Nutritional Value — Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

Every Wednesday we get a new picture prompt for the Fabulous Friday Fictioneers, a writing challenge graciously hosted by our Fairy Blog Mother Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.
The task of the challenge is to write a story: beginning, middle, and end, in 100 words or less. You can find all the Fictioneers’ stories when you click on the Froggy. Please read, comment, and if you like, join the fun. Everyone is welcome.


flowers-and-packing-boxes-dale-r

Image © Dale Rogerson Used with permission for this Friday Fictioneers Challenge only. Any other use of this image requires Dale’s permission.


Nutritional Value

He stands by the door looking lost. His knuckles are white from gripping his basket, but his chin is up and he looks everyone in the eye who sneers. Gladioli aren’t edible.

I look at my own basket: green beans, tomatoes, peppers, corn. Someone else found a stash of old potatoes in the rubble and got them to grow, now everyone gets one or two to propagate. Food is what counts here.

Tears blind me as I offer my corn to the boy with the flowers. “Flowers are food for our souls,” I say. “Next year I’ll plant gladioli, too.”

(100 words)


I pledge

Note: I changed gladiolas to glaioli since that’s obviously what they are called by people, no matter what the dictionary says…

Why is it ‘look them in the eye’ and not ‘eyes?’

 

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91 thoughts on “Nutritional Value — Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction

    1. Thank you, Rochelle. I went to your friend’s blog and read the story. It’s wonderful and so, so sad. Why do totalitarian regimes care so little for beautiful things? Because it’s an expression of individualism? People, it seems, always loved and needed beautiful things. Look at the earliest known cave paintings and ivory carvings … in concentration camps, artists and musicians, and story tellers created moments of beauty despite the horror… we know how important it is and yet, when money is sparse, or idiots are in power, arts and music are the first to lose support.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Are those men aliens and these two bartering food for flowers the only humans?
    Intriguing story . The idea of picking up potatoes from the rubble is unique too.
    Unique story .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know, the SciFi in this is hard to find. I was thinking about a dystopian future society where they have a hard time finding food and having to re-learn to grow it. I hoped the rubble would be an indicator for that. 🙂 Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great. Almost a Caine and Abel type of story, but with starvation thrown in! I remember reading about a Japanese family during the war. Faced with severe rationing, they had to convert the garden into foodstuffs. Being Japanese, they arranged the different plants so they were visually pleasing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I never understood why blood sacrifice should be worthier than grain sacrifice, but that’s the old blood magic rearing its head… Lovely story about the Japanese family, they sure know how to find beauty everywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s a sad story, many people died of hunger there that winter. If I’m not mistaken, gladiolus bulbs are poisonous, but the flowers can be eaten. They won’t be very nutricious though. Thank you Rowena.

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  3. Hey fellow, I don’t understand music (like me, finally another blogger)… Hmm.. A genuine act of humanity.. It’s these moments that separates those who believe in humanity.. And those who don’t..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great title, and wonderfully rendered. Pragmatically speaking, the steps-away-from starving people around him have good reason to sneer at his choice. But she is kind to realize the beauty there. I hope there’s enough uncontaminated soil to plant both food and flowers for the next harvest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Joy. What I had in mind was a society that had to relearn how to grow things. Maybe the soil is contaminated, maybe not, doesn’t really matter. They are just beyond the starving phase. Throw a bunch of modern kids on a farm and tell them to grow their own food… without smartphones to look it up. What will they do?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked, thank you. 🙂 About the eyes, yes, you focus on one eye, switch to the other, rinse and repeat. Depending on how close you are. In my mother tongue we say ‘eyes’, I guess because we do look into both eyes, only not at the same time. LOL, isn’t language fun? And thank you for answering that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s a beautiful story. Perhaps she could educate him about flowers that help keep pests from edible produce, or flowers that are edible themselves, such as nasturtiums and rose petals/rosehips, and that should keep everyone happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sarah. Yes, I was thinking about these, but they would have been too useful. 😉 I wanted to include a cultivated plant that doesn’t occur in the wild in that form. Many of them are so beautiful, but need so much care.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I enjoyed this story. It was a very inventive take on the prompt. I’m interested why so many people who commented assumed the writer was female? My first reading had me thinking the narrator was male, because they admire the way his chin is up and he looks people in the eye. A second reading, though, showed me that the narrator’s gender is not specified.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess people know me too well, my main characters are almost always female. 🙂 It doesn’t really matter in this tale, in others I do it deliberately, especially when the expected character would be male, in a space adventure, or operating heavy machinery or such. I’m glad you liked, thank you.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I think that people can admire. and need, beauty, even in dire circumstances, but the immdiate struggle for survival makes everything else unimportant. But in my mind the people in my story just moved beyond that point, so a bit of the beauty could come back. Thak you.

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    2. I’m going to comment on your story here since your blog wants to force me to comment from google+ which I don’t want to. I didn’t find any other way to comment there, sorry. I love the relaxing effect the healing herbs have on the narrator.

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      1. …a great story! …, in my language we say looking in the eyes in plural, and I thought about this, but I think I look really into both eyes, not only in one…????? I also had some aliens in mind because of fiction, kind of bad monitoring eye of ” Lord of the rings”….

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thank you! It looks like your language is my language 🙂 I’m german. That’s why I asked, I find the ‘looking in the eye’ concept odd, but I guess technically it is correct. And I have to add: I love your illustrations. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, junk food for the soul would make a good title for something. I’m afraid that makes me think of chocolate (cough). Mybe dandelions don’t grow any more? I didn’t want to go the wildflower route because no one can sneer at them. 😉

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