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(A short story of 2747 words)

Winemakers' Soup

Literary

by Carmen Nina Walton


A young woman discovers something that threatens the family traditions that keep her safe.


By eight in the morning the west coast sunlight pouring through the windows made the kitchen look as though it were noon. Magali was cold. Her sneakers felt damp and she’d thrown a jumper on over her t-shirt to keep the chill away.

2kg of beef shoulder
4 garlic cloves.

She knew the recipe by heart and pierced the meat, inserting garlic into the wounds.

The previous night she hadn’t slept. The Garniers were notoriously light sleepers and she alone needed alarm clocks in the summer as well as the velvet dark mornings of winter. There was a reason she knew how to sleep. She now knew that.

She placed the meat into the marmite that her grandmother had used. Grandmother? It was battered, but holding out, made, as her grandmother told her, by craftsmen.

There were countless tasks to do during the picking days but she stood in the kitchen, listless, her arms folded and her hands tucked inside the sleeves of her jumper.

Never watch water boil. Her industrious grandparents wasted neither food, time nor money. She considered this as she stared at the water in the pot until it finally rippled and puckered with heat. Ordinarily at this point in the making of the soup she’d be taking butter from the fridge so that it could come to room temperature and be easy to spread. And the bread. If she wasn’t early all the boules would be gone and that, with its hard crust and pillow interior, was what the team of grape pickers preferred. Year on year the same family members eating in the courtyard, the same grape pickers. Every year the rituals lacing her more firmly into family traditions. She’d spent her life being shown those traditions and quite soon would be expected to carry them on...
 

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