Who's up for a bit of fluff? This week's flash fiction features two of The Icarus Project's supporting cast outside the novel's main events. There are no spoilers for the planned trilogy.
The audio for this one will have to wait a bit because I don't really have a voice right now due to a cold.
“I love you from the bottom of my heart, but I don’t trust your cooking. Stay out of my kitchen.”
Surprised by his fiancé’s voice, Charles dropped the pan he’d been retrieving. He leaned back to look around the cabinet door and pouted up at Andrea. “Isn’t that a fine thank you?” he whined. “I just wanted to make you something special.”
Andrea rolled her eyes and groaned. Charles replaced the pan and stood as Andrea and walked over to him. She wrapped her arms around his waist and kissed him on the cheek before pulling back enough to look him in the eye.
“I appreciate the thought,” she said. “But please, anything but cooking.”
“What makes you think I can’t cook?” Charles asked. “I’m a chemist. I can cook!”
Andrea chuckled. “Um…I’ve tasted your cooking,” she teased. “And while I realize it’s a practical form of chemistry, you refuse to take others results into consideration before conducting your culinary experiments.” She gave him one last squeeze before releasing him and turning her attention to putting everything he’d gotten out back up. “There’s nothing shameful about following a recipe.”
“The best home cooks create through instinct and inspiration,” Charles argued. He stepped back and leaned against the counter on the other side of the kitchen to give her room to work. “Mom never uses recipes, and she’s a great cook.”
Andrea shook her head and let out a sound somewhere between a laugh and a snort. “You aren’t your mother, Charles,” she deadpanned. Putting the last of the ingredients back into the refrigerator, Andrea turned and leaned against the opposite counter.
“It’s not so much the basics,” she said. Her expression was a mix of unease and concentration, and the words came slow like she was considering each one before saying it. “It’s the way you season everything.”
“What’s wrong with the way I season stuff?” Charles asked.
“The combinations don’t mesh.”
“But it always smells good.” Charles didn’t know if he should feel hurt or confused. “Smell makes up a lot of our sense of taste, so if it smells good, it ought to taste good. Right?”
Understanding sparked in Andrea’s eyes, and her expression cleared. Two steps forward, and she wrapped her arms around his waist again and leaned in to give him a quick kiss.
“Charles, darling, your sense of smell is horrific,” she said. “I know it seems normal to you growing up with it and all, but those infections wrecked the nerves.” One eyebrow arched, and she smirked. “Remember the other night, when you thought I was making cinnamon rolls for dinner?”
“They were garlic knots to go with spaghetti,” Charles murmured. His face flushed hot, and he sighed. “Okay, I get your point.” He frowned. “So what’ll we do for our anniversary?”
“Well,” Andrea drawled with a mischievous glint shining in her eyes. “If you’ll let me, I could always teach you how to cook something edible.”
Each story in this series is 500 words or less and is prompted by a first line taken either from a random first line generator like this one or reader suggestions like "Don't Forget Me" and "Culture Shock." I much prefer working from reader suggestions over generators, but to do that, I need to hear from you.
If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
A. B. England is a small business owner, mom of two, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves mythology, fantasy, and all flavors of science fiction.
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