This story won the Longer Flash Fiction section (up to 500 words) of the Andrew Siderius Memorial Writing Contest, run by Friday Flash Fiction in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Judges’ comments included:
‘We especially enjoyed Doug’s descriptive language, such as “mustard-gassed appetite” and “the Hades of the wok.” It isn’t often that a reader laughs out loud when reading and visualizing a story. We found that “Currying Disflavour” was not just well-written but hilarious.’
Here’s the story (and for once this story is actually true).
In my impending dotage (and you can stop that sniggering in the back row), I’ve discovered cooking and a penchant for adventure. I found a recipe for squid stir-fry and imagined a song of praise from my goodly spouse. ‘Perfectly cooked squid, on an eclectic bed of seasonal vegetables, conjuring the exotic flavours and aromas of Asia’ a pretentious restaurant menu would have said.
The recipe read ‘green curry paste’ but what would they know; one paste is as good as another, I thought, (ever the egalitarian). With what I imagined was a chefly flourish I enhanced my imagined masterpiece with a large blob of chilli paste, hurled straight into the Hades of the wok.
Instantly, I was alerted to the error of my ways by a nose like a running tap and a total shut-down of my lungs (except for the coughing bit). My wife rushed to my rescue, either concerned about my paroxysms or what I might be coughing into the evening meal, but, alas, she was swiftly felled by the same symptoms.
Every door and window open onto the evening chill, ceiling fans gyrating dangerously at speeds hitherto unknown and the Chernobyl wok banished to the nether regions of the back yard, we averted asphyxiation.
My previously baked sausage rolls sated what was left of our mustard-gassed appetite. They tasted a lot like humble pie.