did you order that pizza?” Sheralynn tipped her wine glass to catch the last drop.
“Hmmm?” Rodney examined the hole in his tube sock, intent on covering up his big toe without using his hands.
“And did you get half pineapple and veggie for me, half megameat for you?”
Resigned to having to use one foot to clothe the other, he didn’t answer.
“Rodney! I know it’s Shutdown, but it’s been 2 ½ hours now!”
“What? Do you need more wine?”
“No! When did you order the pizza?!”
“I didn’t do it,” he sighed. “Didn’t you?”
Flirting by Pete Fanning
Business was booming. I zoomed down the open road, pockets bulging with tips. My knitted face-mask hung at my chin as I sang along with The Police.
“Don’t Stand So Close To Me.”
Last house. I started up the stairs when a voice rattled through the intercom.
“Please set the pizza on the porch.”
Sure. The order was prepaid, came with a generous tip. I turned to leave when someone inside rapped on the window. A masked girl, with sandy blonde hair and a gorgeous set of hazel eyes. She gave me a thumbs up.
Cold Pizza for Breakfast by Joanne Fisher
“Morning!” Astrid said kissing me on the cheek, and then the lips.
There was an hour before work. I got up and wandered into the kitchen. I hadn’t eaten much and was feeling ravenous. Fortunately my fridge was full of pizza. I grabbed a large wedge and began stuffing it into my mouth. Astrid followed me into the kitchen. She was frowning.
“You’re having cold pizza for breakfast Melissa?” She asked surprised. I shrugged my shoulders and kept eating.
“I don’t care.” I answered with a full mouth. “I’m hungry and I love cold pizza.”
“Obviously.” She replied unimpressed.
Pizza by Di @ pensitivity101
We’d only just met and it was my turn to cook. He had cooked me the most wonderful liver and bacon with onion gravy, cabbage, and mashed potatoes.
There wasn’t much in the cupboard………. a tin of tuna, an onion, some mushrooms, a tomato and some cheese.
I made a pastry base, cooked it blind, then sliced the tomato and mushrooms really thin,
chopped the onion and mixed that with the tuna fish and spread it on the top, then covered the lot in grated cheese and finished it off in the oven.
Perfect……. the out of nothing Pizza!
To Pizza or not to Pizza? by tracey robinson
I frowned walking into the break area. Pizza again? While I didn’t mind working late I was tired of pizza being the only food provided. What about subs or fried chicken for once?
I suppose this is what one gets working in a predominately male environment. And there was no way I was going to take over food duty. I had worked way too hard to get near the top. I have heard most people leave their jobs because of their boss. Would I be the first person to leave because of food? Don’t be silly, of course not!
Did Someone Say Pizza? by Susan Zutautas
On our last trip to Montreal, I insisted we have pizza.
If you’ve never tried an all-dressed Montreal pizza you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s almost impossible to eat this pie with your hands and I suggest you have a knife and fork handy.
Thin slices of pepperoni atop a puffy golden crust that has been moistened with a delicious tomato sauce. Fresh mushrooms and green pepper generously follow then the pizza is covered with a carpet of cheese that has been baked till the cheese is slightly browned.
I swear it tastes like a slice of heaven.
Pizza-in-a-Box by Faith A. Colburn
Pizza came to Nebraska in the early 60s. It arrived in a box. Back then, a pizza party did not involve take out or delivery, or even popping a frozen treat in the oven. We mixed the dough, according to directions, inhaling the yeasty aroma. We tried tossing it on our fingers, then we gathered up the mess and pressed it into a pan, crimped the edges and spread the tomato sauce around. Then we scattered cheese over the top. Sometimes I make pizza, but not the bare bones concoctions we giggled over. Nor is it as much fun.
Pees Ta by H.R.R. Gorman
“What is this?” asked Papaw. He squinted his glaucoma-weakened eyes, inspecting the food.
“Pizza,” Mama responded. “It’s just bread, cheese, and sauce.”
Mamaw harrumphed then told someone invisible, “This woman’s crazy. I’ll die – it’s poison. Look at how fat she is; I won’t eat her food.”
“Pees-ta,” Papaw said. “Sounds foreign. I was in the war, and I don’t like foreign food-”
“Just eat it,” Daddy commanded. “You’ll get used to it.”
Papaw took a bite, grimaced, and pushed away his plate. “This is for damn Garlic Eaters. I’m not eating this foreign trash.”
Mamaw just cackled. “Poison!”
Pizza by Tammy L. Toj Gajewski
When dad passed away, the five of us kids all asked Ma where’s the pizza pan. This pan was aluminum, twenty inches across and scratched to hell. My dad used it at Dequardoes Pizza in Milwaukee and it was a gift when he left. Sammy Dequardoe would make us Shirley Temples while we watched Dad throw dough up in the air and spin it like a hula hoop. I remember running around the bar after all the sugar with my pizza slice slapping the air while I tried to put it in my mouth. I got the pan.
