Bread rage

I was unprepared for what to write today as my intended piece on a rogue writing group turned into a 2000+ word story at the last minute and there was no way I could polish it up in time. So, I needed to find new inspiration, and quickly. Best way? Go for a walk to find ideas. Something will always crop up, and you know what? It did.

sliced breadSo, on the way back home from a walk to a beach café and spotting seagulls, I noticed a loaf of bread appear at my feet. Odd, I didn’t remember seeing it in the middle of the pavement as I was walking up to that point. The bread seemed to appear at the same time as the white van that had pulled up at the traffic lights.
The driver leaned out.

“You’ve dropped your loaf,” gruffed the big bulldog bloke with a grin.

I looked down at the bread. I was after ideas, not bread and besides, it was one of those sliced white loaves in a plastic bag, the type where all the slices are so stupidly thin that there was zero chance of actually spreading butter without tearing the bread to leave just a rubbery crust loop that could double as a fan belt (in an emergency). It was the sort of bread that had no sell-by date, was not allowed to use the word ‘best’ in best before… and was manufactured by the same process as the sealed plastic bag that housed it.

I looked at the van driver.

“It’s not my bread,” I said. Or thought I had said but really I had only thought ‘It’s not my bread’ and had not uttered a word. So basically I had ignored the driver and was just staring at him with a disbelieving look.

“Oi, stupid! You just dropped your bread,” he shouted in such a convincing manner that I now believed him. But I still didn’t want the loaf and was happy to just leave it where I had dropped it. I would simply wait for the traffic lights to change, let the van man drive off and then walk away, leaving the problem loaf for someone else to deal with. It was hardly front page news.

“The lights are green,” I said but once again had forgotten to say the words. I may have just raised my eyebrows in response.

“Are you a nutter?” assessed van man and “SHUT IT!!!” he shouted back to the car behind who was irritatingly tooting their horn continuously.

The tooting horn driver leaned out his car. “THE LIGHTS ARE GREEN!!” he screamed as if this were his last chance ever to get across the junction.

“I said that,” I thought and then realised that I had actually said the words, which made van man really angry. His thick banana fingers that were more comfortable in their natural resting position as balled fists flustered about with his seat belt that would not come undone.

“You’re brown bread mate,” he spat, ripping his seat belt in half and getting out of the van.

“It’s really not my loaf,” I insisted with real words and then realised that he wasn’t using the grammatically incorrect version of your / you’re and that he meant ‘brown bread=dead’ as in popular rhyming slang. I was in trouble here.

Luckily the car man tooted his horn again. Van man was easily distracted and liked dragging people out of their cars through half open windows. As an horrific fight started, the traffic lights changed to red again, the pedestrian crossing to green – so I walked away.

Did I yet have a story? I remember thinking:

“Maybe sliced bread wasn’t the best idea after all.”


Better cover

Have you ever had groceries that weren’t yours forced upon you?

No, probably not…

This story appears in Better, a collection of 19 absurd & funny short stories.

If laughter is the best medicine: you should get Better.


Published by mike olley

Mike Olley writes short fiction. He has two collections of very short stories available, Better and Mind Clearance. His work has also been published online as well as in several anthologies. Originally from London, he spent a few years in Spain before a quirk of fate brought him back to live in an English seaside town. He now spends his time gathering storylines washed in by the sea.

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