Diana Rosen: 2 flash fictions

Photo by Edward Kucherenko on Unsplash

Cook Until Done

Good. You were always on time. Yes, this place does suit me, no TV, no lounger, obstacle-free floor.

I’ll just be a few more minutes. Timing is essential to this recipe. First, season the fish with freshly-ground spices. Gently, place it skin side down to broil under hot heat for four minutes. Exactly. Then, flip it over for three more minutes. Slowly, use the slotted spatula, the better to avoid breaking the tender flesh. The basmati’s warming in the rice cooker. Yes, first thing I bought when I moved in here.  All I need to do is sauté the haricot verts quickly and add some soy sauce, garlic, toasted sesame seeds, and plate the meal.

I broke the old set; yes, I know they were your mother’s, but you said you didn’t want any of the, what did you call it? Stuff, no need for all that homemaking stuff, you said. No, you shouldn’t have done it with a phone call, so impersonal, so unoriginal; man falls in love with secretary, blah blah blah. Oh, no, darling, not for mourning, the new black matte dishes highlight the exciting colors of the food I love to cook: crusty broiled pink salmon, lush green beans, pure white basmati, their kernels separated so beautifully.

Sorry, no dessert. No espresso, either. Do stay a moment. Sign the papers. After all, this was your idea.

The Soul is Lost

Where did it go? Why did it leave? Some say it left when sound became noise, air could be tasted, water undrinkable. So many people feel tired, empty, sad. They wander into the town seeking medical help. The doctor, motherly yet pragmatic, says, the soul is lost because the mind is distracted, the body weary from lack of sleep, the senses assaulted. Rest now. Move away from noise, dust, distraction. Let go. Some ignore her and continue to feel empty and sad. Others wander to the forest, build themselves a cabin, plant seeds for food and flowers, follow the sun, moon, and stars as a map to their soul. Still, the soul remains lost until the body makes friends with time, the mind makes friends with patience, seeds sprout food to eat, flowers to charm. The lost souls begin to talk to one another. They sing, dance, tell stories. Kindness prevails. They share food, flowers, art they make. A certain peace begins and they do not even notice the soul has returned. All they notice is love.  

Inspired by Olga Takarczuk’s fable, “The Lost Soul” 

DIANA ROSEN is a flash writer, poet, and essayist whose first full-length poetry book, “High Stakes & Expectations,” was released this spring fromTheTinyPublisher.com Her work has appeared in RATTLE, Mad Swirl, As It Ought to be Magazine, Potato Soup Journal,  and many other journals in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, and India. She lives and writes in L.A. where her “backyard” is the 4,000+acre Griffith Park, the largest urban green space in the U.S. To read more of her work, please visit http://www.authory.com/dianarosen

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