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Boov's Tale

edited April 2017 in Dishes

“Hey Boov, reach in the glove and hand me my pack, will you?”

Uncle Archer has been a smoker for as long as I can remember. He’s long and thin like a dried-out rice noodle, but I think the smoking caused part of his look. When I was five, he thought it would be funny to stick seven cigarettes in his mouth at once to entertain me, but instead my mom tells me I got mad and knocked them out of his mouth. He didn’t light them or anything, but it was still a little much. And he still calls me Boov after we watched that movie Home together. I told him it sounded weird, but he really likes it, so I let him call me that.

“So, kiddo, how you holding up?” Uncle Archer glances between the desolate interstate and my tiny 12-year-old body in the passenger seat.

“I’m okay,” I say unconvincingly.

He’s not really that great at small talk, but neither am I, so I’m glad he catches on quickly. Today I agreed to spend some time at his house so mom could “rest”, but I know it’s just a lie so that I won’t see her cry all day. She’s still getting over daddy’s death, and I think I make her even more sad. I gesture to Uncle Archer with my old crappy pink Ipod Nano to substitute actual words having to come out of my mouth. He understood that I didn’t want to talk, so he turned back to face the constant fog.

My uncle isn’t that bad of a guy, really. He might smoke a little, and try a little too hard to be fun, but he’s a decent guy. Mom thinks he could use someone in his life instead of being a alone until he dies, but dad always thought the only kind of person fit to take on the job that was Uncle Archer was a lion tamer, or similar to it. Okay, so he doesn’t have any kids, and he spends his life working and watching wrestling, but he doesn’t hurt anyone. We finally arrive at his tiny house with dead bush stumps in the front yard, and the brightest yellow door you’ll ever see. He goes to the trunk and starts digging in a cooler and pulls something out.

“What is that?” I ask.

“Dinner!” he exclaims holding two dripping and vacuum packed pork loins in his hand.

I bulge my eyes and slowly turn to walk to the door relieved that it’s at least real food this time.

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