Friday, December 11, 2009

Lily


Marguerite died at night. Lily found her body the next morning in the hen house.

“She was old,” Lily’s mother said, and tried to put her arm around her in comfort, but Lily jerked away.

I wish your stupid boyfriend would leave her alone, Lily thought as she watched him firmly grip the dead chicken by her neck and carry her over to them.

“So I’m guessing this is on the dinner menu tonight?” He laughed at Lily’s gasp.

She grabbed Marguerite from him and cradled her. “No! She’s gonna have a burial.” She didn’t add, you bastard, but her mother heard it in her tone.

“Watch your mouth, young lady,” she warned.

But Lily didn’t have anything more to say and ran off to plan Marguerite’s funeral.
* * * *

As a small child Lily’s family could not get her to eat anything more complicated than a peanut butter sandwich. She never liked the taste of meat and as she grew and collected beloved pets, she unequivocally refused such fare. Especially chicken.

Or pasta.

Her father was to blame for that quirk. When she was six years old and stayed at his place for their bi-weekly visits, her father entertained her with bedtime stories about the year he lived in Rome, including one where he and his roommate, Sam, were cooking a pasta dinner for an Italian friend. They didn’t have a proper kitchen, so they boiled water on a hotplate. When Sam strained the pasta over the toilet bowl, the downstairs buzzer startled him, and he let go of the colander.

Her father opened the door ready to confess that dinner was ruined, but was interrupted by Sam, who came to the table carrying a platter of spaghetti topped with spicy tomato sauce and pecorino cheese.

“Ciao, Marco,” Sam said to the guest. “Buon appetite!”

* * * *

It was early evening, and Lily returned to the house to find her mother’s boyfriend drinking beer in the TV room. Oh, it’s Tuesday, Lily remembered. On those nights her mother worked as a volunteer in the hospital’s emergency room and always arranged for someone to watch her daughter. It was his turn, then.

Lily stared at him and thought about her father, gone into dust for three years now. She walked over and touched his arm.

“How about some dinner?”

He looked up at her with narrowed eyes, unused to such familiarity. She gave him a tight forced smile. He relaxed. “Yeah? Well, sure kid, thanks.”

Before Lily reached the kitchen he called out, “But I don’t want any peanut butter sandwiches, are we clear?”

She glanced at him. “Sure. That’s just for me. I can cook some things.”

“Great, kid. What’s on the menu?”

“Spaghetti and sauce. It’s from a special family recipe.”

Lily sat on her bed later that night and arranged her stuffed animals. She hummed and laughed at her thoughts. Her strike against the enemy would be considered infantile in some older cliques at her school, but she was only twelve years old and this was enough for her tonight.

44 comments:

  1. What a way to strike back. *giggle*
    I like her. :)

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  2. I like Lily... and hope to god she likes me!

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  3. I agree with Laura, Lily is adorable. I'm not sure if mom's boyfriend thought so though.

    Nice work, girl.

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  4. I always enjoy a 'special' recipe story. Yum.

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  5. Remind me not to eat pasta at your house!

    I love that Lily was able to get some vengeance, and it proves the point that sometimes passive is the best kind of aggressive. ~ Olivia

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  6. Lily sure loves that "To Serve Man" cookbook the aliens lent us.

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  7. Clever. I've always had a healthy mistrust of 12 year olds. Well justified, apparently.

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  8. The cunning girl...

    An enjoyable read and good stuff!

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  9. Loved it sweetie! Is there more to come??

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  10. Revenge is a dish best served with pasta. Way to go, Lily. :)

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  11. lol! Great revenge!
    I like Lily a lot, I hope she makes more appearances!

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  12. Nice bit of revenge there. If I’m having dinner with Lily’s, I’ll be sure to avoid Italian.

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  13. Haha - we get a sense of the wicked humour behind this straightaway in the name lily, the flower of death. The stuffed animals are a great touch, too.

    Have you seen the film Heathers? This really reminds me of Veronica's nightmare which ends with one of the Heathers opening a caouldron and saying "I made your favourite. Spaghetti sauce, lots of oregano".

    If I had to suggest one thing:
    "She didn’t add, you bastard, but her mother heard it in her tone." - I don't know you need the whole of this - it seems like a lot of explanation for flash fiction - I think we've already understood as much from just her words.

    Nice job!

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  14. Made me smile. Good for Lily!

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  15. I love this story, Lily is a riot.

    I actually lived this a little with one of my nephews (one year older than me) on New Year's Eve when we were about Lily's age. He had the idea to dip fudge into the toilet (clean and flushed, but still) before serving it to the other kids. Thank goodness no one got sick.

    I really enjoyed your story!

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  16. Started out sinister and sad, then switched to hilarious.

    I'm a vegetarian, so I'm with Lily all the way here.

    Are you a veggie too? They seem to crop up a lot in your stories.

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  17. Hehe. She got him as only a 12 year old can. She had a good voice. I liked this one.

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  18. Ha! Well done, Lily! Lovely little profile here. I'd love to see more of her, both at her current age and as a fearsome 20-something! Nice work!

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  19. Oh, I totally loved it.

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  20. I'm not eating at your house.

    Good job!

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  21. HA! Love it Marisa! Sounds like you've been hanging around Laura a bit much. :)
    Lily's voice, not to mention her intention, is loud and clear here. Fantastic!

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  22. Brilliant story! Really liked Lily. Serves the boyfriend right for being such a jerk!

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  23. Ah, sweet revenge. Best served cold, I hear; as cold as the water in a toilet, say.

    This is a fun, well-written read; I very much enjoyed it. Terrific. :)

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  24. I love the detail of her mother hearing "you bastard" in her tone.

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  25. Way to go, Lily! I wonder if the boyfriend ever learned the truth!

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  26. totally WICKED!

    btw your meshugena comment left me on the floor! ifferbuchel!

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  27. This had me exclaiming 'ahhh' and 'ewwww' in equal measure. You control time shifts well here.

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  28. Revenge is best served cold... or with pasta in this case :P
    Great flash!

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  29. I think Lily works at our local Pasta restaurant... What a great character and flash - nice work.

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  30. Naturally I like your protag's name. And the name of her chicken. Those nasty boyfriends sure bring out the best in 12 year olds! Very nicely done.

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  31. That story was AWESOME. Such a wonderful revenge!

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  32. lol. Ewwww, and well done....and eww again.

    Lily and I would have been bff as kids and I would have put on my sunday best for Marguerite's funeral.

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  33. Very cute story. I like quirky revenge tales. Spunky little thing, isn't she. Good for her. Nicely paced.

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  34. Well done -- fast and furious from grievance to culinary revenge! Best served cold, indeed...

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  35. Oh this was great! I wouldn't mind seeing more of Lily either.

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  36. I just LOVE evil children . . . even vegetarians!

    Well written and very enjoyable!

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  37. I laughed at this one :)

    Thanks - and thanks for the typo spot in my story :)

    Saffy

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  38. LOL! Good for her! She is only 12, after all.

    Cecilia

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  40. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING....SO IT'S REALLY OUT OF ORDER...AND AS SUCH...FITS RIGHT IN

    Marisa, How the hell do you email you? I found NO CONTACT info on your site.
    [other than twitter which is the work of the devil and doesn't count]
    Would you please email me? Thanks!
    Karen :0)

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  41. Very funny with a wallop of bad girl. I like Lily.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

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