Did you like that one? Mmmmmmm. Food. Not a custard fan, myself. Unless creme brule or flan counts. I got stuck in the main character thing from NaNoWriMo. This one wasn’t a mc from my true WIP, but from something I’ve been playing around with. So that was fun. New ideas. You know, because I don’t need to be thinking of my actual WIP. 😉
I love what you all manage to do with the craziest prompts. Excellent entries everyone. But there can only be five finalists, and only one winner. Our guest judge, Bradley Robb, @knownhuman worked hard picking out this week’s top five, and they are:
Excellent job, folks. Read their entries here and then vote at the bottom. Then come back at 9:45ish to find out who won!
It was a matter of texture, Sean concluded. He normally enjoyed sweets, but custard was the definite exception to that rule. At least, it always had been. It was hard to say no when confronted with the sight of his lover, swathed in an apron, bits of sugar dusting his hair.
“Just taste and let me know if it’s alright.”
The spoon slid into his mouth the second he opened to answer. Before he could protest cool creamy custard was followed by a hot, searching, tongue.
“Mmmmmm,” he managed. “I think I need to try another bite to be sure.”
Once again the spoon delicately carved out a before disappearing into his waiting mouth. This time Sean took the initiative, pulling his lanky lover into a deep, languid kiss.
“I take it you like my custard?” his lover teased.
“I think I’ll need to compare,” he insisted as they headed for the bedroom. “I think I’m developing a sweet tooth.”
It looked like a wet sponge. Probably tasted worse. There was no way I would eat the glop. Then she caught my eye.
“Is it okay?” Tasha’s voice was small, at odds with her Amazon-type build. “I can bring you something else. No biggie.”
The sad smile she gave forced the spoon, along with a small piece of the custard up to my mouth. It sat on my tongue, tasting like a whole lot of nothing. I gave it an experimental chew, hoping some sort of pleasant flavor would displace the feeling that I’d just chomped down on a slug.
Sweetness swept over my tongue. Hey, it wasn’t half bad. The custard was pumpkin, perfectly spiced with clove and cinnamon. My favorite. Tasha was good at remembering things like that.
“It’s great, Tash.” I shoveled in another spoonful.
“Are you sure?” Her wariness made me frown. The custard was perfect. What was she expecting?
My stomach cramped. The spoon and the next bite of custard clattered down to the plate. An irritated growl came from my gut, pain radiating out from it. Jesus, something was trying to claw its way out of there, I knew it.
Tasha bent her tall body down. A smile twisted her lips. “Next time you call it better be for something other than a booty call. I gave Sam the same recipe.”
Samantha, my wife, never knew about me trips to New York to visit Tasha. Well, until now at least. Panic helped whatever was in the custard race through my system.
That was the last coherent thing I said before pushing past her to worship the porcelain goddess for the next six hours.
Tibby licked the custard off her fingers, delighting in the gooey caramel covered creaminess that coated her tongue. She giggled gleefully and ran her fingers along the edge of the pan once more, cradling her finger underneath to scoop the morsel to her mouth.
Her brother Meeka frowned while he watched his sister enjoy her dessert. He was lactose-intolerant and his mother ordered him some cake, but he coveted the forbidden custard.
Tibby licked the remaining swirls from the pan and smiled brightly at her mother, and when her mother took the pan from the table and turned to place it back on the cart, she stuck her tongue out at Meeka and blew him a quiet raspberry.
“Mom, Tibby’s making fun of me,” Meeka cried. Tibby gave her mother another winning smile and batted her eyelashes, the way her mother always had done when her father was around. Mom always got what she wanted when she gave Dad that look.
Her mother shook her head and laughed, then smoothed Tibby’s hair back and whispered in her ear, “Be nice to your brother. He was very worried about you.”
Tibby rolled her eyes and leaned back in her bed. She pulled the thin white covers up to her face and sighed the content sigh of a spoiled child. Tibby’s mother sat in the chair next to her bed, and pulled Meeka into her lap. Her mother sang her favorite lullaby and Tibby soon drifted off to sleep.
When she woke a few hours later, the nurse was leaning over her bed with another long needle. Tibby groaned and fled under the covers.
“Just one more shot tonight, dear. I promise,” the nurse said as she pulled the covers back. Tibby whimpered, and reached for her mother’s hand. Her mother woke and clutched Tibby’s head to her chest, the lullaby floating once more from her lips.
As the needle punctured her skin, Tibby yelped, and under her breath she muttered, “Tomorrow night I want banana cream pie.”
I slipped the knife into the bowl. Thick. Yellow. Strange strands of liquid pooled at one edge. A smell. Not vanilla, exactly, but not banana, either. Something in between. Honey?
I pushed the knife through, extracted a thick blob of the stuff, brought it to my nose. Sweet, but indistinct. I flicked out my tongue. Again, sweet. But nothing I could positively identify.
I licked the knife clean.
I covered the knife again, then presented it to her.
She didn’t exactly smile, but I could tell she was pleased. She wiped the knife with her finger, raised it, letting the dripping custard fall into her mouth before licking her finger clean.
I let the knife clatter to the floor.
Using our fingers, we devoured the rest of the bowl, Then we devoured each other.
Content, I asked her a question. “And now I’ll own her soul? She’ll be mine forever?”
She chuckled. “Sorry. I may have altered the recipe a bit.”
And I could feel, somehow, my soul being ripped from within myself. It hurt, at first. But not now. Not now.
I just sit here, in my chair, awaiting her next utterance.
I’ve never had a taste for whiskey… Okay, that’s a lie, not the last you’ll hear uttered from these lips. That’s what I am, a fibber, a twister of truths, a bull-shitter, a bloody liar. Not the worst thing I’ve been called either. A rogue and vagabond, a cheat and blackguard. All true.
When I saw her, I had to have her, I was transfixed, bewitched. She was a dancer with a travelling show, all the way from the US of A, bringing a taste of the Wild West to the towns and villages of this backward land. To me, she was exotic, the way she looked, the way she danced, the way she sounded.
I sold the family land for half what it was worth and paid for passage to America. From New York to Boston to Chicago we danced and drank, we laughed, we fought and we fucked. It was passionate, explosive passion. She told me she loved me, I told her I hated her. We both lied.
We followed the gold trail west, in search of easy money and an easier life, all we found were sad, desperate people scratching in the dirt. Much like home, I suppose.
The money ran out, my inheritance squandered on liquor and opium.
“What should we do now?” says I. She shrugged and smiled and closed the door behind her.
I’m stuck here now, where the summers are too hot and the winters too cold, where the whiskey would rot your gut and every second person you meet wants to steal the eyes from your head. I’ve burnt my bridges and can never return.
Some times I conjure images of home, I can almost feel the soft rain on my face, hear the whistle of the wind through the trees on a moon lit night, or smell the pungent earthy smell of a freshly tilled field, or an open peat fire, taste freshly cut rhubarb and thick yellow custard on my tongue.
What I usually imagine, what occupies nearly every waking thought and haunts my dreams, giving me no respite even in sleep, is the taste of peaches from her lips, the hint of summer meadows in the air when she passes by. And that is no lie.