The picture inspiration, from Howl's Moving Castle, for my flash fiction tale Mushroom Soup

I’m still a bit of a newbie when it comes to Kathryn J. Aliva‘s #SwiftFicFriday as my story below, Mushroom Soup, is only my second entry. However, it was second time lucky as it was voted the weekly winner.

The prompt we were given was food with a picture from Hayao Miyazaki‘s Howl’s Moving Castle as extra inspiration. You can check out the story below.

Mushroom Soup

He taught me everything I know about mushrooms. How to spot them. How to prepare them. How to cook them so they weren’t slimy like how his ex-wife cooked them. One of her many faults, according to him.

Today he demands mushroom soup. I knew where to go, the most untamed part of the forest amongst the broadleaved trees. They stand tall amongst the dry and broken brown leaves. Their white caps, like umbrellas, hiding the decay from the rest of the world. I pick two, although I only need half a cap. They get their own special bag to make sure I don’t lose them. I’m less choosy over the other mushrooms I pick. I have the important part, the part which will give the soup the kick it needs. Everything else is just bulk to fill his bowl.

He taught me everything I know about mushrooms. How to spot the poisonous ones. How to prepare a mushroom soup. How to cook them so they weren’t slimy, so he’ll eat every drop.

Author’s Notes

I didn’t have an idea of where the story was going when I started writing. Instead I described onions in a similar way as the final opening lines talks about mushrooms. Once I came upon the idea of using mushrooms, inspired by Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Phantom Thread, the rest of the story just fell into place.

The mirroring of the opening and closing lines was a late edition. My hope is it adds a sense of dread to the first line when you know how the story ends.

What did you think of Mushroom Soup? Let me know in the comments below