A Taste

lemon_juice__lemon_lip_art__by_chuchy5-deviantart

(Credit: Chuchy5 on DeviantArt)

Cinnamon.

I take a deep breath.

Cinnamon and paprika.

The chicken has probably been marinating since yesterday. Now the hissing fat is dripping into a tray, while the chef yells to her minions about the sauce. I imagine what it must be like to live upstairs in this mansion, not only having a feast for dinner every day, but having people prepare that feast for you. Eating a whole chicken, the cinnamon tickling my nose, the gravy running down my chin. I lick my lips.

‘Hey!’

The chef’s call pulls me back. I must have leant against the door while I was imagining, because it is wide open now. The chef marches over to me.

‘Oh, it’s you.’ With one hand, she adjusts her apron; the other clutches half a lemon. ‘Look, I don’t have anything for you today.’

I stare at the lemon.

‘I’m sorry,’ she says, ‘but you have to leave.’

I point at the lemon.

‘What?’ she says, ‘I’ve already pressed it.’

I point at the lemon again.

‘Alright,’ she hands me the lemon, ‘but you still have to go.’

I cradle the lemon in my hands as I turn my back. A firm push gets me started and I stagger across the courtyard. Beyond the gate, I sit down by the side of the road with my prize. I hold the lemon above my mouth and press it for all I am worth. The tart drops sting my lips. It is heaven.

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