The Toaster


I’ve been writing one or two longer stories, none of which I feel confident enough about to post here, so as an aside I’ve felt inspired to write a piece based on this blog that I came across:

All the pieces are based on photographs of objects that people email to the writer.

The Toaster

I’m woken again by the harsh glare of the halogen bulbs overhead. Thankfully I have a few minutes to come to my senses as she always reaches for the kettle first. The morning is my busiest time of day; I have to work hard, but that’s what I’m good at. I take pride in toasting evenly on both sides, churning out round after round of hot breakfast items on demand.

It must be nearly Easter. The tall lady is loading me with hot cross buns. I hate hot cross buns, and teacakes, fruit loaf. They’re all the same to me. Those sultanas always fall off and get burned into hard black pebble-like obstructions that wedge themselves into my filaments and clutter my crumb tray with their charred corpses. Then they end up setting off the smoke alarms and everyone blames me! She’ll have me upside down over the sink, shaking me for all I’m worth. I’m not designed to cope with that sort of abuse. It’s demanding living with a family of four. Give me a nice retired couple who prefer Weetabix any day.

She shows me some affection from time to time. Once a week she rinses my crumb tray and polishes my reflective chrome sides. She likes to make sure there are no smears, no grease splatters. Not like him. He’s always in a hurry. Once he dropped his car keys into me on his way out to work- I’ve never heard such language. I released them as quickly as I could in response to his vigorous prodding at my innards with a table knife. He’ll be the death of me one day.


Ad Hoc Entry- Private Arrangement

Here is another unsuccessful entry to last week’s Ad Hoc competition. Would love any feedback on this.

I’ve been a bit quiet of late as just so busy with work, life etc.  It’s so hard to find the time to write anything more substantial than flash fictions and easy to feel despondent.  When life pressures build up I find my thinking time for writing becomes squeezed more than I would like.  Hoping to redress the balance at some point soon.

The women that came to her all had one thing in common. Other than that, she knew little about them. She didn’t ask, they didn’t volunteer.

They would telephone, asking for Rose. She would make an appointment, take payment. The arrangement was simple. She never advertised. Her reputation preceded her. She never saw the same woman twice- there was no need.

When they came in and revealed their faces, they all wore the same desperate expression. They left calmer, lighter, happy.

There was only one she couldn’t help. She came back under a different name a few months later.

‘It didn’t work,’ she said simply.

‘I’m sorry.’

She stood in silence for a few moments. Then she took out a long knife from under her robe and raised it up to her neck.

‘Wait! Wait. You don’t have to do that. You can work for me. I need an assistant.’