Thursday, February 16, 2012

Write On Edge: BLT Challenge

400-word limit gifted by Red Writing Hood inspired a break from my recent characters. Sure, I could accept the challenge to invent an early 14th century BLT for my crusader. I even started writing the scene when an entirely different image popped into my mind. Here's the prompt:


Plump tomatoes, salty bacon, crisp lettuce, soft bread, this week we want you to be inspired by the BLT. Write a piece of either fiction or creative non-fiction based on this photo.


 I asked myself a question. What happens if the photo is misleading?


I offer the following in response: BLT Revisited



The sun slowly burned through the foggy barrier revealing tractor rigs and sign posts like a magician with a wand. Penny sat with her twin at a distressed booth in Spooners, their traditional stop off the interstate, bemoaning the miles left to go on their trek home from Northeastern University.  Ancient d├ęcor scared away those that the locale hadn’t, but the food was cheap and nobody cared they wore pajamas.

“Five letters: glacial inlet?” Amber asked, tapping her pen against her folded magazine.

“Fjord,” Penny replied without hesitation as she investigated the pieces of her BLT. The menu photo was overly optimistic, she thought. “This doesn’t taste right.”

“It never does,” she quipped, last jot complete. “Six letters: Rock Star and City in MO.”

A server slopped refills in their coffee cups in passing, splashing some in his lackadaisical manner. Penny hailed him back, “I’m sorry, can we get some extra napkins?”

He disappeared with a grunt. Amber muttered, “Thanks for nothin’.”

“Be nice, Ams, it’s not like this diner is the Ritz.” The bacon was undercooked, the lettuce tired, and the tomato flat. Penny reached for the salt-shaker. “Joplin,” she answered finally. “Why do tomatoes taste like candles?”

“Bee ni-ice,” she mimicked, rolling her eyes. “Apples an’ tomatoes are waxed to keep them shiny in supermarkets.” With a disapproving scowl, she warned, “Salt isn’t good for you.”

Napkins were tossed onto the table without a clear point of origin. “Yes, well neither is bacon or mayonnaise for that reason.” After mopping the table, Penny smashed her sandwich back together. She took a timid bite to taste, and dissatisfied, dismantled it again.

“Plant lice?” Amber asked, spiriting the salt-shaker away.

She made a face in response. “They’re not good for you either,” she stated, fetching the pepper.

“No, Penns, a five-letter word for plant lice.”

“Aphid.” She finished her dousing of pepper.

Amber sneezed violently. “Geez! How much pepper dijya put on that slop?”

She forced another disappointed swallow, “Not enough. You should’ve let me keep the salt.”

“Look, you gonna finish that sometime today? Fog’s lifted an’ I wanna get home before midnight.”

“Are you going to finish your crossword?” she mocked, plating the partially-consumed sandwich. She fished a Jackson from her wallet and pinned it to the table with the pepper-shaker. Lukewarm coffee downed, they abandoned the broken BLT to its fate and happily made for the exit.

24 comments:

  1. That was wonderful. Your descriptions of the diner are great--I could picture the place and taste the undercooked bacon (ick!). Well done!

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    1. Oh I didn't mean to do that to you, honest. Sad fact of life is I've had this sandwich at a greasy diner. Turned me off of BLT for a while.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! I'm sorry you tasted the undercooked bacon!

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  2. The descriptions were fantastic. I know exactly what tired lettuce tastes like, although, I'd never thought to put it that way. The dialogue felt believable to me and flowed easily. Great job!

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    1. Thanks! I tried to make sure that although they were twins, they each had a distinct voice. I'm thrilled to know my conversation between them worked as well "on paper" as it did in my head.

      Thanks for stopping by and the wonderful feedback!

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  3. I love the back-and-forth between the two girls. Really well done. That sandwich sounds so depressingly disappointing, though, considering the restaurant you described so vividly, it's hardly surprising.

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    1. Thanks! I feel there's nothing more tragic than a broken BLT, unless maybe it's knowing you're going to get a broken BLT and ordering it anyway.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  4. Oh, bad food is never quite as bad when you're with someone you can complain about it to! I like the dynamic between the sisters, and the inevitability of the bad food.

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    1. Thanks! I'm thrilled that the scene worked. I struggled to get it under the 400 limit and still get the bones in the story.

      Thanks again for reading and for the great feedback!

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  5. Nice story and I like that the BLT was a co-star. You did an excellent job with the distracted conversation between the twins.

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    1. Food rarely comes to the table looking exactly like the professional photo implies it will, especially in diners. I wonder if we can sue for false advertising?

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your feedback!

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  6. Great descriptions. I could picture the BLT easily, as well as the two sisters sitting at a booth. You painted a vivid scene and I love the voices of the girls.

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    1. Thanks! I tried to keep their speech style segregated so the dialogue because even inseparable twins have separate and distinct personalities.

      Thanks for stopping by and the wonderful feedback!

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  7. This was so funny! One, it reminds me of my daughter. She is always picking apart her food. Two, you used one of my favorist words, lackadasical. I enjoyed this so much. Put a smile on my face.

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    1. Yea! I did my job then. I'm so glad this worked. Lackadaisical is a word that my former supervisor constantly used, and always mispronounced. It irked me because it's the perfect sounding word for what it means and has been a fav of mine for a long time.

      Thanks for stopping by! I'm so thrilled I made you smile!

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  8. I loved the crossword puzzle intermingling, it added levity and told us about the girls...one is doing the puzzle or is she??? ;)

    Plus I could have been sitting in that diner...the descriptions were so good.

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    1. Thanks!

      I'm so glad that came across. Like the picture denotes something that wasn't altogether the truth, Amber's crossword puzzle is truly worked by her sister.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  9. Great way of making the sandwich the third character in the scene. Try as you mihgt some things just can't be repaired :) Great job!

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    1. It had a very tragic and short lived life, never living up to its potential mostly because of the tools it was never given...

      Thanks for dropping in and sharing your thoughts! I'm glad I was able to give the pitiful thing some life.

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  10. Great dialogue. Isn't it the worse when the picture looks nothing like what they serve.

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    1. Indeed. There are some foods that are hard to mess up. The BLT unfortunately is not one of them. I can't order BLT in restaurants because it can go oh so wrong...

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  11. So much to love here. The flow of dialogue is spot-on, the diner comes to life, and that poor, sad sandwich... I could weep from the injustice.

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    1. Thanks! I feel guilty about what I did to the sandwich, but I rest secure in the knowledge that the sacrifice was for a noble cause. I'm thrilled you stopped by and shared your thoughts!

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  12. Love the crossword being done and how awful the place was...great piece :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I'm glad you enjoyed your stay!

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