FFF # 18….Beef Stew

This weeks Friday Flash Fiction starter sentence was won by myself but when I submitted it, I had no idea of a story to go with it. This past weekend turned out to be a busy one and work has also took up quite a lot of my time so I apologise for this paltry attempt. I will endeavour to make it up to you next week.

So, here is my story…….BEEF STEW.

As the sixth shot of whisky burnt its way down, I suddenly remembered what I left the house for.

I left the bar and made my way down to the chemist.

Years ago you’d be lucky to find a chemist open on a Saturday afternoon, they used to shut at lunch time then, but now they were open twenty four hour a day. They even have them in supermarkets, these days.

* * *

I’d specifically told her that I did not want beef stew for dinner. It was always beef stew on a Thursday night, every Thursday…Thursday, Thursday, bloody Thursday.

“Let’s have a change this week. Let’s have some fish or pasta,” I’d suggested.

“Oh, so now you don’t like my cooking. After thirty seven years of marriage you suddenly don’t like my cooking.”

“Of course I like your cooking, darling. I just think that after thirty seven years of beef stew on a Thursday, we could maybe have a change.”

“You ungrateful, old bastard. I ought to smash you round the head with this…this,” she looked round the kitchen for something, “This rolling pin.”

“Look, honey, don’t fall out with me because of some old pot of beef stew. I’ll have the beef stew, honestly….”

“Oh, so now it’s just some old, beef stew is it? And what do you call my chicken casserole and, and my shepherds pie when you’re down the pub with your friends? Eh, I’ll bet you call them old pots of food, don’t you? You cantankerous old shit.”

“Now, calm down, Margaret. Have you had your medication? This isn’t like you.”

Don’t you dare tell me what I’m like! You, useless, old bastard.”

It was at that point that she attacked me, picking up her rolling pin, only she slipped on the water that she’d spilt on the tiled floor.

* * *

“Prescription for Davis?”

“Yes, that’ll be for me. Thanks”

I left the chemist and made my way over to the hardware store. The whiskey was taking effect and my legs were beginning to take on a life of their own, but I only had a few things to pick up and then I’d be heading straight home.

* * *

“I’m home darling. Are you still in the bath?”

I smiled as I walked into the kitchen. I placed the medication on the side and turned the oven down; the aroma coming from it was beautiful. That comforting smell of home cooked food.

“I hope you don’t mind, darling,” I shouted as I walked out of the kitchen, the bag from the hardware store in my hand. “I’ve got a surprise for you. You know what night it is? Yes, that’s right. Saturday, and you know what we have on a Saturday night, don’t you? Right again. Fish pie, good old fish pie.”

I took my coat off, hung it in the hallway and made my way upstairs.

“Well, tonight is beef stew. Yes, that’s right, we normally have beef stew on a Thursday.”

I walked along the landing and pushed open the bathroom door. The putrid, acrid smell invaded my nostrils, but over the past couple of days it was a smell I’d gotten used to. I stood at the side of the bath.

“So, my darling, I decided that it was time for a change you see,” I said, as I pulled the packets from the carrier bag, “It was all I asked for on Thursday, but with you it was always a routine.”

I opened one of the packets and started pouring the flakes into the bath. The smell got stronger as they reacted with the fluid.

“You know darling, you’d never have guessed that your skin was that tough that I’d have had to use as much caustic soda as I have up to now. But, it’s working slowly. I’m sure I can see a bit of ribcage now so I think a few more days of this I’ll be ready for bagging you up,”

I poured in the rest of the packets and put the empties back in the carrier bag.

“You know, I read somewhere that caustic soda, or sulphuric acid as it’s also known, was used to dissolve dead animals. Well, it seems to work on human tissue as well. Oh, listen to me going on with myself, if I don’t hurry up and get back downstairs, that lovely beef stew is going to catch on the bottom of the pan.”

I walked back downstairs and took the pan out of the oven. I dished out a large bowl of stew and placed it on the table.

“Oh, darling,” I shouted, after saying ‘Grace’, “I picked up your medication from the chemist for you.”

The End.

Again, I apologise and I will make it up to you. Please leave a comment if you like……


Filed under david barber, david barber's fiction world, fiction, friday flash fiction, killer

14 responses to “FFF # 18….Beef Stew

  1. For one horrible minute I thought she was going to end up in the stew! Nice tale David and well done mate.Regards.

  2. Dave, I told you that in confidence, and you go turn it into a bloody story??? Officials, my wife had OCD and thought that caustic soda was the only way to get properly clean.That was entertaining Dave, great writing.

  3. Ouch- another killer tale! I liked the contrast of the stew and the bath; it kept me wondering what was really going to happen.

  4. I like "David Barber's The 'F' Word."

  5. Ouch is right- this was a good read, David. And remind me to never get you upset…or drunk. Or at the very least, drunk and upset at the same time.Nice job.

  6. Fish flakes for a fishwife? Muah. Great stuff, but what's funny is that I *love* beef stew and would be most happy to have it every Thursday.

  7. Definitely not paltry and no need to apologise – very good story.

  8. I thought I read "poultry attempt," and sure enough, chicken was mentioned.What is fish pie? We don't have fish pie in the states. We do have tuna casserole. Is it like tuna casserole?I feel vaguely threatened by this story.

  9. Doc

    “I’m home darling. Are you still in the bath?”Shortly after this line, I had to quit eating my dinner.Honestly David, if this is what you kick out on short notice, you've got nothing to worry about. This is by no means paltry. All I can say is that I hope your wife is a good cook.Doc

  10. Rum

    Mmmmm, shepard's pie. Fish pie, not so much. You set up the scene extremely well, the meds, the relationship, the food, and I was quite happy to see this wasn't some "eating Raul" (an awful 70's? film) moment. Much stronger the way you had it —

  11. Like Alan, I thought Margaret was going to end up THE dinner for someone. …I apologise for this paltry attempt.This twist in this story was fantastic, this was no paltry attempt my friend, great story!

  12. I liked this story too! It hit a bit close to home though as everyone is always bitching here that I make the same stuff all the time to eat. :PI wonder why the hell he just didn't call the ambulance? Can you be charged with murder when someone slips in water over there??? :DGood stuff as usual David. You're like my favorite restaurant. Always dependable .. always get it right. :)((Hugs))Laura

  13. Great fun. How did you resist having a policeman turn up and say 'Irish Stew…in the name of the law!' Okay, I'll get me coat…

  14. Well, well. I really wasn't sure about this story, as it was rushed and I didn't actually think it was that good. So, thank you everyone for your great comments. They are really appreciated.

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