[ shif-ə-NAHD ]
- A preparation of shredded or finely cut leaf vegetables, used as a garnish for soup.
** Either a story beginning, a story ending, a piece of flash fiction, a poem—inspired by the word, chiffonade, where does it take me? Where does it take you?
What the hell am I doing here? Ben wondered. Yet, despite the uneasy feeling coursing through him, he also felt swept away in the decadence of it all. Two hours ago, he sat crouched in his little hovel, his home on the streets. Now, he was in a mansion.
Plenty of questions filled his mind while being ushered into a swanky limousine. More still, when he was shown through the luxurious mansion.
While he sat bathing in hot soapy water that smelled of flowers he’d never heard of, the questions began to fall away into, “who cares?”
Ben sat at a long dining table…
… in freshly pressed clothes that felt warm and soft around his clean body. As the only occupant of the immense table, in the even more vast room, Ben began to feel small.
Butlers placed warm soup in front of him without so much as a word. Thinking of it, no one had said a word to him since he’d been ushered into the limousine. Odd, he thought.
The soup looked warm and tasty, except for little green bits on top of the soup. Ben scrunched up his face studying the leaves and then spooned them out of the bowl. He looked around, feeling proud of his action as if that made his position in the opulent home more appropriate.
Ben spooned the orange soup up to his lips, feeling the heat from the liquid moistening his face. After a pause to let it cool, he plunged the spoon into his mouth, and the taste blew him back into his chair. It was amazing.
Almost finished with the soup, Ben’s grip slackened unconsciously. The spoon fell, clanging into the side of the bowl, clattering to the table, and then pattering on to the rug beneath the table. He turned to pick up the spoon, and the world spun in a blur. Ben went to stand, but instead, his boy began to fall. He never felt the solid ground.
Creepy endings are fun : ) I prefer a happy ending, but for a single scene, a twist like this makes reading exciting.
Today, I decided to pick what I thought would be the hardest word to make something from. Chiffonade it is! A word about soup garnish! What’s amazing is that the idea for what to write, and writing it, came faster than so many other words that had more obvious pathways.
This is something I love about creating. The challenging path is often the most fun and the most rewarding. It often pushes us into a better space with more clever ideas. I did a whole podcast episode about this concept: The Corner. It’s one of the few that isn’t a short story. The lesson and idea came from Dan Brown’s Master Class.
So, where can today’s story go? Obviously, we have good mystery potential here. What’s going to happen to Ben? Who’s the owner of this mansion? Why is this all going on? And, maybe it’s not so ominous as we might assume from this beginning. Perhaps Ben is being brought into a world of spies, and this was his first lesson: don’t trust anyone.
What do you think of Chiffonade?
Keep it in the creepy, horror genre, or spin it in a new direction?
Leave your thoughts, your own story beginning/ending, flash-fiction, or whatever in the comments! Where did chiffonade or my story take you?
If you liked this story, check out my podcast of short stories, More Than A Story.
Today’s word is from Word Genius.
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