On Ad Astra, there was a weekly prompt about crying. Now, I am not a fan of making my characters cry. It’s not that I don’t – God knows they weep up a storm at times. But for whatever reason, I don’t love writing the specifics of that in fanfiction. I tend to use more euphemistic expressions, such as wet face or red face. I wanted to answer the prompt, but I wanted a kind of back-handed reason for crying that wouldn’t be quite so readily apparent. And of course it came to me – chopping onions. And who better to do that than sous-chef extraordinaire Lili O’Day?
And of course her eyes are tearing and her arms are killing her.
But then Will puts his foot in his mouth, big time. She hasn’t been working with him for that long, and he decides to make conversation. He asks her what her family normally made for Christmas dinner. She mutters something about coquilles St. Jacques grilled or baked, served in their shells with a cream sauce. But she doesn’t tell him anything else.
And Will, like a fool, persists and pushes her. And she has to blurt out that holidays are hurtful, because of the deaths of her parents.
The story is rated K.
I wanted to honor Lili’s parents and, at the same time, get across that holidays, for a lot of people, are just plain godawful. Plus I wanted a reason for her to be crying. The onions set her off, but it’s the memory – and the Will’s misguided persistence – that really ice it for her.
I think the story came out well, and packs a lot into only 560 words.
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