The Dried Hunter Sausage spoke to me. “Write a story!” it said.
The longer I’m at home, the more things are asking. My man Dave stares when I tell him they are, but I think it’s nice. Makes me smile. They like my writing!
Still, I ignore most requests. Not everything inspires me. And some of it is just attention-seeking.
“Hey, down here!” the carpet in the TV room said. “How about a torrid little tale about what happened on me last Saturday night?”
Ahem. I’m not about to pen a kiss and tell. Besides, the idea sounds like a setup. I’d have to steam-clean because I can’t tell what colour the carpet really is. Dave doesn’t remember either, says we could move the couch to find out. Maybe later.
Then there’s the kitchen counter. It could use a wipe. The pushy thing—a loud mouth piece of granite—told me so one morning.
I shrugged. I don’t mind the coffee stains. They show me where to put my mug.
Then it tried a different tactic. The slab pitched me a drama. “Picture this, a locked-down writer finds tough love and hard truths while cleaning the kitchen.”
“Interesting, interesting. I’ll mull it over.” I replied, backing away.
The sausage had no such ulterior motive. Coiled up in the deli section beside a showy ham, it didn’t even ask me to buy it. Very considerate. Money is tight these days and I can be impulsive on my once-a-week outing to the grocery store.
I thought about the sausage all the way home. What can I make with it? Retreating to my little writing nook in the attic, I shut the door and set to work. On something.
A horror story? Makes sense. The sausage was wizened, looked almost mummified.
I begin typing. Tomb raiders violate an ancient Egyptian prince’s burial. They rip apart the mummy, flinging arms and legs as they search for gold and jewels.
Then what happens? The prince’s intestines—perhaps not the most vengeful organ: I’m channelling the sausage—attack.
What would angry innards do to those daring to defile the tomb? Squeeze them like a snake? Maybe. Overpower with a horrendous smell? That’d be fun. Eat the intruders and digest them? I shudder. Like it.
Eventually, I look up and see through a dormer window that it’s dark outside. I’ve been up here all day.
Dave has gone to bed. He’s not asleep though. He’s waiting for me. Eat your heart out, carpet in the TV room!
Awaken feeling exquisite. Then I read my story and, horrified, I scrap it and begin again.
Call me a bad girl. I’m fantasizing about a nibble of erotica to share with Dave between the sheets. Still, what would writing dirty about a wrinkled reddish-brown member that’s been smoked and dehydrated do for our love life?
Let’s keep this tasteful.
A romance. A romance with Dried Hunter Sausage.
Where? Oh! At a hunting lodge.
“Now, I’m cooking,” I tell the dog. Woofie has followed me upstairs. He groans.
Where’s the lodge? Rain falls on the little attic window and Scotland comes to mind.
I hike Highland peaks and wander lonely lochs until I find her—the winsome raven-haired Elsa. She’s a magical cook, her sausages causing every master to fall hopelessly in love with her and enraging every mistress. A lowly job scrubbing dishes in the cold dark hall of Lachlan Macdonald is all the lass has left.
But then the fog descends. I’m stuck in the peat, lose a Wellie. “Don’t panic, Woofie!” He doesn’t.
Who is Lachlan? A widower. Okay. Mourning his lost love. Better. He won’t eat and is wasting away. Tragic.
Wait a minute. If he’s not eating, why does Lachlan need someone to do dishes?
Crap! I slam my laptop shut and stomp down the stairs.
Dave is watching a John Wayne marathon, again. Woofie flees. I yawn. Same old dust, same old cows and cactus, the saloon girl with a heart of gold, the outlaw in black.
But then I notice more. The bad guy’s hair is as unkempt as the brown carpet under my feet, his voice stony like the countertop in the kitchen. And crouching low over a campfire, the desperado is cooking a sausage on a stick.
I gasp. It’s all coming together.
I’ll write a Western!
Karen writes short fiction and flash in Ontario Canada. People say Karen is fun and frustrating even when social distancing, and her chicken lasagna is pretty good.