This is not part of the novel. It is one of the many exercises my writer friends challenge me with in order to help me stay on track. Saran is a very difficult character to write. I can picture her mannerisms and I know where her motivations come from, but the fact remains that I do not like her as a person. She is necessary, so I must persevere.
Yesterday my friend Kathy told me about a story she once wrote that was inspired while washing dishes after cleaning out her kitchen cupboards. It was the menial task and the earthy ingredients of a can of Irish Stew that got her writing. It set me to wondering what my characters have in their cupboards. Here’s a little foodie background on Saran inspired by Kathy mentioning her Irish Stew Girl.
What’s in her fridge?
Though she has given herself the title of Lady Saran the woman behind
the robes came from meager beginnings. As an orphan of the state, she
spent the first ten years of her life eating nothing but protein meal in
a variety of flavors and consistencies. Days would start with scrambled
egg style protein, a vitamin supplement bar of “froot”, and an
electrolyte water dosed with caffeine and a low glycemic carbohydrate.
Mid-morning and mid-afternoon the kids were given a flavorful squeeze
packet that both refreshed thirst and provided energy. For dinner, the
protein more resembled jerky. It was accompanied by warm crispy fingers
of simulated starch which provided the child with growth and development
boosters based on their physical needs. At the end of the day, the
orphans drank a warm yogurt lightly sweetened with a “froot” cube
containing a mild sedative and analgesic for a restful sleep. The
flavors would change from day to day, but the food itself was nothing
more than an homogenous delivery system for nutrients and calories.
In addition to their studies, all children seven and older had a set of
chores to complete around the orphanage each week. Saran’s job from seven
to nine was opening the food cases delivered each week and restocking
the shelves. At age nine she started skimming certain food items from
the shipments to hoard them in her room. Just before her greed and
rule-breaking were noticed, Saran realized that she didn’t enjoy any of
the food enough for the trouble she could get in and the extra calories
only made her feel sluggish. Unfortunately, she was caught putting the
food back in storage and was relocated to a branch of the orphanage for
troublemakers. The food there was no less nutritious, but no effort was
made to add flavor or to maintain a tolerable consistency.
In adult years, particularly as her following grew, Saran sought out
food made from natural ingredients and found favorites in oatmeal,
creamy soups, root vegetables, mushrooms, and persimmons. To demonstrate
her wealth, the aging Lady Saran had a public shopping list featuring
roe, truffles, quail eggs, and cobayo along with featured foods by some
of her many sponsors. These delicacies were reserved for guests; most
nights Lady Saran wrapped herself around a warm mug of vegetable stew
and toast points.
Adrift by t.s.wright is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.