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Flash (whiz-bang) Fiction Photo Prompt #3: Toasted

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A Story, Flash Fiction, For Fun, writing

Even though this is the third installment of this flash fiction series, I’m gonna keep you on your writerly toes by introducing the sibling of mister flashy fiction pants, flash non-fiction. As partially described on Poets & Writers website –

It could be anything from a single scene to a complete micro essay—either way, try to utilize the same techniques and structure that you would for a full-length piece.

… but in non-fiction form.

Last week I offered this image as a photo to prompt your flash fiction. If you borrowed it to your site and wrote a whiz-bang piece, please link it in the comments. Or, you may write your actual-factual, little, bitty ditty in the comment box.

Narrative.

750 words or less.

Poetry is allowed too.

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Simply Darlene’s photo prompt flash fiction:

Toasted

Sourdough, whole wheat, and herb-infused white—she slices fresh-baked bread thick, toasts, and slathers it with butter for the traditionalists, or smears it with coconut oil for the health enthusiasts.

Several one-holed holders and their burnt to the stub incense sticks (and early morning’s fragrant ashy worms) line a high, narrow shelf, out of everyone’s reach. The walls are pine, rough and unvarnished.

Piles of red, cotton napkins are stacked center on each wood plank farm table. Cushions line the seats of benches and chairs.

Plush rugs are scattered across the concrete floor. During cold months, radiant heat warms stocking-clad feet.

Giant, denim floor pillows and two leather couches are crowded into the far corner. A large shelf made of wooden fruit boxes is lined with books; beginning readers are down low and classics are up high.

Ten inches of frosted, bevel-edged glass separates customers from three giant toasters that line the contoured, stainless steel countertop. Everything is arranged so the server always faces the customers. Rumor has it that most customers become her friends.

Sturdy, small plates in fifty shades of white are stacked between each machine.

After toasting and topping with local, raw honey, small batch strawberry jam, cinnamon sugar, or local-made garlic hummus, she cuts each piece on the diagonal, and then places orders on wooden trays. Each tray has been crafted with two mug-sized divots.

She points customers toward their self-serve drink options.

Sturdy ceramic mugs in fifty shades of white hang on black pegboard wall. Mugs made of metal are hung low for children to reach.

Alongside a kettle of steaming water, hot coffee percolates on the wood cookstove. Extending three feet along the counter, colorful, vintage canisters hold herbal and black teas, some bagged, some loose. Atop a small, glass-fronted cooler with a hinged door, a hand-printed sign reads, “Creamers are available (dairy or coconut milk).” Cold-brew coffee and chilled sun tea are options during summer months.

Instead of a cash register, a plain, metal box with paper money for change—a slab of toast and a drink costs $5, tax included—there’s no call for coin, credit, or check. Cash only. A black lab/blue heeler dog snores beneath this end of the counter.

Acoustic guitar music plays soft from a small stereo, accent only to conversation.

  

Hmmm. Yes, this is a slight detour from flash fiction’s dialogue, action, plot, and resolution. Instead, it’s a focused look at setting… Perhaps it’s a descriptive newspaper review of a new place in town called Toasted – where the entrepreneur owner wears her husband’s too-long, Levi jeans from high school, and the pant legs bunch and wrinkle over her cowboy boots. And today she’s clad in a red apron with a brown camouflage front pocket, a gift from her 12-year-old son. He sits at a table’s end with a stack of physics, history, and fantasy fiction books. He practices cursive writing, and works out a math lesson. During a customer lull, he explains to his momma the difference between fusion and fission. She listens and then asks for some examples.

After the impromptu science lesson, he slings a long arm around her waist. Her head barely reaches his shoulder. “Please, momma, may I have a strawberry jam on sourdough?”

 Her simple cotton, snap-front shirt is untucked, and a frayed-edge red bandana holds her long, dark braided hair down. She winks and washes her hands before cutting yesterday’s bread thick.

word count: 570

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