Flavor of the Month

This week, I’m relinquishing my all-powerful dominion over writing prompt creation because I recently acquired the revised and expanded edition of The Write-Brain Workbook. I initially shrugged it off as an overstatement, but here I am distracted from work by the darn thing, so I thought I’d share some of the fun.

Below you’ll find one of the 400 exercises and prompts that appear in it.

Writing prompt:

First, write down 12 flavors you can think of (ice cream or candy flavors, savory flavors, etc.).

Next, use all 12 flavors to write a story or scene (in 500 words or fewer) beginning with the following:

The sparkling water was…

Optional follow-up to try on your own:

Sending marshmallow-fudge-swirl-double cone prose to an editor whose preference is a small dish of lime sorbet poetry usually results in a rejection. List publications and authors with whom your writing “flavors” and portions are compatible. Send your writing to at least one of them.

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124 thoughts on “Flavor of the Month

  1. moateal

    The sparkling water was dripping down onto my hand in rhythmic beads like drops of vanilla into a mixing bowl. With a squeeze, I pushed out another hand’s strength of coconut honey soap into the now almost luke-warm water surrounding me. The air filled with a sweet aroma replacing the sour onion and garlic smell from dinner earlier. Drifting down until the water laps over my face, I close my eyes.

    I hear the criticisms rushing through my head once more despite the noise of the rushing water filling the tub. “Ew mom, somehow you managed to make the chicken too salty and too bland at the same time.”

    I push the thought of Rosemary far away from me and drift on stage where I really belong. The crowd cheers for me as I walk onto the platform. The lighting gives them all a soft blueberry glow and I think, “how good it feels to be back in the limelight.”

    I take a deep breath to sing the first notes and instead am greeted with a mouthful of water before shooting back up again.

  2. Bushkill

    An Unreal Allure, part 2
    [ Salty, tang, Strawberry, cherry, orange, sugary, confections, raspberry, chocolate, pine(d), demi glaze, rich, vanilla, creamy ]

    The sparkling water was out of my reach, leaving my thirst pounding against my soul like some otherworldly god.

    I couldn’t see straight. I couldn’t think straight. The salty tang of my sweat stained my consciousness and failed to satisfy the want in me. The dry air assaulted me, prickling my skin into a flushed, strawberryesque hue.

    Still, I harbored want. I thirsted not merely for a sublime swallow of water, the one just out of reach. I waited with baited breath not for some cherry-scented sweet or orange flavored goop from the bakery in which I sat, ogling the sugary confections.

    My thirst sounded deeper, like a diving whale, plummeting into the very depths of my being. Every so often, as the bakers moved in the back, I could see her. I sat in transfixed bliss of such demonstrative, nascent beauty.

    Purity.

    When my waitress moved, her raspberry colored hair crashing in waves over chocolate shoulders sending my pulse thundering like the waves on a tropical beach, I could see my hearts obsession.

    I pined.

    The water in the bottle I stretched for, once grasped, washed down my throat like a sand storm, leaving me beaten and yearning. It failed to subdue an internal temperature set ablaze by the weather outside, the desires of the flesh inside, and the draw—the allure—of my affection. Each handcrafted confection jeered at me, sauntering by on plates carried by a sashaying wait staff. The desserts bedecked in an enrobing, over-sweetened, red demi glaze of near transparency and the wait staff in low cut shirts and high cut shorts behind the apple-red apron of the store’s proprietary outfit seemed to whisper to passers-by of what could be had for a few dollars more.

    Perhaps I was in a seedier part of town and my lack of good judgement had finally cornered me in an inescapable smorgasbord of sin. There seemed an overabundance of red in this district. Beads of sweat continued to trickle down my back, racing in rivulets until my shirt absorbed them.

    And then she was heading my way. Simplicity and bliss contained in such tightly controlled curves set my heart to a breathtaking pulse. I ached. My mouth alternated between dry and watering, confused and desperate.

    I sipped the water again, hopeful.

    Slowly, my desire slid across the table to join me. Two well-formed scoops standing firmly beside a pristine spoon. With the first taste, I surrendered. The scent of vanilla washed over me. The taste of vanilla in the rich, creamy, hand-crafted ice cream cooled my mouth. It sated my outpaced desire. The world around faded into nothing as the clean and unblemished dessert overwhelmed me.

    I spooned more, reveling in the moment, certain it would end too soon.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      To get this heated on ice cream, you obviously wanted.bluebell home made vanilla.l.loved the whole thing and I want to get my wood burner kit I had as a child a two by four to burn your story forever and screw it into the head board. . That’s how much I liked this

      1. Bushkill

        Thanks, Kerry.

        I haven’t had a lot of time … my twins are graduating college over the course of this month and I am running like a madman keeping it all in place
        I went with a take off of last week’s prompt and kept the sensual overtones pinging.

          1. Bushkill

            Thank you. One of them is a writer and looking to take off in the field in some way. (at the moment she edits a good deal of my stuff for free. I suppose that will have to end)

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      My, my, I must retrieve my crochet-edged handkerchief from that place southern ladies tuck them and blot the glow from my forehead and cheeks. My, my. Thank heavens for vanilla.

  3. Andrew

    Hello Jess! I have two quick questions:
    1. How do you upload a profile photo on Writer’s Digest (that appears next to your name)?
    2. Is there a way to delete your Writer’s Digest account?
    3. And how do you delete or at least edit a comment?
    Also, thank you for the weekly prompts! They’re really helpful all the time.

    1. Moirai-TQ

      Just in case Jess doesn’t see this

      The avatar is in your edit profile section

      Delete account? email custserv @ fwmedia . com. They will need your first and last name, username, email address. And request to delete your account.

