Bacon, A Cautionary Tale

I’m warning you right now this is a ridiculous post. But I’ve been remiss with my blogging so I thought I’d leave you a wicked little short.

Note: This flash fiction was inspired by a contest I missed on the blog of prolific novelist and screenwriter, Ryne Douglas Pearson. The assignment was to tell a story in four sentences about how bacon saved someone. You had to mention the word bacon and the word pneumothorax at least once. As you can see, I cheated on the length. And you’ll have to decide for yourself if bacon saved Athena, or not. 

How Athena loved the feel of fat against her fingertips. Once cooked, the salty strips were irresistible. “Sear my beauties, sear,” she whispered as bacon smoke bathed her flesh.

Benjamin would be down soon for breakfast. What a fine specimen of a man he had once been, before the bitterness and drink overtook him.  He grunted as he slipped into his seat, giving her exquisite body just a passing glance. Nothing mattered but the meat for her man.

“Do you like it?” she asked, running her finger down the seam of her black stockings.

“That’s fucking bullshit,” he said glaring at the words on his iPhone. A sheen of bacon grease glimmered across his chin. He gasped suddenly, dropping the slim gadget. Panicked wheezing noises filled the breakfast nook. He reached out for the phone and landed hard on the floor.

“Oh dear,” she said, “you’ve taken a spill.”

Benjamin tried to bang his leaden fist against the floor. “Wha, whas happening?”

“Nothing darling,” Athena said in a sing-song tone, scraping the remains of his plate down the disposal. “It will all be over with soon.”

Benjamin slumped against the wall, clutching at his chest. The webinar on common household poisons had said to expect a pneumothorax. She never imagined it would happen this quickly.

Athena retrieved her suitcase from the pantry stepping over Benjamin’s shuddering body.

Oddly enough the blue of his skin was the exact shade she had tried to find in kitchen tile just four weeks prior, sort of a cross between iceberg and Robin’s egg. Yes, four weeks ago when she first met Cami who called Benjamin Benny, just like Athena had when they’d first started dating.

She walked out the door leaving behind his lies, his apologies, and a lifetime supply of bacon.

Benny never could resist a redhead.

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EDWINA, PRETTY EDWINA

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About Madame Paradox

Heidi David is a writer and freelance producer. She is the author of an as yet unpublished novel, THE FLYING JEWEL; the tale of a traveling circus where the price of admission is one's free will.
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14 Responses to Bacon, A Cautionary Tale

  1. julie says:

    LOVE that his skin turns the color of her dream tile….

    And you had me with the first line – Who DOESN’T love the feel of fat against her fingertips?

    Fabulous and funny. And also, now I’m hungry.

    • Oh Julie, you really *get* me, don’t you? I thought the balance of acerbic to funny might not work well enough. Thank you my friend for always being so supportive. Yes, the kitchen tile line is my absolute favorite. 😉

  2. You’re a dark one, Mme Paradox! Great flash.

  3. Berit says:

    Liked the tile image too. 🙂 Women are always practical. Also enjoyed the descriptions of the bacon yumminess. 🙂

    • Ha! I suppose women are practical. A very positive spin on a very dark deed. Speaks to your ability to see good in people (or characters) I think. 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Berit.

  4. Ilana says:

    Ha! You sick woman, you. Love the twisted nonchalance as she runs her finger up the seam of her stocking and compares his deathly hue to the color of her preferred kitchen tile.

    See? You can do short!

    Although, if you had done the four sentence requirement, I would have been REALLY impressed.

    • “Twisted non-chalance” is a great way to describe it. I was worried the whole thing was a bit much, or too cliched, frankly. But I tried to put an original spin on a typical scenario. I’m so glad you like my sick twist of a mind.

      Yes, it’s something like 330 words, can you believe it? Agony though, took just as damn long as if it was 1500, I might add. It remains to be seen if I can do four sentences about anything. Maybe I should try like a month of short Paradoxes and see if I can do it? 😉

  5. Peter Wilkin says:

    ‘Oddly enough the blue of his skin was the exact shade she had tried to find in kitchen tile just four weeks prior.’ Absolute perfection! As far away as you can get from empathy … the killer line of your small-but-perfectly-formed story. Another cracker, Heidi, that had me laughing with intrigue from beginning to end. You are one hugely talented writer.

    • Thanks Peter! You write such beautiful moving things, I’m always amazed you appreciate these weird dark bits. I did like writing a character devoid of empathy, I must admit. I just wasn’t sure anyone else would like it. I moved that line about the tile around, too. Because I knew that was the important moment and had to find just the right place for it. I’m glad to hear people zero in on that one, as it’s supposed to pack a punch. As always my friend, I feel lucky to have such a supportive writing pal.

  6. Marisa Birns says:

    Had oatmeal for breakfast just now. Bah.

    Enjoyed this and laughed at how clever you are.

    “… expect a pneumothorax.” Hee-hee.

    • Yes, when in doubt oatmeal is probably *much* safer. Bwahahaha
      I’m glad you got a kick out of it. It was not easy let me tell you to find a way to get pneumothorax in there without it standing out like a sore thumb. (Pneumothorax and sore thumbs? Sounds odd, really.) Anyway, thanks for stopping by Marisa. 🙂

  7. I love it! I was tempted to assume it was the bacon that made the stumblers take notice. But now that I’ve read it, I think it’s just because it’s as fun a piece of flash fiction as I’ve ever read. Also, I now know what a pneumothorax is. Yay for twitter!

    -Lynn Caldwell / @grammarofchaos 😀

    • Tee hee. 🙂 Thanks Lynn for stopping by. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I almost didn’t post this piece because I couldn’t decide if readers would enjoy it when neither character is particularly sympathetic. But it is dark and twisted, so I couldn’t resist the experiment.

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