Only Pepperoni by Sarah Brentyn
Outside, wind howled, rain pounded our windows, but that was nothing compared to what was happening inside.
In our kitchen, my brother’s storm startled me even more than Mother Nature’s.
It arrived with a force that sent my dog running. I wanted to follow but I stayed, frozen, under my mother’s glare. I had to stay, always, so as not to make my brother feel bad.
Him. We don’t want him to feel bad. Because, with changes in routine, like pizza being delivered with mushrooms alongside the pepperoni, he struggles. But, standing near his pizza-fueled rage, I struggle, too.
Lynn Valley: Tom by Saifun Hassam
Tom relished the pizza his cousin Hannah made. Spicy chicken sausage, caramelized sweet onions, bell peppers, olives, feta cheese. Salad with peppery feathery arugula leaves and sweet apple slices.
Tom now lived in Lynn Valley, in the frame house willed to him by Aunt Bev. She and Hannah knew well his devoted care for Janice, his wife, as she struggled with a brain tumor. When she died, Tom moved from Seattle to Lynn Valley. He continued his successful online accounting business.
As the COVID-19 pandemic widened, he was very glad to be with the only family he now had.
Sticky Pudding by Ann Edall-Robson
His granddaughter was right on time for her Thursday afternoon visit. Spending time with her was the highlight of his week. They’d catch up on family gossip, play cards, or work on a puzzle. Like every Thursday, she had called before she came, to see if he needed anything. Today, he had asked her to bring some pizza for their snack.
Lifting the lid he shook his head, “What’s this?”
“Your favourite, sticky pudding, I brought ice cream to spiff it up. ”
“I asked for pizza.”
She laughed as she hugged her granddad.
“I thought you said some pizzaz.”
Scattered by D. Avery
Your son-in-law brought pizzas up. Some of us ate at the cluttered table, some sitting cheek to cheek on the sofa that would be my bed. Your grandchildren clambered or were passed around your crowded apartment, one teething on a crust.
I remembered our stories; for you, but also your family.
We took turns laying with you, that even in your sleep, fitful as the late spring snow, you felt us near.
You wouldn’t die alone.
spring veiled gray mourning
rain raked windows rattle cold
shrill and sharp wind keens
unsettled birds fly scattered
like everything we once knew
Mexican Pizza by Michelle Wright
Daisy smiled as she and her sister, Lilly, passed by a Mexican restaurant while walking on the sidewalk together, dressed in black.
“What are you smiling about?” Lilly asked.
“Pizza,” Daisy smiled then continued, “One night while you were at basketball practice momma took me to a Mexican restaurant. I didn’t know what to order so I said I wanted to make my own thing. Momma ordered all the side dishes. I threw them together and called it Mexican pizza.”
Lilly smiled, “I wish she could make Mexican pizza with her grandchildren.”
Daisy said, “Let’s do it for her.”
Pizza Memories by Susan Sleggs
At Tessa’s parents, Michael said, “This pizza is better than what I remember from high school.”
“Who remembers that far back?”
“I do. I came in one day and saw three pizza boxes on the counter. My mouth started watering, but I couldn’t smell them so I peeked in a box and it held quilt blocks. The other two boxes had the same. My hopes were dashed.”
They laughed at the visual.
Tessa added, “We now have square plastic boxes with handles to carry blocks in, but back then an unused pizza box was gold and hard to get.”
With the Assistance of a Lyre… by JulesPaige
Each member of the choir held their quire
As the dire driver of the van spun in the mud his tyre in the mire
They were late, nearing the wire
Of the time their pizza was to come out of the stone oven’s fire…
Hoping no ill wrath from Meyer the sire of the shire
it truly was their sole desire
to put on a heavenly performance lead by their sprier Pryor
once known as the shyer, friar Dwyer
After downing all their slices, neatly in their elegant attire
It was with relief they raised their sated voices higher!
Pizza by Anita Dawes
No food in the shops
The cupboards are bare
My children are hungry
There is nothing to share
My stomach is rumbling
I try racking my brains
What on earth can we do while
All our energy drains?
A meat pie sounds great
A roast dinner would be better
I am being haunted by food
buttered toast would be kind
but pizza would be good
I can see it now, my mouth waters
I can smell the delicious aroma
of tomato, ham and cheese
A joy to my heart, my stomach too
Will someone bring me a pizza, please?
PART II (10-minute read)
Feeding the Soul by Jo Hawk
Saffron sunk the measuring cup into the container. The flour poofed, and billowing white clouds dusted the counter. The scent of yeast permeated the kitchen, as she worked the tacky, gloppy mess until it formed a loose ball.