      Not sure about the editing or deleting comments

      1. Andrew

        Thank you but I do not see the edit profile section. If you’re talking about My Profile at the top right, it doesn’t show where I can upload a profile photo, but only the blanks where I can insert information like my name and biography. I already verified my account…
        Thanks again!!

  4. Moirai-TQ

    lime, mushrooms, onions, radishes, tomato, beef, sourdough, sweet potatoes, horseradish, chocolate, vanilla, strawberry

    The silver-haired man stood at the hostess stand waiting to be seated. He had the type of face that reminded everyone of someone, but couldn’t quite place the name. His generous smile came easily and often.

    “Just one tonight?” asked the hostess.

    “Yes, the missus couldn’t make it. She’s taking an art class, and it ran long.”

    He followed the hostess to his normal table along the side wall. She pulled out the table from the chair so he could sit down. When he was comfortable, he pulled it close enough for him. He smoothed out the unseen wrinkles on the cotton tablecloth before she put his glass of water on the table.

    “May I get your usual drink? Gin and tonic with a lime?”

    He nodded in agreement. “A double tonight, please,” he said very politely.

    The waiter brought his drink over and asked what he wanted for his salad. “Butter lettuce, mushrooms, red onions, and radishes. Basalmic vinegarette dressing.” The salad arrived about 10 minutes later. He put each forkful in his mouth like it was the best tasting food he’d ever had. He smiled after every bite.

    The wait staff was very observant at this restaurant. Just the right amount of time passed before the table runner picked up his salad dishes. No one was made to feel rushed, but not too much time lapsed, either. The waiter came back and asked what he wanted for his entree.

    “Sourdough bun, hamburger patty – medium rare, one slice of tomato, and sweet potatoe fries.”

    “Ah, the usual, then. Excellent choice. Do you want raw horseradish?” The man nodded with a smile.

    After he had finished eating his main course, he pushed the table away so he could put his elbows up on the table for a few minutes. He pulled out his smartphone and responded to a few texts and emails. As he put his phone down, the waiter came over to see if he wanted dessert.

    “I’ll take a scoop each of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream. Thank you for such a wonderful dinner tonight. My compliments to the chef and all of you here tonight.”

    “You’re welcome Mr. Quayle. Would there be anything else?”

  5. jayak20

    Ginger, Plum, Cucumber, Cherry, Pear, Banana, Caramel, Coffee, Orange, Lily, Peach, Raisin, Apple

    “The sparkling water was..”, the connection went off.

    “Hello, dad”, she kept calling to a disconnected line.

    “Great”, Anne looked around gingerly. Ever since her dad landed into the plum job with the social media company, he has not been home.

    She was usually cool as a cucumber but not she found herself in a pickle. Anne had cherry-picked everything to make it perfect but things were going pear-shaped.

    She cannot go bananas so she took deep breaths to calm herself down. She opened the caramel colored kitchen cabinet and took the lime scented air freshener to drown the burning coffee smell. She had accidentally used sparkling water to make a hazelnut mocha. The toaster made the popping sound just in time. She buttered the toast and kept them on the tray along with the orange juice.

    The door clicked open and a lady in a bright flowery dress walked in. She looked as fresh as a lily. Anne ran to hug her mom. Her peach and cream complexion contrasting her mom’s skin wrinkled as a raisin. She was always an apple of her mother’s eye.

    “Happy Mother’s day!”, Anne smiled.

  6. cosi van tutte

    The sparkling water was lime daiquiri. Or maybe lime sherbet.

    Doesn’t really matter which.

    It was a silly incongruous thought as we spiraled out of the lemon drop sky.

    Lemon drop in a sea of tranquil blue raspberry.

    The engines were burning.

    Everything was all too hot.

    Like cinnamon. Not that meek stuff you put in cookies. I mean the real stuff. The stuff that rivals garlic for wha-ha! punch.

    The ship spiraled and swirled like chocolate and vanilla swirled ice cream.

    The circuitry melted. There was nothing more that we could do.

    And I kept visualizing the time my Oreo crumble ice cream dropped out of my waffle cone.

    Splat. It made a decided splat sound.

    I don’t think we’re going to splat.

    I think we’re going to splash.

    Or maybe both.

    We’re coming in too fast too hot too soon.

    I’m not ready.

    I’m no…

    ***
    Flavor list:
    Lime daiquiri
    Lime sherbet
    Lemon drop
    Blue raspberry
    Cinnamon
    Oreo crumble

    1. Beebles

      Gosh I liked this Cosi, The use of the flavours – blue raspberry: brilliant – really humanising the MC, such memories of childhood against a hellish backdrop. that’s what the prompt was for. Learnt stuff from that which I will put into effect immediately.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        You know this whole svrne may have lasted five or ten seconds only. The mind does strange things under extreme stress and you portray that perfectly. It’s something I used to worry about years ago when I had fly every week. I don’t know anyone.who could have written.in such.form that the horrow came in. Beautiful work.

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      cosi, years ago I experienced what was technically a crash landing. When I read the Oreo crumble line, well, I was right there with your MC. Great piece.

  7. writer_sk

    Cherry Coke, mint chocolate chip, lemon, green beans, tomatoes, pink champagne, Blue cotton candy, coffee, strawberry wine.

    The sparkling water was not the right kind of drink for right now. It’s crispness tickled the back of Evan’s throat. It felt dry going down and he sought wetness. Amber’s elbows folded and unfolded like a dog door swinging after the animal has left. She lurched ahead of him stabbing at the leaves with walking sticks. She climbed the steep parts of the trail without slowing without stopping and without the motion of her elbows ever changing. The cool early fall weather had turned muggy and dusk threatened them as they approached the summit. Finally his wife stopped to rest on a large rock. She took her hair out from a ponytail holder and the Cherry Coke ringlets cascaded down creating a frame around her face. He thought about the mint chocolate chip ice cream cone she had been licking when he asked her for a date. He thought about the lemon beer they drank at the lake before they spent their first night together. He thought about watching her pick the green beans and plum tomatoes from the garden at their first little starter house. He thought about the pink champagne that tasted so good after they eloped at the beach. He thought about the blue cotton candy she and the twins always got when they went to the fair. Their morning coffee together was the hardest for him to think about because now that she had moved on even though it had been him that made the mistake of cheating; he wanted another chance with Amber.

