Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ruth Long Week 1: Flip Flop Flapjacks

Picture 1

Picture 2

Ruth Long’s Picture Choice: 1

Title: Flip Flop Flapjacks

She grabs the basket of blueberries off the counter, strides out to table five and sends the plastic container skidding across the formica tabletop. “Take your fruit, get out of my restaurant and don’t come back!”

He smiles at her, calm, patient, like a parent waiting out a child’s tantrum. “You said you didn’t have the berries to make them last week, so today I picked some up at the farmer’s market.”

“The farmer’s market is open?” She turns and shouts towards the kitchen. “Hymie! You said the market didn’t open until next weekend.”

“Nah, man. It’s open today for sure,” Hymie’s voice comes from the prep station, along with the clatter of pans. “I just didn’t feel like getting up early this morning.”

“Oh, for fricks sakes! How many times … never mind. I’ll deal with you later.” Turning back to table five, she says, “I appreciate that you went to the effort to bring me blueberries, but as I’ve told you for the last three weeks, I don’t make blueberry pancakes. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have dough to punch.”

“Is it them or me?”

“Excuse me?”

“Is it the berries you object to, or me?”

“Got no objection to berries. Got no real objection to you, other than the berries. But this is my restaurant. I cook what I want, when I want, how I want, and nobody is gonna change that.” He raises his coffee cup in mock salute. “Fair enough.”

She takes in the easy smile and relents a little. “Look, you’re welcome to come back again, so long as you give up on the berries.”

He sighs. “See, it’s not just about the pancakes. It’s about this place and about you and me.” “Stop right here, bud. There is no you and me. And you have nothing to do with this restaurant. So it really is all about the blueberry pancakes. And I haven’t made those since - -”

“Since Montgomery passed away?”

She gazes at him for a heartbeat or two before answering. “Yes. Since then.”

“Remember how he’d stand at the grill and call out to the customers, ‘The berries must have wings because these blueberry flapjacks are flying off the griddle.’”

“Why didn’t you say anything?”

He shrugs. “Guess I was hoping you’d remember.”

“Probably would have if you hadn’t kept aggravating me.”

“You used to come in here with your family every Saturday morning and order blueberry pancakes.”

“Geez, what were you? Nine? Ten?”

“Twelve. Old enough to know what I wanted and young enough to believe I could make it happen. Then Dad got sick, we sold the restaurant and moved away. But I never forgot my blueberry girl.”

She looks down the row of tables, looking into her past. “I can still taste every meal your daddy ever served me. I was happy here. That’s why I bought the place.”

“Did you know dad let me cook your pancakes? Mom would bring them out to you, those sandals of hers paddy-thwacking with every step and Dad would say, ‘There go the best Flip Flop Flapjacks this side of the Mississippi.’”

“So, if we make pancakes this morning, you gonna get this trip down memory lane out of your system and leave me be?”

“Probably not.”

“Didn’t think so. You any good with a whisk?”

He grins. “The whisk and I are practically kissing cousins.”

“I see you got your daddy’s wit as well as his beautiful blue eyes. Now, get behind the counter, snap on a fresh apron and start the batter before I come to my senses.”

He gets up and heads for the kitchen.

She calls to the woman in the window booth. “Hey, Brenda. How much you pay for those shoes?”

“Five bucks. Why? You want me to bring you a pair next time I stop by?”

“Nope. I want to buy the ones off your feet for ten bucks.”

“Right now? Sure. Why not?!” Brenda says, sliding them down the tiles to her.

She steps out of her sneakers, slides into the flip flops and heads for the kitchen, leaning up against the fridge and watching him prep the flapjacks. “Nice to have a Montgomery in the kitchen again. Gonna be interesting to see what we cook up next.”


A reader by birth, paper-pusher by trade and novelist by design, story-telling in my passion. If you enjoyed reading today's story, please consider checking out my blog, joining my creative community or participating in the madcap twitter fun @bullishink.



  1. I really enjoyed this. The opening really piqued my interest, wondering why the owner of a restaurant would treat a customer this way. I love the way you slowly revealed the full story and things ended on an up note. So much told in a short story, and yet it didn't feel rushed. Nice job!


    1. Thank you! I loved starting her out all tough and cranky and then softening her up as the story moved along. So glad you enjoyed the read!

  2. Cute story, makes me want to know the back story and what comes next.

    1. Thank you, Toe!! Yeah, I want to know more about these two as well!! If I don't get another food photo prompt, maybe we should take another sister vacation and stir up the story juices!! :)

  3. Oh Ruth.. the threads of this story are so tightly woven, the past, the boy whose loved you from a distance, come back years later. *sigh* Loved the tone and the dialog.

    1. Thanks, Stacy! As soon as I saw the photo, I heard the phrase 'flip flop flapjacks' and had a pretty good sense of the story I was going to write!

  4. All of that writer's angst was for naught! This is so fresh and so much fun, with a nice layer of poignancy to boot. Lovely.

    1. Thank you, Jeff!! And thanks for the hand holding along the way!! So glad we're in this together!! Totally amazing to be part of Team Daily Picspiration! :)

  5. I love it so much when a story creates a place inhabited by people that I instantly feel I know and have spent lots and lots of time with...I'm sitting at table seven watching it all go down. Thinking "hey maybe things are looking up around here"! Well done lady, well done.

    1. Thanks, Bliss! Love the idea of you being at table seven and watching it all go down! :)

  6. "The whisk and I are practically kissing cousins" love it:)

    1. I was hoping you'd enjoy that line, Sis, because I popped it in there just for you! See, every now and then, there are payoffs for being my IR!

  7. Miss Bliss has it exactly right, we care for and feel we know your characters straight away. You make us feel like we're already part of the story and that's where the magic lies! Loved this!

    1. Thank you, Lisa! So happy you enjoyed this story because I had you in mind while writing it! I'm hoping I can bring them back again to indulge our penchant for kitchen stories! :)

  8. This was sweet. I was thinking at first why she would talk that way to a customer, but all was made clear! :)

    1. Thanks, ML! So pleased you enjoyed the read. Also so very happy to be part of this team! Thank you!! :)

  9. Loved this, Ruth. What a turnabout and great ending. :D

  10. Thank you!! Had so much fun with these two!! :)