Inspired by the prompt Echos of a Wooden Table.
The foggy cloud wafted around her, hands a flurry of motion on the counter. Smack, roll, pound, twist, smack, roll, pound, twist, her body barely moving as arms pummeled the bread dough. I brushed a kiss on her wrinkled cheek as I moved past her, coughing slightly in the warm, moist flour-dust filled air.
“Don’t forget to run the water first.” How many years had she repeated this warning to me.
“Well still giving you problems? I thought Dad’d fixed it again.” Orange-red water sputtered from the silver tap into the well-worn and stained porcelain sink like blood from a cut. She didn’t need to answer. The evidence was clear, or rather not clear. Even so, a long sigh from the woman next to me puffed more flour into the air.
I reached overhead into the open cupboard for a glass cup, scratched and foggy with use and hard water stains, waited for the water to run clear, then filled it to the brim. While the rust in the old pipes was frustrating, and the old pump groaned at the request, the water that finally came through was clean and sweet, if you ignored the odd bit of dirt that floated to the bottom once in a while.
With a slap of hands again the well-washed apron covering her thighs, she stepped back to admire the loaf she’d shaped from the mixture of water, salt, flour, honey, and yeast.
“It’s the rains not the well.”
“Flooding is bad this year.” I took a long sip and gazed longingly at the white loaf. I knew the coming wait. I’d waited it for all of my life, through the heating of the oven, the baked warmth wafting through the house, the melt of the first warm slice without butter as an occasional treat, then doused in creamy butter during evening dinner. It was worth the wait. (more…)