    They fought the night she found out. It was a bad fight in which he blamed her for driving him away, for putting work first and, he winced at the thought, for putting the children first. Now, one year later, nothing he could say or do could make up for his error. He put his arms around Amber in a gentle embrace and kissed her. Her kiss was as sweet as the strawberry wine they tested at the vineyards in Napa.

    Evan didn’t know if Amber would stay but she clutched his hand tighter than ever as they descended the peak, just narrowly avoiding nightfall.

  8. Andrew

    Flavors: Water, orange, apple, milk, chocolate, strawberry, cookie, marshmallow, rice, salt, corn, blackberry.

    The sparkling water was reminding me of sparklin’ water that I always buy from Costcookie Wholesale. The ricey bridge running across the river was so white that if a blackberry chimes in, people could mistake the bridge as a gigantic chessboard. The air was fresh. Speaking of freshness, whenever I look at those clear water, I always wonder: How come the Milky Way are chocolate when it’s a galaxy that tastes so darn milky? Well, at least it doesn’t taste like phones. *cringe note*
    I’m odd as a mixture of strawberry and orange with apples placed on top. Sometimes I’m cornier than a marshmallow. Probably that’s why I’m staring at the river, thinking about flavors for five whole days.

      1. Andrew

        By “sparkling water,” I was talking about the river so it may have been a little difficult to read.
        I know it wasn’t well-done, but thank you for reading though :p

  9. jhowe

    The sparkling water, pomegranate flavored, did little to calm me as the label suggested. I needed something sturdier, like tequila with salt and lime. I took the coin from my pocket and recited the eighth step. I thought of Delilah, her taut limbs, breath of fresh mint, her endless nagging. I’d harmed her, I knew that, but she shouldn’t have complained so much about the drinking. If she’d not broken the sloe gin bottle, maybe it would’ve been different. Driving her away was one of my greatest regrets.

    Mary, though… Mary was a mess. Her hair shone, like honey dripping from a rabid dog. Hell, she needed AA more than I did, but like me, she was stubborn. We attended a couple of meetings, but we didn’t take it seriously. We flitted from bar to bar, drinking raspberry vodka like it was orange juice. I’d harmed her, that was true, but most of her harm was self-inflicted. I often wondered if she was still alive.

    And then there was Bethany. Sweet Bethany, with candy apple lips and an ass that could stop traffic on the Maple Street Bridge during the Saint Paddy’s Day parade. I think I harmed her more than anyone. She believed in me and I blew it. A recovered drunk herself, she, more than anyone, knew what I was going through. It was my goading that caused her to binge on Jack Daniels and Coke after the parade. I should have called for an ambulance sooner, but I was too damn drunk to operate my phone.

    I slipped the coin in my pocket and stepped inside. When it was my turn, I stood. “My name is Garret, and I’m an alcoholic.”

    * pomegranate, tequila, salt, lime, mint, sloe, honey, raspberry, orange, candy, apple, maple and Coke.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      This is about as gritty as they come. You poured your soul into this and the writing shows. I don’t care to know if any of it’s true. God forbid,
      My uncle died in a gutter on a street in Philadelphia. He injured his head and bled to death because no one stopped and no one cared.you really hit a nerve, a down story brilliantly written.

    2. writer_sk

      Good to see you, J. Your story is so strong. I like the use of the phrase “harmed her.” It gives it a sinister feel. Maybe this could be continued in case he is seeking some redemption? Nice work

  10. Beebles

    To be honest I don’t know how many flavours are in there, but I did get the start right so I get points for that, right?
    ———————-
    The sparkling water reflected a dipping sun. Dustin cleared a stray blond hair from Carmen’s cheek, then rested on the promenade rail to watch her as he wrestled with what she had just told him. She continued to gaze at the seaward horizon.

    ‘Have you … always had this?’

    She shook her head then shrugged. ‘Perhaps, when I was a child I remember snippets. It wasn’t until I reached puberty and … you know, everything changed, that the correlation became clear.’ She gave him a reassuring smile.

    He had fallen in love with that smile, all through their years as friends and now at last, even though it was technically their first date, first trip together, away from the prying eyes of the office, he felt he was ready to tell her – if she hadn’t dropped this bombshell on him first.

    ‘I was eating cherries. I treated myself to a bag on the way home from college. They were extra sweet and soft, yet as soon as I swallowed I experienced a most profound serenity. I must have sat on a bench in that busy street, watching the manic world go by while this … honeyed calm persisted with each discarded stone. It was only when the bag was empty that I resurfaced… so I went back the next day to see if it would happen again. Something made me buy strawberries instead.’

    ‘And?’ he asked eagerly.

    She drew breath, as if she were still sucking the juice from her lips. ‘Joy. Not unbridled, just like re-finding a cherished book, a mild serendipity if you like.’ She continued, ‘Raspberries, were more intense, an elation I had never felt; it was like I was a star, full of light. And apples,’- she giggled – ‘Apples make me laugh, uncontrollably. I have to calm down between bites.’

    ‘Does all food do this to you?’

    ‘No, only some, so dates give me tolerance, figs, empathy and cinnamon, affection.’

    ‘Now I understand why your home made vegetable tagine goes down so well.’

    She opened her arms. ‘The perfect hostess.’

    ‘Did you experiment?’

    ‘Of course, but some snuck up on me. I found love in a restaurant, eating melon. For two minutes I wept because I couldn’t hold every diner, every waiter, every piece of crockery. I stuck to the ham after that.’

