A Fitting Fold

medieval-kitchen-cashtle-rushen-isle-of-man-jim-linwood-flickr

Photo credit: Jim Linwood



I was scrawnier than the other boys.  Always slumping.  Shy.  Yet Grandmother chose me.

“You’ll do.”

I cut vegetables, mixed batter.  Practiced.

That day, when she would normally take over, she kept knitting.  “I’m busy.  You do it.”

I worked the dough, testing the texture.  “Is this right, Grandmother?”

She didn’t look.  “You tell me.”

I added each vegetable to the pot, simmered the sauce.

Grandmother fanned herself.

Too hot, yes.  I adjusted the fire.

Even the meat.  Sharpening the big knife, the strap kept time with her needles.  Chopped it into ever smaller pieces.  Was it fine enough?  I paused, torn.

Grandmother coughed.

Done, then.  Into the sauce.

Finally, each dough circle was dolloped with meat sauce, pinched into lucky half-moons.  Sloppier than hers.  Crooked.  Embarrassing.

Crouching at the oven, my face hot, I rotated them incessantly.  How did she get them so perfectly brown?

She blew on one, took a bite.

I stopped breathing.

“That’ll do.”  She smiled. “You’ve got the sense for it.  Like your father did.”

Going home, I walked tall.



Word count: 175.  Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge.  Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting!  See the original photo prompt below, and click here to read the other stories or to submit your own.

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Photo © Maria at Doodles and Scribbles



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36 thoughts on “A Fitting Fold

    • It made me hungry re-reading it, too. Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for commenting! I like to remind myself (and my readers) that just because this is a fantasy world with magic and weird creatures and whatnot, everyday people keep living everyday lives.

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  1. Grandmother makes a wonderful teacher – no direct instructions, preferring instead to let him learn as he works. Trial and error is always good, and he got there all on his own. An enjoyable and thought-provoking story with great interaction between the characters. Well written, Joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Millie! In my mind, she’s talked him through these steps before, while she’s demonstrating how to do it herself. Now she wants to see how he does without “training wheels.”

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  2. Aah this is great 🙂 Yes it is a wonderful feeling when someone validates your efforts. I want to start writing some flash fiction, I’ve seen a few people do it on wordpress, and it looks like fun! Take care.

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    • Thanks for stopping by, Alex! I would definitely recommend trying some flash fiction challenges, they’re a lot of fun and you get to meet so many other writers in the process. The only drawback I’ve found is that some weeks I end up spending all my limited writing time on flash fiction and not on my novel-in-progress. Oops!

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      • Ha.. I’ve been that way a little bit with wordpress over the last month! It’s a little bit obsessive, reading others peoples thoughts and chatting. I have definitely got much less work done than I should have! What are you writing, if you don’t mind me asking? Great to meet a fellow writer!

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      • I agree — I can while away the whole morning just on comments! The novel I’m working on is a haunted house story where the main character is a destitute wizard. Nobody else would agree to inherit this manor, where so many previous inhabitants have mysteriously died, but she’s desperate; conquering whatever’s happening there might be her last chance to redeem herself. Unless she’s killed first, of course. (Ooo!)

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      • Ah cool will check it out. And lol i know the feeling.. my first book is at 120,000 and i’m probably about half way through.. it wasn’t meant to be that long! Who do you like to read? My boyfriend and i are Brandon Sanderson fans, he writes great magic 🙂

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      • I know that feeling – when I crossed the 100K threshold and was nowhere near the end, I was amazed. This started out as a short story! I like Sanderson’s rules of magic. 😉 Probably my biggest influence is Ursula K. LeGuin, but I have a lot of other favorites too, like Jeff VanderMeer, Margaret Atwood, and Neil Gaiman.

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      • Ooh what are his rules of magic? I love his mistborn triliogy.. need to read the stormlight books. I like Neil Gaiman, want to read American Gods again as there was so much in it. And yes my book started with a scene, as a first way to get back into writing, lol didn’t think it’d get as big as it did!!

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      • Thank you, this is very comprehensive! Trust Sanderson! I actually already knew a little bit about this as I had watched a lecture of his on magic systems, so already knew about his distinction between hard and soft systems. I think instinctively I’m more of a soft-magic girl; as I like the wonder and the mystic feel of it. However after reading mistborn, I have a couple of ideas for books which use a harder system.. so he’s definitely influenced me!

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      • I’m the opposite: very much a hard magic girl. But I like to think that hard magic gives the same impression of wonder and mysticism to people who aren’t doing it –kind of like how astronomy or pyrotechnics would look to someone from the middle ages. Plus: special effects, whee!

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      • Hehe YES!! Magic is fun 🙂 I’m probably 50/50 tbh.. I love the general idea and sense of magic, without having too many specifics.. but then again, details add intrigue.. so I could go either way!

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