The heel of her hand pushed into the dough and rolled it to its starting point. She kneaded the dough to a silky smoothness. After a quick rise, she created a rough circle and added simple toppings. The hot oven melted the mozzarella and browned the crust on her classic Margherita Pizza.
Accolades were nice, but baking was its own reward.
Pizza by Cara and Mikey Stefano
A delicious meal of pizza!
Oh pizza you are SO delicious!
Do we do delivery or shall we make it here at home ourselves?
We have to roll the dough out instead of spinning it high up into the air soaring like an edible i.f.o (that’s an Identified flying object!) – I sure wish that we could do it that way!
Soft and chewy crust!
Sweet and spicy sauce – but not too spicy, please!
Bubbly and fragrant cheese!
How do we decide what toppings we should use today?
Open the refrigerator door, point – YUM!
Pizza by Ruchira Khanna
“Yeah! Make your pizza night is here!” Friday morning, Nate wakes up with this hum.
He’s so excited about the evening that he gobbled down the oatmeal amidst getting ready for school.
“Are all your books in order?”
“Did you fill up your water bottle?”
‘Sigh! What an incentive this pizza night can be. My third grader is ready even before the school bus has arrived. I wish I had thought of it earlier.’
Evening comes, Nate is dragging his stool to be around the kitchen countertop to layer his pizza crust with cheese, olives, and pineapple.
Pizza Exchange by Charli Mills
Rosa lived with her parents in a single-wide behind the barn. Her mama hummed as she pounded tortillas and mashed a fresh pot of simmering pinto beans. After school, Rosa often went to the big house to study with Becky Ainsworth. That’s where she tasted frozen mini pizzas that left an essence of cardboard in Rosa’s mouth. One Friday, Becky suggested studying at Rosa’s home. Quickly she whispered to her mama, “Becky likes pizza.” Her mama smiled, and fried two corn tortillas crisp and flat, adding mashed pintos, olives and queso. Becky’s eyes widened. “Best pizza ever,” she said.
Corona Dreams by MRMcrum
Back in Maryland after being gone ten years, what he missed most was the food that had comforted him as a child. The friend he had come to see asked, “So what do you want to do first?”
“I want Ledo’s pizza. I don’t want take out. I want to sit in the joint and eat it.
“You got it”, his friend said, “Ledos, here we come”.
Sipping beer and catching up, his mind was more about the pizza than the conversation. He saw a waiter headed their direction……..
“Hey, wake up. The kids want frozen pizza for diner.”
How to Wake a Teenager by Chelsea Owens
The way to get a teenager out of bed is with last night’s pizza. Just lean in to the lifeless lump of blankets atop your teen’s bed, plug your nose against the smell of the room, and whisper the magic words: “Pizza,” “Breakfast.”
You may think they want it fresh, or hot, or crispy. You are wrong.
“Pizza for breakfast” will result in the sudden escaping of a barely-dressed teenager from his blanket cocoon. You’ll find your teen illuminated by the open refrigerator; feet on your best cushions; happily consuming an old, cold, slimy pizza slice.
Yes, for breakfast.
Pizza Face by Ritu Bhthal
“Stuffed Your Face Pizza. Hmm, that’s an interesting name for the business, Marcus.”
Lorraine was flicking through the pile of newly printed flyers, ready to go out the next morning.
“Let’s just say it has meaning…”
“Well, I hope people stuff their face with your pizza, considering the loan we’ve take, against our home.”
“Oh, it’ll be worth it, all right.” Marcus spread moisturiser on his smooth skin as he thought back to school.
“Oi, Pizza Face! You’re stuffed!”
Thankfully, the acne that plagued him then, was long gone, and his newest employee was one of the tormentors.
In Pizza Parlance by Bill Engleson
“You heard me.”
“Context would help.”
“What’s your problem? You think I’m speaking in tongues?”
“Pshaw! I didn’t say that. Now that you mention it, what were you speaking in?”
“Lips. I was speaking in lips.”
“Lips are pretty close to tongues. Either way, you’ve lost me.”
“I’ll start again. When I say anchovies, it only means one thing.”
“Pizza. Papa Dave’s pizza.”
“Don’t know it.”
“It was from before. My old life in the city.”
“Life’s often about loss.”
“No one should have to lose the best pizza ever.”
“Yeah. Anyways, finish your porridge.”
Flash Fiction: Wrong Person, Wrong Piece of Mind by Dave Madden
Jeremy and Kevin had been cruising the Broadway bars all evening, and it was around midnight when they stepped into the Broadway Lounge & Terrace.
Kevin, as usual, was three sheets to the wind.
“Dude…,” Jeremy slapped Kevin on the shoulder, “That’s Tyler McNeal, the Middleweight Champion of Iron Fury Fight League!”
While Jeremy wanted to get a picture with McNeal, Kevin replied with a slurred New Yorker bravado, “I wanna give him a piece-uh my mind.”