    ‘It must be wonderful.’

    ‘You’d think,’ she said, her face clouding over, ‘only there are more dark emotions than good. Cumin makes me despondent, turmeric, lonely.’

    ‘I’ll make a point never to cook you a curry.’ She nodded and made a fake sad face. He placed his hand on hers. ‘And you’ve never told anyone? Why me? Why now?’

    She moved into his embrace, looked up and kissed him. ‘Because … your lips taste of raspberries, your arms feel like cherries and your eyes… are like apples.’

    ‘I think I just had some melon,’ he joked.

    ‘I don’t need it,’ she replied and kissed him long until they laughed.

    ‘All this talk of food’s made me hungry. There’s a kiosk over there, fancy an ice-cream?’

    She nodded.

    ‘Which flav- no wait, I’m going to test you out. Just tell me any flavours that are right out.’

    ‘Just make it fruity. Not Pistachio,’ she said and mimed being hanged.

    He was back in two minutes, handing her a cone with two scoops.

    ‘I got you two, one’s strawberry, just in case.’ He took her hand and headed up the sea front back to their B&B. She tugged him back and looked at him suspiciously, cocking her head.

    ‘So… what’s the other flavour?’

    He shrugged and gave her an innocent smile.

    ‘Passion fruit.’

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Oh, thisis so good and delightfull, why on earth did you stop? Hang the 500 and get busy and finish it or my weekend is ruined.

  11. JosephFazzone

    Ginger, Turmeric, Paprika, Mint, Vanilla, Mango, Banana, Barbeque, Orange, Lime, Fudge, Lemon…maybe a few others. You have my applejuice. I’m berry sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

    The sparkling water was sparkling, the way it normally sparkles. My mind drifted as I shook the bottle a bit to watch the bubbles dance. Something about the carbonation, but how does it get in there?
    I heard a mumble.
    I looked to her nutmeg eyes, the did not sparkle like the water. They were frosting, cold cuts, calculating, crisp and currently boring a hole through my bacon. She said something about one of those exams. Back in the game, corn nut.
    Pretending I knew where we were in the conversation I gingerly asked, “How was your Paprika shmear?”
    Diana’s lips would have held the smile longer if that gravy didn’t kick in and take it pasta pork of origin into a disappleproving frown. Some say it takes more work to frown than to smile, they’d consider that theory bananas if they met Diana.
    Still the joke knocked the egg off a bit. Softly she said, “She went were no mango.”
    “That’s a bit of a vanilla description,” I complained.
    “Turmeric! Just what I was going for.”
    She barbequed me with her eyes.
    Sidestepping the heat, my hand drops the red cape as the bull’s horns fly by to my right. The crowd cheers. “I ask for State of the Onion address, and you go to the O-Range.”
    “This isn’t the governmint,” she gasped in frustration. “This is real life.”
    “Not a Lambologna, but a…
    “Lemon,” she spinached. “Now you’re tracking.”
    “I went to the ranch when I should have stayed in the barn,” I admitted. “Just trying to play the part of the non-squashish, I can take the icky gross details kind of guy.”
    She softened a bit, walked over to me, and cherryly gave me a light kiss on the nose, “You’re doing sub lime, Honey. There au jus some things we don’t talk about.”
    “Pumpkin?”
    “Yes, Cookie?”
    “Do you find it as Cheesy as I do when we talk all, marshmallowy?”
    She chuckled and shrugged. She looked her phone as I sipped my sparkling water. How does it keep the little bubbles inside?
    “Oh Fudge!”
    “What?”
    She gave me a nudge as she said, “We feta be going. Juniper is getting out of ballet class, and then we have to brioche over to Maple’s recital. Let’s put some spice into those steps!”
    “Can we dip into Salsalita’s for a cup of coffee?”
    “We can’t,” she spoke with a noodle of doubt.
    Being a seasoned professional in Dianalogy, I sizzled the opportunity. “Chicken,” I taunted and teased.
    “Quick cup of Joe?” Her souffle and fluffed flat, she floundered. “Quick?”
    “Quick like a two-minute taco, Coconut”, I promised. “Do you have any cheddar?”
    “I never pho get to bring some dough,” she answered and then sighed as she held my hand. “Let’s have our cake and eat it too.”
    “Dream the dream,” I smiled. “Let’s go and see our kiddies dance and bend a note or two.”
    She nodded with a grin.
    “After a dose or two of the roasted bean.”
    “Two”
    “Two”, I agreed.
    Hand in hand we raced to the mini-van and off into a Norman Rockwell painting.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Sure you’re not a friend of Lewis Carroll? You write similiar, zany, wonderful, Wish I knew how to wrire this way, my stories are too serious and not zany, love zany.

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      Wonderful, delightful, especially adored: barbecued me with her eyes and last line. Oh, also everything about the sparkling water.

    3. Bushkill

      Holy Cannoli, there were a lot mash (potato) ups in there.
      Made minced meat of my mind, it did.

      Good job and a fun read watching your imagination unfold through the prompt.

  12. rlk67

    The sparkling water was mint to be chilled, yet it was rum temperature.

    Melon-choly, I sipped and thought about how easy it was tequila romance. Although your heart maple you in a totally different direction, just use your eyes, take a pecan you will clearly see the truth.

    Ah, the old 80’s songs. “Caramel Chameleon”. “Oh, Cherry” (by Steve Berry). All the girl songs…so true, every single one. Sigh. I’m not from the world of macadamia, but if I were a philosophy professor, I would say that the kiwi to life is to enjoy what you have.

    Don’t take anything for pomegranate.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Very clever rlk, smooth also like a bottle of Old Crow on a windy, damp day. I really enjoyed it, especially the third read..

