[ tif-in ]
- A light meal, especially lunch.
- A type of lunchbox.
** Either a story beginning, a story ending, a piece of flash fiction, a poem–inspired by the word, tiffin, where does it take me? Where does it take you?
“Arencha gonna eat, Ted?” said Barney, before he stuffed his sandwich into his mouth, biting off more than it could hold.
“Not hungry,” Ted said, watching Barney chomp away with his mouth open, bits falling to his plate. Ted looked down at his own sandwich, feeling nauseous.
“Whassa matter?” More bits of sandwich fell to Barney’s plate.
“Nothing,” Ted lied.
Barney didn’t question him further. He shrugged and swallowed the giant mass of partially chewed sandwich with an audible “gulp,” followed by a slurp of his beer.
Why did I even agree to this?–Ted thought…
… Far more urgent matters filled his mind, but he also knew the answer. Maintain appearances–he answered himself–business as usual.
Ted picked up his sandwich and took a small bite. The nausea was still there, but at least it gave him time to think. Barney was already chewing on another massive wad of bread and meat, his lunch almost gone.
“Hows Maar?” Barney asked, bread falling from his mouth.
“Mary’s fine…” Ted answered as casually as he could, yet his heart raced. Did Barney know something? No–he thought. It’s a perfectly normal question to ask about his wife. Barney’s eyes though–and was that a smirk he saw?
“Thas good ta hear.”
Ted saw it again. There was definitely a glint in Barney’s eyes like he was enjoying an inside joke. Could his blackmailer really be this buffoon? This jackass who he ate lunch with every day at work? Suddenly, a furious appetite stole over Ted, and he bit off a large chunk of his sandwich.
He was going to find out. He was going to turn the tides on his tormentor. Perhaps–he thought–I can shut Barney’s fat mouth once and for all. The thought made him smile.
Today was going to be a good day–he thought.
The idea I started with was that Ted was being blackmailed and unknowingly eating lunch with his blackmailer.
I imagined a revelation at the end of this scene where Ted discovers this truth and is shocked by it. Afraid of the blackmailer. The blackmailer in full control, maybe even revealing himself to Ted to instill more fear.
Either way, I imagined it ending with Ted being in further desperation and fear. Yet, as I wrote Barney’s character, the strong desire to “shut his fat mouth,” stole over myself! Lol.
Writing his disgusting chewing, his accent, and picturing him in my mind. All of it made me want to give Ted some power. I liked how that came through gaining his appetite back. A simple visual of strength returning in himself. I thought that was nice and clean.
The story can go a lot of places. Maybe we want Ted to be victorious; perhaps what he’s being blackmailed for is actually really horrible, and we don’t want him to win; or, how does walking this dark path change him? Maybe this scene, this life event, is what turned Ted into a serial killer? It all depends on the story you want to write.
That’s enough from me, though…
What do you think of Tiffin?
Which direction would you like to see the story take? Did you also desire to shut Barney’s mouth? Lol.
Leave your thoughts, your own story beginning/ending, flash-fiction, or whatever in the comments! Where did tiffin or my story take you?
If you like a darker twist, check out The Devil’s Tri-Tone.
Today’s word is from Word Genius.
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