Friday, September 09, 2005

Toast: a short story

ABCGirl, here is your story about toast. I had written it a week or two ago (I've lost track), but put it aside because it seemed a bit more melancholy than my usual stories. Bede said, "Post it anyway." While this bit is technically a Pertwee family story, it touches upon a part of the family not mentioned before: the two older children Mrs. Pertwee had with her deceased first husband, Mr. Linden.


“I’ve asked Tamar and Zev to come home for the week-end,” Mrs. Pertwee said as she polished a gold-plated dish with the hem of her dress.

Mr. Pertwee sighed. “They don’t like it here,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t think they even like me.”

“That’s not true,” Mrs. Pertwee replied. “It’s just that they’ve always been city children, even when they were little.”

“The last time they were here, they complained about the lack of running water and cooking implements, even the lack of a television,” Mr Pertwee sputtered.

“Tamar is a journalist,” Mrs. Pertwee said. “She cannot fathom how anyone can be so removed from the daily news.”

“I have my Old Country Gazette,” Mr. Pertwee said, shaking the newsprint in front of him.

“How old is that particular periodical?” Mrs. Pertwee asked.

Mr. Pertwee looked at the date and laughed. “I get your point. But still, Tamar criticizes everything, and Zev inevitably follows her lead.”

“Zev just wants to cook for us, and gets frustrated that there is no gas range.”

“The last time he was here, he complained about the toaster! We don’t even have a toaster,” Mr. Pertwee pointed out.

“Precisely,” Mrs. Pertwee said. "We’ve gotten used to the lack of electrical outlets, but Zev doesn’t understand how we can eat on a daily basis what he calls ‘raw toast.'"

Mr. Pertwee sniffed. “When they come to visit, your children must learn to forage as we country people do,” he said. “Really, who needs fresh toast when there are scads of Weetabix boxes and Marmite jars for the finding?”

“Don’t forget zwieback,” Mrs. Pertwee said, proffering a newly opened box. Mr. Pertwee took a piece of zwieback out of the box and nibbled on it. He made a face.

“I do miss the scent of buttered toast in our home,” Mr. Pertwee finally admitted. “Whenever I smell buttered toast, I think of a warm, safe place.”

“In the country, buttered toast is hard to come by,” Mrs. Pertwee said.


Anonymous said...

oh, i was hoping to see my toast prompt become a pertwee tale! hooray! the "raw toast" comment reminds me of the series of unfortunate events book "the slippery slope" in which sunny, the baby, is required by the villains to prepare meals, but because she is a baby, she is not allowed to use any fire. so she does the best she can. for one meal, she tucks bread under her dress to warm it up and then serves it as "toast tartar."

Saints and Spinners said...

I think the Slippery Slope is where I left off reading the Series of Unfortunate Events. Sunny was my favorite character once she uttered the words, "De nada."

LB said...

This may just be the cutest blog I've ever seen. Really! The whole mythology is really creative. And the cast of characters, what can I say, they totally rock. You have an exceptional gift for storytelling (anyone who can make a story about toast interesting has a true talent) Must link you now:)

Saints and Spinners said...

Thank you, Cute Little Box!
I know Brad the Gorilla enjoys having you for a friend, even though he claims he doesn't like anybody. Just don't tell him I said that.

John said...

Nice Blog! I could use some good storytellers over at my hideout. Linking you now!