Two for Tuesday Challenge #8 — May 14 – 20

Flash fiction challenges such as Five Sentence Fiction has kept me writing and improved my craft, so I serve up some here every Tuesday. Since every one likes choices I’m providing you with two weekly writing prompts.  You can participate in either one, or double your pleasure by trying your hand at both. Submit your efforts any time between now and next Tuesday.

The Standard Prompt will always consist of a two-word prompt to be used as inspiration. The Non-Standard Prompt will change from week to week. Sometimes it will be a visual prompt, sometimes a first sentence or phrase, sometimes a scenario, etc.  The limit for the Two for Tuesday Standard Prompts is 200 words and the Nonstandard Prompt has a minimum of 200 words. Use the little blue link thing below to submit your link or leave an entry in the comments section.

Don’t forget to check out the other entries.

Here is this week’s two-fer:

Standard prompt:
eat away

You have lots of creative leeway. The limit is 200 words. The words can be used:

  • simply as a point of inspiration and do not have to be used directly
  • they can be included exactly as provided
  • or each word can be used independently of each other (for example if Death Row was the prompt instead of crafting a story about an inmate on the way to the gallows, you might write something like: Despite feeling like death from an excess of cheap vodka consumed the night before, Evelyn moved on to planting her next row of spinach).

Non-Standard Prompt:
I’m a foodie. I love to cook and eat and read about food and write about food. This week for the alternative prompt, write a story that centers around food. Food should be the main character. I’m not looking for a recipe. I want to taste and smell what’s on the plate. I want to see the shimmer of sauces. I want you to make my stomach growl. As per usual with the Non-standard prompt there is no word limit but there is a minimum of 200 words.

Write on!

For those who like to write first and read later, be forewarned my effort using the Non Standard prompt follows. I hope you enjoy the feast…

tissue box
Please, Sir, May I Have Some More?
(718 words)

Mark and Sue followed the maître d’ like a pair of drooling hounds taking up the scent of a fox on a serpentine course among the damask clothed tables.  The low light and flickering candles glittered warmly off the stemware and spotless silver on each table in the hushed atmosphere of the 5-star establishment. A tuxedoed waiter with a tray of meals, held high overhead, whisked past the couple in the opposite direction trailing an aromatic wake of caramelized onions and an earthy whiff of truffles. The snap and sizzle of a pan-seared steak danced on the ear and all of it quickly faded as the plates were delivered to a lucky table somewhere else in the restaurant.

The couple was seated—chairs were pulled out and held for both of them—and the maître d’ dropped napkins first in Sue’s lap and then Mark’s with a practiced flair. Menus were proffered in the same order (ladies first) and a wine list was discretely left at Mark’s elbow. After making sure all was in order, the man gave a slight, silent nod of the head and melted away like cotton candy on the tongue.

A nameless, shy bus boy in a simple white tunic and black slacks delivered a tumbled, steaming assortment of artisan breads torn into large rustic hunks along with a shallow but wide bowl of olive oil mixed to the point of saturation—an almost paste-like consistency—with fresh grated Romano cheese and a sprinkling of red peppers for a surprising bit of heat.

Wine was selected with recommendations from the sommelier based on menu selections which had been carefully deliberated over and he returned with a bottle of a Mélange Blanc, making great show of presenting the label, inspecting the cork and tasting the wine in small flat silver dish that hung around his neck on a chunky chain like a Mr. T medallion.  He poured a splash in Mark’s glass to taste. “I’m sure it’s fine,” Mark murmured but nonetheless lifted the glass, swirled the honey-colored liquid, sniffed and sipped it trying to act as if he knew what he was doing. It was surprisingly complex for a white. He nodded to the man who had waited patiently with the bottle held aloft, supported at the bottom in one hand, his thumb tucked inside the bottle’s punt.  Wine was tipped with a gurgle into sparkling large globe shaped glasses and the bottle was set with a rattle into a table-side ice bucket to keep it chilled.