  13. ShamelessHack

    List of Flavors:

    Sea Salt
    Coconut
    Ginger
    Palm Tree
    Skipper
    Minnow
    Thurston
    Lovey
    Prof
    Mary Ann
    Gilligan

    “Hey, Eddie, how’ve ya been?”
    “Not bad, Murray. And you?”
    “OK. You been travelling with the pod?”
    “Yep. We spent the summer off the coast of the Aleutian Islands, then made our way south past Juneau and Vancouver, and now we’re down here. How about you?”
    “I just swam up from the Equator with Steve, Brenda, Todd, and the other orcas.”
    “Cool school, m’man! Hey, what’s with that little island over there?”
    “The one with the wrecked boat on the shore?”
    “Yeah. Anything to eat there?”
    “Well…there was a nice variety when we got here yesterday (see “List of Flavors” above), but we were pretty hungry, and well…if only I knew you were in the area, we would have saved you some…”
    “Ah, don’t sweat it, Eddie. There’re plenty of fish in the sea.”
    “Ha ha! Your puns are killer, whale!”

  14. MicahLee

    The sparkling water looked like gems as it rolled down strands of the kid’s hair and plopped onto the floor. She was fresh from the pool like so many of my customers and soaking the floor. I’d have to mop later that night. While her parents busied their hands with towels and making sure their swimsuits were covered as if all of creation hadn’t seen their reflective bodies baking under the sun nigh five minutes ago, this little girl was absorbed by the moment.
    Priorities according to kids are radically different than those of adults. Never have I learned this more clearly than during those sticky, sweet, strawberry summers spent at The Legen-Dairy Ice Cream Parlor.
    This particular little girl had big, round doe eyes and plump fingers turned white from clenching the railing along the production line. I stood on the other side, scoop in hand, waiting, eyebrows raised in that surprised look that’s become an automatic reaction when interacting with humans under the age of nine.
    “Remarkable,” I thought as I watched her. Her eyes moved slowly along the rows of ice cream, pausing on each one to consider it with as much care as her little brain could muster. I watched as interest, debate, excitement, and deep thought twisted across her face.
    This was a massive decision, of course. Afternoon making or breaking, in fact.
    There was, of course, vanilla, but that old bird didn’t draw her hungry eyes, nor coconut or lemon sorbet. These were grown up classics. She was more drawn to the second case of ice cream containing the rainbow mixture of peach, pistachio, chocolate, and the unnaturally bright green mint chocolate chip.
    Her parents rolled their eyes behind her, having made their decisions long before they got to the shop. They’d have the usual.
    “Sweetie, we have to hurry up now.”
    I wanted to snap at them, having seen the expression on her face. She had been so close to making her decision. She looked up at them, away from her options. Residual ice cream dripped from my scoop onto my shoe.
    “I want to choose,” she insisted for the 987th time.
    The mother looked up at me with that painted cross between politeness and fighting the urge to rip out her eyebrows.
    “Don’t you have any suggestions?”
    Don’t you have any suggestions? What could I answer her?
    Yes, of course I have suggestions. Lemon sorbet is for Sundays, but moose tracks makes the best sundaes. Double fudge brownie is for breakups, and Mackinac island fudge is best shared. There isn’t a moment under the sun that wouldn’t be better paired with ice cream of one flavor or another. And there isn’t an ice cream flavor under the sun that doesn’t have its moment.
    “That one!” She declared at long last, grinning a toothy smile and jabbing her pudgy finger into the glass hard enough to make a soft thump. A sigh rippled through the shop especially from the customers who had lined up behind this family. I looked to where she was pointing.
    Superman ice cream.
    Don’t you have any suggestions?
    Yes, of course I have suggestions.
    Superman ice cream is the only frozen treat in that world that is positively radioactive. Superman ice cream is the treat best served to innocent tongues who hadn’t yet tasted any of the world’s sharp bitterness, the flavor best enjoyed when it turns her lips blue and tongue green, under a blue sky, dripping down her chubby fingers, freedom under her sandaled feet.
    “What flavor can I get for you today?”
    The new face in front of me frowned in thought.
    “Well, what’s your suggestion?”

    1. MicahLee

      Flavors:
      Chocolate
      Strawberry
      Peach
      Mackinac island fudge
      Superman
      Lemon sorbet
      Double fudge brownie
      Moose tracks
      Mint chocolate chip (the green kind)
      Vanilla
      Coconut
      Pistachio

      1. Kerry Charlton

        A carefully composed story, I can tell you thought over every word to make it smooth like a silk blouse on a dance floor. And that’s my kind of silk and your prose is my kind of pleasure reading.

  15. mayboy

    A housewife recipe

    The sparkling water was the mirror of the sunshine Friday afternoon when I looked through the kitchen window. The hot water in the jacuzzi pool was bubbling under the blossoming trees in the garden. My dear husband was napping in the deckchair under the shadow of oleander. Even the smell of the chicken from the oven didn’t bother him.

    “The lunch is almost ready. Ten more minutes!” I mumbled while chewing the lemon bubble-gum.

    “I’m coming,” he rushed in with the thundering voice and put the finger into the sweet strawberries creme I’ve already mixed, “Njami, this is for finger licking.”

    Since we met the first time, it was a love story and the perfect match for two food lovers. After we got married, I spoiled my husband with carefully chosen recipes and tasty meals he adored.

    “What smell it is?” He smacked his lips, “turkey or chicken.”

    “Healthy vegetable soup for the beginning,” I put the plate of broccoli soup on the table and added a little bit of fresh cut parcel.

    “The rest will follow soon,” a thought flew over my mind. I kept the secret as my husband did among the papers in his office.

