Wednesday Write-in #28: Three Days Removed

Wednesday Write-in #28 @ CAKE.shortandsweet

Prompts: farewell  ::  pocketful  ::  feeding  ::  thief  ::  maroon


June 8, 2000

I have marooned myself with limited provisions. Tobacco and papers, yes. Some vegetables and bread.

I stole what I have.

I made no farewells.

I’ve a pocketful of regret already.

June 9, 2000

I sharpened my paring knife before breakfast.

For breakfast:

  1. Slice 1 avocado in a circular motion until halved. Remove seed. Extract pulp. Discard skin. Set aside.
  2. Place two crumpets face down in toaster. Toast for two minutes.
  3. Slice 1 tomato. Discard stem end. Eat non-stem end with salt.
  4. Remove crumpets from toaster and apply thin layer of mayonnaise to each.
  5. Slice avocado pulp lengthwise and layer onto crumpets.
  6. Place tomato slices on top of avocado.
  7. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

I went back to sleep without coffee.

June 10, 2000

I put my favorite Beres Hammond vinyl onto the record player and pressed play and then opened the curtains near the far chair for light.

I rolled a cigarette.

I had never rolled my own cigarette before.

It tasted good.

The smoke was slow and blue in the morning light.

I considered returning to the world.


Filed under Featured Content, Flash Fiction, Wednesday Write-In, Writing

22 responses to “Wednesday Write-in #28: Three Days Removed

  1. Patrick

    Enjoyed the story and the structure very much, but three days isn’t really dramatic. Sorry – I couldn’t write anything this week so am feeling bitter.


  2. I wonder what he is escaping from? What does he regret? So many questions I have, but I prefer to imagine the answers for myself. Really nice 🙂
    For some unknown reason I was thinking the narrator was a child. I used to do these things when I was little (I wanted to run away to Sesame Street with a sack over my shoulder like Johnny Appleseed :P)


    • @kiwirebecca

      At this point you’ve probably gathered that leaving many of the answers out is something I find important to this form, especially when it is this short. I feel that it can give 300 words much more power.

      That piques my interest there, what you said about the narrator being a child. I’m trying to think of how old I was when I had my first smoke . . .


      • I think it was the attention detail in the way he made breakfast, it’s as if he’s copying someone else (could’ve been his mother). The short time period also. The tobacco could’ve been stolen from their Father’s pouch. The record player in the playhouse, one their parent’s no longer used after upgrading to a cassette player 😉
        See, your story has made my mind revel in possibilities!


  3. I love this. I’m trying not to let my bias for salty-avocado-on-toasted-things stand in the way of judging the story objectively, but then it’s such a big part of what I love here. Evocative descriptions of food and eating are such a big literary turn on for me; smells and tastes convey so much emotion.

    I feel I am right there with this person (I’m reading a guy this time, though the more I think about it, I kind of want it to be a woman who reads like a guy … this is becoming quite a fun game), perhaps watching them from a quiet corner like a fly on the wall. I can hear the story as if it’s spoken aloud, as if this person is sitting talking to themselves, narrating their quiet days.

    I see what Becca was saying about the title seeming to negate need for the last line – I like the line, the way it might imply them lingering on in solitude for an indeterminate time, but as Becca points out the title implies that they head back to civilisation the following day. Didn’t really have a useful point to make about that, I just think the use of titles is really interesting in short stories. They can completely change a meaning, or be the key needed to unlock the code of a vague/brief story. Hm!


    • @sarahgracelogan

      Point well taken about the title — sometimes when I write I lose sight of the connection between certain parts of the story and the title. Thank you for the close reading — you give me plenty to keep in mind as I move forward in this medium.


  4. ndico9

    This is incredible.


  5. Elaine McKay

    I agree with Craig. Like format and interested in what it conceals.


  6. enjoyed the format and what wasn’t being said because of it.


  7. Is a pocketful of regret a heavy or light thing to have? Intriguing. Because it is called Three Days Removed, you kind of assume he will be returning to the world and this is just a three day slice of a misplaced life. So in a sense you don’t need the last line, because the title delivers. I enjoyed the sensory descriptions of the piece, the recipe and the smoke. Like when you look back and all you remember are a few highlighted moments.


    • @beccaaudra

      You mean you assume that the narrator will be returning to the world 🙂

      After re-reading this piece, I feel that this person is in limbo–that, even though they are probably going back (like they always do), they are withholding hope that they will have the courage to escape this time for good.

      As always, thank you for your comments and your close reading–I do appreciate it.


  8. Elaine Peters

    A very interesting format. I’d like to know what prompted his brief withdrawal from the world. (Must try that avocado recipe!)


    • @Elaine

      Thank you Elaine. Simple and tasty, no? I alluded to this when I posted my story to the comments section of CAKE, but I have been reading Danilo Kis who was interested in writing stories in ways that eliminates the omniscient narrator by communicating narrative through other media.

      That movement certainly influenced this piece.


  9. I have absolutely no idea if you meant crumpets or strumpets in day two, but I like the image of toasting strumpets so much I hope it stays as it is.


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