Sue jabbered on excitedly while Mark listened, but he also distracted himself by scanning the crowd for any possible celebs until the waiter arrived with a tray promising to delight and intoxicate the palate. Sue had ordered wonderfully pungent sea scallops arranged on a bed of glistening risotto and a tumble of blanched, garden fresh vegetables hit with a dribble of lemon juice and olive oil.  Across from that was a tower of flash fried sweet potato curls dusted with sea salt. Mark’s plate was set before him bearing a pair of pork noisettes bathed in a creamy Calvados sauce with a few slices of caramelized apples tucked under one side and confettied with lemon zest.  A bundle of pencil thin asparagus lay on one side wearing a stripe of balsamic reduction as thick and black as molasses. Rounding out his plate was a confit of wild mushrooms—chanterelles, hedgehogs, morels, hen of the woods—dark and moist as the forest floor.

The waiter pulled a nearly two-foot long wooden mill from the tray to his left and was about to ask if either wanted fresh ground pepper when his eyes whinged up into contorted slits and he suddenly let lose an unexpectedly loud, sharp blast. Mark felt the spray of spittle hit his face and found himself looking with astonishment through glasses now dotted with a Seattle-like drizzle of aspirated mucus compliments of the waiter. His meal, similarly blanketed by the sneeze, was slowly and silently removed from the table as the waiter choked out a horrified apology and the promise of a replacement ASAP. Mark dropped his head and a silent tear rolled down his cheek as his stomach simultaneously registered its regret with a very vocal rumble.


15 comments on “Two for Tuesday Challenge #8 — May 14 – 20

  1. My gosh that food did sound good. I was totally contemplating the cost of said meal as I read. It screamed expensive in its decadence.

    I can’t promise I’ll be able to keep my attempt pg. My mind has been lingering in the gutter lately. Lol

  2. […] Andy has the weekly prompt up! Perhaps the counterpart of the previous post? […]

  3. […] great prompt from Andy’s Words & Pictures. This week I used the Standard Prompt eat away. Hope you like it. feedback is always […]

  4. […] was written for the Two for Tuesday Challenge #8. Prompt: write a story that centers around […]

  5. There was technically cooking involved, but hopefully it doesn’t feel like a recipe =)

  6. […] week’s Andy Black’s Two for Tuesday Challenge was a lot of […]

  7. Oh this was delicious, my mouth was watering with expectation and delight, until the waiter sneezed and everything recoiled in fright. Great descriptive piece. I bet you could turn scones into something cordon bleu and desirable.

    • scones! my wife makes wonderful cheese scones that are somehow both dense and flakey at the same time. They should be eaten fresh out of the oven so that a generous pat of butter is quickly absorbed by the thirsty steaming scones giving them a rich moist finish. Great with a hearty stew on a cold winter night

      • Oh that just isn’t fair, I’m hungry all over again now. Can you post your wife’s recipe? It still feels like winter here in the UK and cheese scones over a hearty stew is too tempting to miss.

        • I’ll have to dig it out. I’ll ask her for it. I’ll get it to you eventually

          • as promised, but you’ll have to convert the US measurements to metric:

            Cheese and Herb Scones

            Country Living Magazine Feb, 1989

            Makes 8 Scones

            4 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
            4 tsp baking powder
            1 tsp salt
            1/2 tsp dried basil
            1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
            1/4 tsp ground red pepper
            2/3 cup vegetable shortening
            1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
            1-1/3 cups milk
            1 TBL prepared Dijon-style mustard

            1. Heat oven 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease large baking sheet. In large bowl combine flour, baking powder, salt, basil, thyme, and red pepper. With pastry blender or 2 knives cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 3/4 cup of cheese.

            2. Add milk and mustard to dry ingredients; mix lightly with a fork until mixture clings together and forms a soft dough.

            3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead gently 5 or 6 times. Divide dough in half. With lightly floured rolling pin, roll one half of dough into a 7-inch round. cut into 4 wedges. Repeat with remaining dough.

            4. Place scones 1 inch apart, on greased baking sheet. Pierce tops with tines of a fork. Brush tops with water and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

            5. Bake scones 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

            Hope it’s still cool enough to enjoy a hearty meal! Bon Appetit!

  8. […] title, by the way. Anyone have a better idea?) The revisions put it over the 200 word limit for the Two For Tuesday challenge so I decided to give the new version its own post. Hope you like it! Feedback always […]

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