Before Jeremy could stop his belligerent buddy, McNeal was dragging Kevin through the restaurant and planting him face first onto the sidewalk.
Pizza by Hugh W. Roberts
“I know what you did, Clarice,” giggled the face looking down at Mike. “You tampered with the pizza, didn’t you?” As alarm bells rang in his head, pains raced across Mike’s chest and down his arms.
As the woman turned around slowly to reveal her face, Sophie’s heartbeat increased. Horrified, she watched as the book in the woman’s hand turned into a slice of pizza.
“Now, I’m in control,” screamed the woman.
Two floors above, Doug became more and more terrified at the way Clarice looked at him.
“Sophie? The one who poisoned the pizza you ate?” she asked.
The Social Work Course Reunion by Anne Goodwin
Janice’s gaze swept across the debris: grease-smeared delivery boxes; glasses mottled with burst beer-bubbles; cigarette butts shipwrecked in olive oil. She didn’t begrudge her friends their gallows humour, but that baby was a case to them.
A wailing baby, a washed-out mother, a blaring TV. A typical home visit. The punchline – pun intended – was the mother screeching into the pram, “Tom and Jerry! It’s your fucking programme!”
“A two-month-old propped up to watch a cartoon cat take a mallet to a mouse.”
Janice nibbled a shard of pizza crust. “I’m thinking of tracing my birth mother.” The laughter stalled.
Pizza by FloridaBorne
Dad used to bring pizza home as a treat. Never in my entire life have I eaten a pizza that good.
One day, it stopped, I asked, “Why?”
“There was a roach on his counter.”
I used to get up in the wee hours, looking for something to snack on. The moment I hit the light switch, a crowd of roaches scattered away to their hiding place. Dad refused to believe me.
When you live in Florida, you have roaches waiting in your walls, your yard, or just outside your door.
That day, I learned the meaning of hypocrisy.
No Offense Mom by Annette Rochelle Aben
Pizza. As children, we had this treat about once a month. Mind you, this wasn’t what we know now as pizza. This was a gastronomic wonder mother created from a box bought at the store It contained a bag of crust powder, a can of cheese and a can of sauce. And it worked!
That was until we were taken to a pizzeria. Buddy’s Pizza had these tiny, Italian grandmas who took your order, cooked and served it. We’d clean our plates as they smiled with approval. The only pizza boxes we used after that said to-go on them!
New Invention by joem18b
“They won’t patent it,” I said, when I had returned to Naples from Rome.
“Of course not. You can’t patent a recipe,” said my friend, the chef Raffaele Esposito.
“I thought if I petitioned the pope…”
“Listen, everyone eats flatbread. This focaccia…”
“This family-sized piadina or borlengo or… I can serve it to King Umberto and Queen Margherita. They are visiting Naples. I am to make a meal for them. Let me use your invention,”
This was in 1889. He served it, they liked it, and shortly my name was lost to history and Raffaele’s name was elevated.
Primo Pizza by Kerry E.B. Black
He scowled at the static-ridden phone. “I can’t come to America. Momma made arrangements for me to meet my wife.”
“Dominic, you can’t be serious. An arranged marriage? Here, you can play the field, see who suits. You make the choice, not your Momma. Besides, I need a partner.”
“Do Americans even like pizza?”
Joe chortled. “They’re crazy about the stuff. We’ll be rolling in cash.”
“After I marry, maybe.”
“Courtship takes what, three months minimum. I can’t wait.”
“If you want me, you have to.”
He waited, and when Dominic and his bride arrived, the business took off.
Pizza by Geoff Le Pard
‘What are you looking forward to, Morgan?’
‘You’re going to the States and that’s top of your bucket list?’
‘It’s the home of great pizza. That and fruit.’
‘They have the biggest apples…’
‘I’ve seen it on film. Their pizzas are as big as…’
‘Isn’t Italy the home of pizza?’
‘Nah. That’s like saying curry comes from India.’
‘No listen. Who are in all those American films? You know, the history ones?’
‘I’m sure you’ll tell me.’
‘Indians. So if Indians come from America then why not pizza?’
‘You’re an idiot.’
Nay See Doe by D. Avery
“Kid! What’re ya doin’? Why’s thet little whip of a poet tree all caged in here behind the Saloon?”
“Fer its own pertection, Pal. I got a bunch a kids!”
“Kids, Kid? Wish ya’d leave thet to someone responsible an’ sensible, like Aussie.”
“Not kids, Pal, kids, baby goats!”
“Goats? Ya got ta be kidding.”
“Zactly. Gonna raise ‘em up fer milk goats. Make cheese.”
“Oh, doe yer not, Kid. Ya’d think ya’d been ranchin’ long ‘nough ta know ta look fer certain credentials, if ya know what I mean. These are billies, Silly.”
“Buck! No goat cheese pizza!”