Thursday, February 23, 2012

Trifecta Writing Challenge: The Way to a Man's Heart

The kitchen table was set for two. She looked at her sent text message and confirmed she had written 5:30. Shoving her phone in her pocket, she carefully laid the bacon for the burgers in the pan. The sizzling and popping of the grease made her jump foreseeing the hot spray spitting on her skin. She flinched at every pop. She cautiously reached around the pan to  turn down the heat, watching for any signs that the splatter would slap her hand unexpectedly. She did not like to cook it this long, but it was not about her.

The bacon settled in the pan almost relaxing into the sea of scolding yellow but she knew from experience that there was always one more pop left, no matter how settled the bacon looked. She eased the spatula back into the pan, wanting to flip the bacon before it burned. That would be devastating. Ever so gently, she placed one corner of the metal utensil under the raised part of the bacon. She carefully lifted it and gave it an almost playful nudge. As the grease crackled, she smiled at her accomplishment. The bacon was perfect. She released the breath she didn’t realize she was holding.  He would be pleased. He would be proud.  

The door knob turned and the man entered. She heard his footsteps, heavy and fast. She looked up from the frying pan, anticipating happiness. Her eyes were met with his disgust. He tossed an empty fast food bag on the counter and in a gruff tone threatened, “Throw that away, will ya? I’m going to watch the game. Don’t even think about nagging me about it neither.” He exited the room as she quickly disposed of the reminder of her worthlessness. She slowly walked back over to the frying pan. She reached over, turned up the heat and watched the bacon burn as she whispered to herself, “You are such a fool.”

This post is in response to Trifecta's Writing Challenge:

Use the third definition for fool exactly as it appears below and weave it into a stunning work of art of between 33 and 333 words.

fool noun \ˈfül\

1   : a person lacking in judgment or prudence 

2  a : a retainer formerly kept in great households to provide casual entertainment and commonly dressed in        motley with cap, bells, and bauble
    b : one who is victimized or made to appear foolish : dupe 


  1. First: "foreseeing the hot spray spitting on her skin. She flinched at every pop." I felt the anxiety here. I cook bacon with that level of tension, and in this story, the tension was already clearly nothing to do with the bacon.

    Second: You totally captured the man's voice when he said "Don't even think about nagging me about it neither"

    Third: I LOVE that the lost love is symbolized by the deliberately burned bacon.

    1. Thank you! I am the same way with bacon. I was trying to act it out while I was writing it so I could find the right words. :) So glad the man's ignorance came across! :P

  2. Walking on egg shells goes well with burnt bacon. The suspense of your piece kept me reading and on the edge of my seat. Well done.

  3. such a tragic relationship. You built it up to be a happier outcome (a special date, preparing a favorite meal)and then your hope is trounced as he storms into the room.

    Well done

  4. Yeah, as Carrie said, the way you played with us by juxaposing the emotions was spot on.

    good work

  5. Thank you! I'm so glad you all got what I was going for!

  6. Thanks for joining up again. This week, I've decided not to read this one to my kids! You build the tension up in this one brilliantly. The first two paragraphs are all about the bacon and the care she is taking to make sure that everything is perfect for his return. The third paragraph then shows us how callously he treats her and how little he deserves her. I hope, for her sake, the last line is a realization that it's time to do something about it. Nice job again. Hope you can join us for the weekend challenge.

    1. HA! Yes, please don't read this to your kids. :P Exactly. I wanted to show how cautious she is, how reluctant she in believing the grease is not going to "pop" at her, even when she turns down the heat.
      And, yes, in the end she did realize and got out of this situation.

  7. I've seen this. I have a family member who is married to this guy. So tragic. When she tries the hardest, works toward making moments the most special, he walks all over her. Very good. I love the attention paid to the bacon. I felt her jumpiness over the grease pops.