Here’s a short story. Can you give me a title?
The Silence of the Yams (was Untitled Story)
Janine wasn’t sure when she first started to go mad. It was either the cut carrots calling out, or the parsnips pleading as the oven heated up to roasting speed. She’d been a vegetarian for decades. A vegan ever since her wedding to Tom, the variety artist. But although he joked that while “meat is murder, but fish is justifiable homicide” he had honoured her wishes to not eat dead animal for the unhappiness of their short marriage.
Janine knew Tom had married for money, but he had always quietly respected her “life choices.” (She imagined him bunny earring the quotes.) and had foresworn the flesh.
So, when the carrots anguished their burns as they boiled, then bathed in butter, and the parsnips screamed to not be ovened, she snapped.
The potatoes remained half mashed, bewailing their half dead. She could not eat. Tom took over, and was sympathy itself. No, he had not heard voices. It must be all the stress of recent days getting to her, mustn’t it? Would she like soup, or a smoothie? Janine could only picture fruit screaming bloody in the blender.
When the police came at the insistence of the ambulance crew, who could not believe a grown woman would willingly starve herself in her own home, the Detective Sergeant was non-plussed, especially when his boss insisted they arrest the husband, even though there was no evidence of incarceration or abuse. The Inspector looked his underling in the eye. “He’s a ventriloquist, Danny. Now book him!”