Mocha Silk Pie
This was actually written before the essay on Social Realist SF, but then so was Ivana’s Heart; the two stories feed into that essay. I like this story a lot, but then I happen to think that it works really well for such a short vignette. It was published on Weaponizer on the 9th of March 2010.
The blurb that was posted on the Weaponizer Blog to introduce this story makes me very happy as well.
She looked at her watch. “Are you going to make the pie soon?” she asked him. He was sitting next to her on the battered old sofa reading a book.
“Are you sure you are ready?”
She nodded. “Very sure.”
He got up from the sofa and left for the kitchen. Laid out on the marble counter top were the ingredients for the pie. Pre-weighed. Pecans, Kahlua, instant coffee and chocolate. The recipe she’d printed earlier that afternoon and stuck onto the fridge with a strawberry shaped magnet.
He loved her deeply. He even believed in the cause she was fighting. And he understood that her method, her weapon even, was a well tried method of resistance. But he loved her, so didn’t want to see her harmed. Still he was compelled to follow her wishes, and a compromise had been agreed on.
With the pecans, he made the pie’s crust and put it in the fridge. She walked in just as he was closing the white door. Walked over to him and gave him a hug. “How is it going?”
“Well. I’m just about to make the filling. Want to watch?”
She smiled. “Yes. Do you mind if I put the radio on?”
“Go for it,” he said.
She turned the radio next to the sink on. It was tuned to BBC Radio 4. The clean English accent of the woman presenter was reading the news. “Members of the group Save the NHS have pledged to go on hunger strike in response to David Cameron’s recent announcement that major cuts in all sectors of the National Health Service.”
“I don’t need to hear this love. Can you change the station? Planet Rock?”
“I understand. Too close.”
He nodded and carried on mixing the filling. When it was finished he spread it on top of the crust and put it in the fridge to set. “Two hours minimum until it is ready. What do you want to do?”
Outside it was raining slowly from the grey sky. “I don’t know. I’ve already updated the Save the NHS blog and twitter feed. I don’t really want to deal with it for a while. A film maybe?”
“Did you finish watching Six Feet Under?” he asked.
“No,” she said. “We could watch a few episodes of that.”
They returned to the living room. She put in a DVD of Six Feet Under and hit play all on the menu. While she was setting up the TV he took his boots off, and then leaned back into the sofa and took out the hair tie he’d put on while making the pie. She cuddled up to him as the HBO static started.
“It looks good,” she said to him, as he took the pie out of the fridge after the DVD had ended. He put it on the kitchen table and grabbed a sharp knife from the drawer.
She hadn’t wanted any ritual with her last meal. She just wanted the best pie she’d ever had. No cameras. No record. Just memories. “Can you get a plate?” he asked. He hadn’t dried the dishes so they were all on the rack drying next to her.
The ceramic plate clunked on the wooden table. He was cutting a generous slice from the pie onto her plate.
“Eat,” he said, while hoping that she’d eat again in a few days.