(c) all rights reserved · dverse · fiction

dVerse — Prosery #1 — An interrupted cry


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Lebanon, a sensitive, observant man, began to notice subtle changes in Lita, his wife of 30 years. Her smile was not as bright when she greeted him after he’d labored 12 hours a day at the fish market. Her eyes did not hold his as long after they made love. Her consistent timetable shopping trips became random. He knew something was amiss.

Then he began to smell it – the cinnamon. Once he did, he couldn’t avoid it.

Lebanon pretended to go to work one morning, as usual. He hid around the corner and waited. The cinnamon peeler arrived. There was no knock. He emerged an hour later.

Lebanon got his affairs in order. Next Sunday morning he walked to the cinnamon peeler’s house.

Lita smiled and drank her morning coffee – when far away an interrupted cry.

[144 words]




Please note: this prosery is in homage to Michael Ondaatje’s wonderful poem, The Cinnamon Peeler – with a twist.

The Cinnamon Peeler

If I were a cinnamon peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.

Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutters, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbour to your hair
or the crease
that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler’s wife.

I could hardly glance at you
before marriage
never touch you
– your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers . . .

When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said

this is how you touch other women
the grass cutter’s wife, the lime burner’s daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume

and knew

what good is it
to be the lime burner’s daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in the act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of a scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon
peeler’s wife. Smell me.

Link for poem

Bjorn is the host of dVerse today and is introducing a new challenge for us, the Prosery.  Bjorn says:  Write me a story using maximum 144 words that has to include the following line:

When far away an interrupted cry

taken from the poem acquainted with the night by Robert Frost.


56 thoughts on “dVerse — Prosery #1 — An interrupted cry

  1. I love that the sensitive guy works 12-hour shifts at a fish market and still can smell the cinnamon on her skin. And I really love the ending to your tale. (Thanks also for the special treat; I’d never read the poem before!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think he already smelled something fishy so his nose was primed. Thank you for your kind words, Victoria. You are welcome on Michael’s poem. He is not only a first class writer, he’s a first class poet!


  2. I love the poem that inspired your story, Jade, and I love your story too, which gives another meaning to the saying ‘follow your nose’! Cinnamon is an exotic, erotic spice – my favourite on hot chocolate. Now I want to know what exactly happened to the husband.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She is sitting at the table, smiling while thinking of her lover, ignorant of the fact her husband is headed across town to do who knows what to him. Why do you think the cry was interrupted? Thank you for reading and commenting, Jane. Glad it left some questions.


      1. I imagined the cry was interrupted because her husband had got the cinnamon lover. If she didn’t know where he’d gone, then that could explain why she was smiling. Ignorance. I thought she knew, so the smile was for something deeper we don’t know about…
        Actually, I liked that you’d noticed the ‘interrupted’ part of the cry and written around it. A lot of the stories used the word without it having any significance. In flash fiction, every word has to be there for a purpose. Good story.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a twist to your story. I can only imagine what happened – gruesome, I am guessing.

    I also enjoyed reading that sensual poem that you shared – The Cinnamon peeler. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Paul. The reader can decide who cried. In my mind, the cinnamon peeler was on his knees, begging for mercy from the husband, but the husband was not merciful. Then the husband ended up going to prison for killing the cinnamon peeler. It’s a tragic tale, where the wife is now deprived of both of the men who were in her life.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. He should have known it was inevitable – cinnamon, rather than fish. Alas for the cinnamon peeler! If only the fish monger, instead of seeking vengeance, had sought a less aromatic trade, or one with a more desirable aroma. Well told, Jade.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I appreciate you reading and your thoughtful comments. Yes, impulsivity often leads one to unproductive paths. I feel very bad for the husband, a hard-working faithful man doing the best he could for his family. I also understand the wife’s attraction for the cinnamon.

      Liked by 1 person

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