Eba, Efo Riro with a serving of Tears

prompted-buttonDecided to take part in yet another TipsyLit prompt.

Check out the Tipsy Lit writing prompts, guidelines and rewards -

http://tipsylit.com

The prompt for this week is: prompt must include an unusual or unfamiliar food. Your character could love it or hate it, struggle to determine how to eat it, not recognize it as food etc.

Check the story out below:

She is angry with me.

I can tell that this is the case because her lips are trembling, her eyes are dilated, and her chest is rising and falling really fast. Both our eyes dart to the knife on the table, the light reflects of it and bounces back off our bright yellow wall.

When we moved in, she insisted we paint the wall bright yellow. Bright neon yellow. Who paints a kitchen wall, neon yellow? The bell rings signaling the time for her to start cooking. Yet another neurotic practice of hers.

“I’m going to make you dinner.”

She picks up the knife and I watch her with wary eyes. I am not ready to leave yet, I don’t want my back to her.

“What are you going to make?”

“Eba and efo riro,” she replies. This is what she does when she is angry. She cooks some foreign meal from her country, knowing full well that I don’t eat spicy food. And the food doesn’t even look appealing. It comes in mostly browns and reds and greens – the colour of grass and soil and s***.

I watch her as she takes the gari, a grainy grey substance that resembles sand and pours it into a pot of boiling water. I notice two dear drops fall from her lashes and into the mixture, which she stirs until the substance thickens and starts to look a bit like playdough. She dumps a dollop on the plate for me and heats up the efo riro and then she folds her arms and waits. Dare I refuse the food?

She is tapping her foot now and waiting for me to make a choice, the wrong choice. I take my hand and scoop a bit of the eba she made with her tears and dip it into the efo, then I place it into my mouth and swallow. I take another bit and swallow. Her body is shaking now and I know if I look up, I will see that she is crying. But I don’t look up. I keep eating and eating till there is nothing left.

“I think I’ll have a second helping.”

She walks towards me and I fold her into my arms.

20 comments

  1. Blake 21 June, 2014 at 15:21 Reply

    I like the way you use the accumulation of detail to let the tension build. I also like the fact that I’m unsure of the relationship between the characters – why is the narrator so wary of her? (it almost feels like an opening scene of a longer narrative). Nice title, as well.

    • oyinbraithwaite 22 June, 2014 at 00:41 Reply

      Thank you. I’m really glad you liked it. I think it came out that way because I was discovering things about them as I was writing. I thought it might be nice as a longer narrative as well, but for the life of me could not imagine what that longer piece would be about!

      • Blake 22 June, 2014 at 13:44 Reply

        Well, I was intrigued by the narrator’s anxiety about the knife, and his not wanting to turn his back on her. What occurred beforehand to make him so wary..? I even got the impression it might’ve been an incident that “she” was unaware of…
        Btw congratulations on winning the TipsyLit comp. I voted for your story 🙂

        • oyinbraithwaite 22 June, 2014 at 14:09 Reply

          Thank you! I’m really excited! I think it’s even cooler that I drew for first (maybe that’s a little weird). But seriously, thank you for the support and the feedback. I really appreciate it.

  2. Blake 21 June, 2014 at 15:21 Reply

    I like the way you use the accumulation of detail to let the tension build. I also like the fact that I’m unsure of the relationship between the characters – why is the narrator so wary of her? (it almost feels like an opening scene of a longer narrative). Nice title, as well.

    • oyinbraithwaite 22 June, 2014 at 00:41 Reply

      Thank you. I’m really glad you liked it. I think it came out that way because I was discovering things about them as I was writing. I thought it might be nice as a longer narrative as well, but for the life of me could not imagine what that longer piece would be about!

      • Blake 22 June, 2014 at 13:44 Reply

        Well, I was intrigued by the narrator’s anxiety about the knife, and his not wanting to turn his back on her. What occurred beforehand to make him so wary..? I even got the impression it might’ve been an incident that “she” was unaware of…
        Btw congratulations on winning the TipsyLit comp. I voted for your story 🙂

        • oyinbraithwaite 22 June, 2014 at 14:09 Reply

          Thank you! I’m really excited! I think it’s even cooler that I drew for first (maybe that’s a little weird). But seriously, thank you for the support and the feedback. I really appreciate it.

Leave a reply