Flash Fiction: Marmalade

The marmalade jar lid pops as Cordelia opens it.

She sniffs.

It smells fine, nice, even,

But not so different that it should come with a warning.

She spreads it across a cracker…delicious.

A yellow finch lands on the kitchen windowsill.

Cordelia offers the last few crumbs of the cracker, 

Sprinkling them across the wood.

The tiny bird snatches them up greedily,

And peers at her with dark eyes.


Cordelia laughs and offers more crumbs, these plain.

The bird tips its head, inspecting them,

Then looks up at Cordelia.

It wants the marmalade.

She dips a finger, smears the stuff near the crumbs.

As the finch gobbles it eagerly,

Two more birds descend.

A fight ensues, chirping and swooping, 

Tiny bird violence.

A scratch at the front door draws Cordelia’s attention.

Stray dogs push past her, growling, heading toward kitchen.

They stop just inside,

Sniff the air.

They want the marmalade. 

She dashes outside, finding cats, rabbits, squirrels.

Birds circle overhead, the kind with talons.

She runs, jar in hand, unwilling to give up her prize. 

Fur, feather, and claw pursue.

Cordelia tries the door of her car in the driveway.


She pounds on one neighbor’s door.

No answer.

Now scales have joined fur and feather, shadowy things,

Cutting wavy lines through neatly manicured lawns.

The door to a café down the street swings open for her.

She pushes it closed and rests there for a moment.

The clinking murmur of the place falls silent. 

Diners stare.

They smell the marmalade, too.

One by one, a wild look creeps into their eyes. 

Then she is running once more. 

She’ll have to give up her prize, toss the jar aside,

Eventually, but not yet.


Like short fiction? How about a whole dang book of it? My newest release is available in both print and ebook forms on the Amazon. Link down yonder.


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