    I served him baked salted chicken with sweet and sour salsa. For the stronger taste of mashed potatoes with grilled onion and garlic, I peppered above the dish. My sweety, as I used to call him, was a fan of spicy food and I didn’t forget to add a touch of mustard colored curry to the chicken to reach the mellow taste. The salad, a mixture of lettuce, ripe tomato, mozzarella and few leaves of basil was a temptation of colors and odors no one would like to miss. The flavor spread all over the place, and the bottle of cooled champagne had the right temperature to taste its breeziness. The bubbles pumped out while he sipped the glass to cheer the success of the twelve-year marriage, bittersweet burnt pancake umami for me.

    Again, as a kind wife, I left my husband to rest. I sneaked with cougar steps next to him, with a glass of refreshing cocktail in my hand.

    I pulled an ice cube out and squeezed it. Cold drops of water fell on husbands lips. He opened the mouth for more. For years, my heart melted when he spread the corners of the lips in a broad smile. This time, I crushed the ice and mixed it with various liquor, added some dry ingredients, flavor extracts and fresh lime with a leaf of melissa above.

    “To beat the heat, drink this,” I knew he couldn’t resist when he saw that his skin got purple red. Plus, he wouldn’t oppose the massage of his swollen foot either. A few drops of coconut, eucalyptus, peppermint, and lemon blend in my palm was an introduction to the master plan how to conquer your partner again, as my girlfriends advised. After I gently massaged the ankle with essential oils, I rubbed and dried the hands with a towel and accidentally broken the bottle of the essence.
    The oil spilled on the tiles in front of the jacuzzi. When my other half stood up and stumbled along, I sat in the rocking chair and bit
    in delicious, mint colored pistacchio ice-cream.

  16. Denise G. Monello

    Flavors: chocolate, sour, sugar, spicey, pungent, smoky, strawberry, cherry, lemon, sharp, vanilla, rainbow

    The sparkling water drooled from his mouth as he poured it down his throat.

    “Come on, that’s disgusting, Donny. You’re lookin’ like a Saint Bernard in heat. Keep the damn water in your mouth,” I shouted.

    “Lighten up, Freddy, summer in the city brings out the beast in all of us.”

    The faint hot breeze carried Donny’s pungent B.O. directly under my nose. I wasn’t sure I could take any more gross things the heat had to offer. Donny saw the scowl on my face.

    “You’re stinkin’ a little spicey yourself there pal.”

    We had been sitting on the fire escape since early afternoon observing the effects the blistering heat had on the people passing below. We watched the sweltering drivers stagnate in their cars.

    “Check out the strawberry blonde–she’s got no shoes on,” Donny said leering his dripping head between the steel openings depositing droplets of perspiration on the sidewalk. “Those feet must be pretty sharp after walking through this neighborhood,” he laughed.

    “The sun is going down, and it’s still hot,” I moaned as I took off my shirt and wiped it through my sopping hair.

    “What the heck is that thing?” Donny shouted.

    “What? A roach?”

    “No, dummy, that thing on your shoulder.”

    I turned my head back. “Oh, that?”

    “Yeah. It’s so damn big.”

    “It’s a strawberry birthmark–had it since I was born.”

    “Seein’ that thing–I ain’t never eatin’ a strawberry again,” he winced.

    “Oh, shush. And stop your staring.”

    “It’s funny–a day in the sun and your fine, vanilla skin turned cherry red–kinda makes me want ice cream.”

    “And your milk chocolate skin turned–well–it turned into dark chocolate,” I snickered.

    We leaned back against the window sill and watched as the sky turned a lemon-orange. The culprit of this heat wave escaped below the horizon. The street lights came one. Storefront signs filled the streets with a neon rainbow of colors. The air was still. The putrid smell of garbage landed in the back of our throats. People fled their stifling four walls to find relief on their stoops.

    My mouth was dry–tasted sour. I opened the sweat covered styrofoam box. One plastic bottle sat in a pool of cold water. I took it out and guzzled it down–keeping it in my mouth. Donny grabbed the cooler and poured the stagnant water over his head. We watched the smoky mist break free from the sizzling water as some of it hit the steel grates. The rest fell to the ground with a loud slap.

    “Hey, Freddy, check out the sugar in the tank top–across the street,” Donny said with a sneer.

    “She shouldn’t be wearin’ something with no sleeves. Those arms are big enough to kill a man,” I laughed.

    The night took over. We gave into the pressure of the heat and closed our eyes blinking off the sting from the sweat from our brows that tried to seep in. Time to sleep. Maybe tomorrow it won’t be so hot.

  17. RafTriesToWrite

    Flavorful Mornings

    Flavors used (appearing in order): Mint, Lime, Orange, Lemon, Chocolate, Banana, Strawberry, Mango, Blueberry, Maple, Cherry, Apple.

    The sparkling water was minty fresh like the morning breeze on the beach every summer a few years ago. Yet Caroline couldn’t pinpoint what was missing from her drink.

    She forgot the Lime on top. Her mom didn’t buy them last night.

    The sweet fragrance of orange lurked in the room as her mom entered the kitchen. Her mom likes wearing that orange scented perfume, as do her dad. It reminds her mom of who she was and who she is now, when Caroline asked her one day about the perfume.

    “I know! Lemon juice!” Her mom spoke about the unfinished conversation she had with Caroline last night on what they should drink for lunch the next day.

    “I’d prefer a chocolate smoothie” Caroline dejected the thought of drinking that lame sour drink during lunch time, but she knows that she won’t get her way. Not this time.

    “You’ve gone bananas Carol! And because of that you’re only getting a strawberry smoothie for your snack later” Caroline’s mom knows that her daughter hates that flavor. She knew.

    “But mooooooooooooom” Caroline whined and begged her mom to change her mind.

    Her mom sighed. “Fine.” Caroline thought she changed her mom’s mind, but little did she know that her mom also didn’t buy that last night. “Mango smoothie then.”

    Caroline looked at her mom with confusion.

