Excellent news for Numéro Cinq Contributing Editor Natalia Sarkissian. Lorian Hemingway has just published Natalia’s Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition entry “Soup.” Lovely news, lovely story. Congratulations, N.
SOUP: by Natalia Sarkissian: 2010 Honorable Mention
Mrs. Croftway stood at the sink, peeling potatoes for supper; Vichyssoise was the verdict. But without cream. No chicken stock. No leeks either. Just pepper and the half cube of bouillon left over from yesterday. Mel always fussed over the lack of ingredients, craving comfort. But that was the problem, wasn’t it? That’s how they had ended up here, in this crummy trailer park. She, peeling, boiling, mashing, liquefying; devising undeserved rewards for his crooked handiwork. Mel thinking up new names for the thin white liquid that resulted and cooking up illicit get-rich-quick schemes that flopped.
The wind blew garbage around. Wild dogs had been out last night and had ripped through black plastic garbage sacks. Sand hissed and she imagined it flying through the cracks in the double-wide where the silicon had dried and shrunk and no longer kept the outside completely out. Little mounds of sand would be piled on the linoleum when the wind stopped.
She would sweep it. Tidy, she was. She wished she could sweep up the shards of broken dreams. Pick’em up. Glue’em together. Start over again.
Mrs. Croftway sighed and pushed a faded lock of brown hair out of her eyes. The curl stuck to her forehead. The air conditioning had died. No money to fix it. The lights sputtered dimly—low wattage bulbs—and she had trouble seeing. No money to pay for electricity or repairs either.
She laughed—a mirthless sound.