Plunked Clean

I’m taking a one-week break from my series focused on the theme of waiting. There’s only one story left, and I have a rough idea of what it will be, but it simply wasn’t ready today.

When a story is like that, sort of there, but not really, I know better than to push. There are times when you can work anyway, and there are times when it’s better to turn to another project and wait for the first to decide it wants to be written.

Instead, this week I bring you a brief, grim tale based on the following prompt from The Prediction:

100 words maximum, excluding the title, of flash fiction or poetry using all of the three words above (‘bake’, ‘feather’, and ‘tough’) in the genres of horror, fantasy or science fiction.


plunked clean

Her bone fingers moved fast, rending feather from skin.

“This is the tough part,” she said. “If you don’t plunk ‘em clean, don’t matter how you bake ‘em.”

From across the room her guest watched in silence.

“You will eat,” the witch said. “Heaping spoon-fulls. This meat pie’s for you.”

Only a snarled lip.

The witch shrugged. “All you harpies are the same. Weak stomachs. But ya see the trouble I’m goin’ to, cookin’ up your young ‘un. You will eat.”

“And you will die,” came the response, laced with the anger of righteous indignation and the promise of retribution.