    “It’s a thing” Her mom nodded as she reached in the cabinets to start preparing breakfast. “In some countries”

    Caroline didn’t complained anymore, she knew she’d rather have the unusual flavored smoothie than drink the one flavor she hated.

    “Now go get the blueberries and maple syrup, the pancakes are almost done” Caroline’s mom said as she flipped the last few pieces of pancakes she magically conjured out of nowhere.

    As Caroline’s mom was plating the pancakes, Caroline herself was busy getting the red box of ‘good stuff’ from the back of the fridge and showed it to her mom.

    “Can I?” Caroline asked, her eyes begging her mom to approve what she had in mind, as she showed the box to her.

    1. RafTriesToWrite

      “If you want cherries on your pancakes then you have to eat an apple, that’s the rule remember?” Caroline’s mom set down the plate of pancakes as her daughter grabbed an apple on the way to the dining table.

    2. RafTriesToWrite

      She smiled at her daughter eating at her heart’s content, not caring about how hard their life is right now. Ever since her husband died it’s been all bad from there. The house got foreclosed, they moved into a bad neighborhood, overdue liabilites, working two jobs and has to leave Caroline with a sitter most of the time.

      But that’s not the case with Caroline, she’s been healthy, happy and goes to a good school. At least she knows she did something right, no matter how flavorful this morning was, it will always be sweet at the end.

      It has to. For Caroline’s sake.

      1. ReathaThomasOakley

        Raf, nice, fruitful piece. I just loved how the pancakes magically appeared. I think I’ll use that device next time I write myself into a corner.

    1. snuzcook

      I just had an odd experience as well. I posted a story and several replies to others, but when I came back later, they had all disappeared. Now they are back. Something to do with layers of log in/log out/log in…?

  18. snuzcook

    Apologies in advance–attack of extreme silliness

    “The sparkling water was chili,” she said, tartly.

    “It is intended to be served cold,” the ginger-haired waiter sniffed, and walked away.

    “You know, you could be nicer, Honey” I reminded her.

    “I refuse to curry favor from a self-important little c*mquat like him.”

    “Getting back to the Limburger in the room, what did your Mother want? Is she cutting you off without a fig? Will we have to sell apples on the street corner?”

    “Don’t pepper me with questions! This day hasn’t exactly gone as smooth as molasses.”

    “Sorry. Take your thyme.”

    “Well, first she said I had to stop evading the question of going back to school.”

    “Your mother always was one to talk turkey.”

    “She said if I was too chicken to go back and finish my thesis, I should consider changing majorams. Maybe switch from marine horticulture to oceanographic invertebrates.”

    “You mean give up savory seaweed for escarg-eau?”

    “She said if I couldn’t get my act together to go back to school next term, then the Bank of Mom was closed—no more deliveries from the Family Mint.”

    “And what did you say?”

    “What could I say? I promised to mull it over. Then I waited till she was out the door and, I gave her a big wet raspberry.”

    “Very mature, Rosemary.”

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Silly it is and love it, love it,. love it. I wish I had the talent to write it bit i’ll leave that to you snuz, you are the master. And speaking of thesis, why didn’t I finish graduate school? My senior year I went haldway thru for my masters but still needed 30 hours more and was already married. I was and am an idiot.

  19. ReathaThomasOakley

    Twelve Foods, Imagine the Flavors

    The sparkling water of the Atlantic is now a memory, but has gotten me through miles of Wyoming roads cutting through land sometimes green as the peas I’d shell on our front porch and sometimes burnt-cinnamon-toast brown. When that land is whipped-cream or vanilla ice cream white in winter focus is on the immediate, not the past.

    I’m gathering thoughts as I used to gather cherry tomatoes when I was three. I’ll never forget the wonder of sun-hot juice and flesh and skin. Today is gray as moldy cheese, but my thoughts are soufflé light. I have something to share, sorry, not brownies or cookies.

    A year ago I wrote that I pulled together, like a bouquet garni for soups and stews I no longer tackle, several stories about a girl named Annie posted here, and entered them in Wyoming Writers’ competition. I was shocked when awarded first place in the fiction category.

    This year I almost didn’t enter. We were struggling with insurance after a November house flood, but when approval finally came in early March we packed computers and cat and frozen dinners and headed for a hotel so rooms could be gutted like fat rainbow trout (sorry, I think that’s twelve) for mold removal and new floors, cabinets, etc., etc., etc.

    In addition to getting contest entries finished by the deadline, I’d volunteered to coordinate a project for Prairie Pens, our local writing group. Members each emailed me up to three poems and a short bio and I got busy making certain each piece didn’t exceed 8″x10″. A founding member wrote and sent me a history and lists of members’ awards and places published. After hours of writing and working out fonts and margins, with dollar store frames and group assistance, we hung nearly 80 word-filled frames, and a dozen pages of information, etc., on library walls for National Poetry Month.

    Last Tuesday we returned to an almost finished house, then repacked to head to Cheyenne for WyoPoets Conference where my husband was honored as one of only sixteen poets accepted in the new chapbook.

    We were almost ready to head out Friday morning, when I got a call from Tom, WW contest coordinator, telling me I’d gotten first and second places in the new flash fiction category. I rewrote stories posted here from September 23, 2016, and March 21, 2017, prompts. That one got posted the following week, we were moving.

    I was thrilled and started planning how I’d share the news with you all when the phone rang again. It was Tom. I’d gotten a second in traditional poetry. I could hardly believe it. Tom apologized, he was going through the results, judge by judge. When I saw Tom’s name the third time I was certain he was calling to tell me he’d made a mistake, but to his, and my, surprise, I’d also gotten the first in fiction, same as last year. (Entries weren’t limited to Wyoming. Another poetry contest I didn’t have time for had over 400 entries.)

