Bread and Butter

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This is a piece of flash fiction I submitted to Yahoo! Contributor. It was rejected and the only reason given for the rejection was the name of the title. In the guidelines for submission, it said to write a flash fiction story of any genre and be creative. I’m uncertain as to the problem with its name, but if you read it and feel the name of the story is a problem, please leave your comments. Thanks!

No potty-mouthed child was going to be allowed to sit at Esther Britt’s table for Sunday dinner and get away with it. She didn’t put up with that kind of talk and wasn’t about to start now, no matter whose child it was. And in this case, it was the Mayor’s youngest son, Will, age 8. Esther decided he wouldn’t make it to 9 if he kept up his antics.

She hosted dinner every Sunday for her family. Occasionally, they brought friends. Her niece met Mayor Elvin Rodgers at a campaign party and they hit it off. He was divorced and good-looking, and she was single and looking for someone good-looking so it worked out quite nicely. However, that child of his was in need of some serious discipline.

Esther watched him as she continued to put food on the table. He turned his nose up at the roast and potatoes, the green beans, the corn on the cob, the collard greens, the cornbread, and well everything. He started making noises of disgust every time she sat another dish on the table. Finally, he couldn’t contain himself. “Ewwwww! That looks like something a dog would throw up.”

The Mayor shook his head at the boy and gave one of those meaningless threatening looks that helpless parents sometimes give, but he never did take the boy from the room to correct him. Esther’s niece only smiled at Esther in a way that said, “Please don’t make a scene.” Esther had a different idea. She went to the kitchen and prepared a special plate for the child.

“Will, I made this especially for you. You won’t be eating any of this disgusting food on the table. No sir! I’ve got just the thing for you.” She sat his plate and a glass of juice in front of him. On the plate was a single piece of white bread with one pat of butter.

“I’m not eating that. It’s only bread. I want some of that meat now.”

“No, no, no, Will. I wouldn’t have you suffering through none of that. You eat your bread and butter.”

The boy looked at his father. His father looked at Esther. Esther smiled at them both and said a prayer of thanks under her breath. She was thankful she still had some Castor Oil in the cabinet and that the boy loved grape juice.

9 responses »

  1. Loved the ending of this one! Was a fun surprise. And I like the title. Seems a better choice than: Eat the Damn Bread or Find Yourself Stuck on the Toilet From Too Much Castor Oil 🙂

  2. Hey Sheila,

    I’m not sure why they didn’t like the title. I think it’s perfect. Who knows how things are judged? Probably depends on the judges’ mood that day.
    I’ve had one story place second, third, and hon. mention in three different contests, so it’s all in personal taste.
    I would love to know what their reason was for not liking the title, since it depicts the central theme of the story.
    Anyhoo, well done.

    ~Ann

    • You’re right – it can be so subjective I suppose. Thanks for reading it. I didn’t get it because there were no rules concerning the title in the submission criteria. Oh well – they’ve accepted two non-fiction pieces so that’s something! 🙂

  3. Agree with others – not sure why the title would be a problem. And, very impressed with your flash fiction – you tell a great story in such a small amount of text!

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