This month’s excerpts will be from the next stand-alone short story I plan to release (still working on the title). I don’t have a blurb yet either, but it’s about an American guy’s up-and-down relationship with a French girl.
This is the opening.
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Daniel looks around his apartment one last time. All personal signs of his life here are carefully tucked into his duffel bag, into the small backpack that serves as his carry on. A few things remain: the bed he shared with Mireille; the kitchen pans that belong to the apartment’s owner, the ones that Daniel used to cook Mireille dinner because most of the time she forgot to eat unless he reminded her. She cooked for him in that kitchen too, a few times, but she was a horrible cook, always burning things, using her own combinations instead of following recipes. France was supposed to be known for its culinary prowess, and yet Daniel had the fortune to fall in love with the only woman in the country who couldn’t even boil water without filling the apartment with smoke.
He memorizes the apartment, filling in Mireille. She’s been gone for months, and now he’s leaving too. He takes a deep breath to clear his mind of the past, to focus on his future back home in the States – a future strangely empty, after years filling it with plans and goals. Now he isn’t sure what he’s going back to or what he’s going back for.
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I like how you played against stereotype by having your French girl be unable to cook; such things are very effective. I love the name Mireille, though it’s too darned hard to spell and then spelling seems to have almost nothing to do with the pronunciation.
A heart wrenching snippet. I agree in the fact that I enjoyed the fact she goes against stereotype. Lots of great detail.
As someone who’s burned more than one meal, I feel for her. It must be difficult to always have people expect you to cook better.
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