    Please forgive me for bragging, but the weekly prompts, and the comments, have keep me writing and posting here since February, 2015. I would have quit without this place and all of you. Thank you so very, very, very much.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I am puffed up like a blow fish. I am so proud of you and reading each week, what you choose to let us see
        Love the peas, my expertise was shuching corn and pulling worms out of spinach Not very appetising is it. I always knew you had it as you know and hopefully your book will show the same effects. GO GET THEM GIRL!

    1. Denise G. Monello

      I have only been posting here since the beginning of the year and have been privy to a number of your stories; each one touches me in entirely different ways. I’m grateful you didn’t quit. You deserve every accolade–and more. You’re a beautiful writer.

  20. Kerry Charlton

    LANORE

    “A KISS IS STILL A KISS”

    We were at our summer home in Avalon on the Atlantic when my Mother walked me to her girl friends house so she could play bridge. At the age of six, I cared less because the home was on the beach at the point of the island and it was awesome. Her daughter’s name was Susan who was my age and we went upstairs to play,

    “Let’s play doctor,” she said.
    “Doctor?, I don’t know how. ”
    “Silly, take your clothes off so I can look.”
    “No, why should I ?”
    “Because I am, see?”
    “I can’t do it, I’m gonna tell.”
    “Okay I won’t, will you kiss me?”
    I went to her, we bumped noses and I gave her a smack, which tasted like bubblegum.

    At eleven, I went to a birthday and I played ‘spin the bottle’ A cute little blonde girl, who name was Sally took me around the house and gave me my really first kiss, it almost burst my heart. It tasted like rose petals. To this day, I remember it.

    At fourteen, puppy love with a petite redhead named Carol Diane, she lived in Coconut Grove on an estate over the garage in a small apartment by the bay. She taught me to kiss under the stairs by the garage. Peanut butter came to mind if I remember correctly.

    At the junior prom, it was Sandy, a beautiful mind, a mansion on the golf course with a measured kiss of pro-priority . She had a crazy sister that would stand at the curving staircase and giggle at us. Sally was kind of pretty, polite and tasted of Colgate

    At eighteen it was Ann, a slender brunette with a quick mind and a darting tongue that tasted like ………. tongue. I never should have let her slip through my fingers Fool!

    At nineteen at a freshman dance at the university, Barbara Tangoed into my life. Another brilliant personality enough so to over whelm me. Her kisses were like a roaring flame that traveled to my toes like a shot of Vodka. She was in love, I… I don’t know, I broke the romance because of fear, joined her again and the flame grew in intensity. A coward I was, we could have worked the prejudice away. Who’s who in America she became .

    Identical twins named Victoria and Denise. Bob and I doubled dated for a few months and parked on the abandoned boat dock at Viscaya. They alternated, we knew it and didn’t care. One rum the other Coca Cola

    Trudy, a temptress a little later, her beauty and grace would give her the world if she had wanted it. But no, she tasted of danger and mystery and walked like a dream. Kept me awake until dawn just thinking of her.

    Mary, a girl true to her name, she helped me up on my feet again. Hit by a business steamroller, I felt lost and took her hand back to safety. Her kisses, warm, sweet and sincere, like toll house cookies and ice cream.

    And when I least expected it, she came floating into my life like a redheaded angel, a delicate beauty that put any man at her feet, and I did so, her kisses like ever revolving tastes of rare wine and orange blossoms.

    May the circle stop here in the story and let Lanore rest beside me for the remainder of my life.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        THANKS hACK, WHAT A GREAT IDEA, i MIGHT MAKE A RUN FOR IT LATER. tOO DARN BUSY THIS WEEK, NOT FAIR. i AM HAPPY YOU ENJOYED IT.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you snux for the lovely comment, another case of the fingers doing the work, I was along for the ride and enjoyed it myself. Never have any idea where most of the stories are headed. That’s why they are so much fun to do.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Denise, I had to jump start the prompt to get the story moving. Once it starts, I take my hands off the wheel and see what happens.

  21. Nicole Coffey

    12 flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Butterscotch, Strawberry, Mint, Cookie dough, Lime, Lemon, Raspberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Cream soda

    The sparkling water was crisp but nothing compared the gin staring Hayden in the face behind the counter. Hell, right now, he’d settle for a flavor packet. Strawberry, blueberry, anything but this plain water he drank for training. Hayden’s attention was taken from his bland breakfast to a man who walked into the diner. He was sunburnt, taking vanilla skin to cherry in a few places. Still, he smiled to the man behind the counter and took a seat beside Hayden.
    “Lemon lime soda, and the usual gyro please.” He said.
    Hayden watched bemused and the man carefully popped gum between his teeth. From where he sat he could smell the mint. The stranger noticed Hayden watching him which sent his cheeks to a deep raspberry.
    “What’s your name?” Hayden asked.
    The man kept his gaze strictly on the gyro being made. “Daniel.”
    “Dan?”
    The man’s nose scrunched. “No, Daniel.”
    Hayden chuckled. “Been to the beach, Dan?”
    Daniel sighed. “Do you need directions to it?”
    “I’m just trying to make conversation.”
    The server returned and handed Daniel his plate and a drink. “Sorry Danny, we’re out of lemon lime, but I’ve got a back up.”
    “That’s fine, I can handle cream soda today.” Daniel smiled. He traded the food for a few bills and told the server to keep the change.
    “Care to handle some chocolate?” Hayden grinned.
    It took a moment for Daniel to understand what Hayden meant before noting his tan skin. This time the blush took over his whole face.
    “If this is you making a move, you’re coming onto me all wrong.”
    Hayden winked. “Tell me what you like.”

        1. Kerry Charlton

          I swear while reading I was sitting next to them hearing their conversation
          I even could see the restaurant and the red table cloths . Napkins folded neatly. Realism is your game girl. Play the strong suit. Good job.

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