The weather was hot and humid. Walking outside felt like opening up a steamy pot. A warm and sticky breeze flowed all around us but didn’t seem to provide us with any oxygen. We decided to stay inside for the evening. At this time the world transformed and the unbearable heat turned into bitterly cold in a matter of hours. My stomach was killing me, a subtle growl that repeated itself as if seeking for attention, made everyone’s eyes meet mine. “Someone’s hungry.” Puma smiled. I loved her more than life itself, more than summer nights, motorcycle rides and even more than Saturdays at June’s. Her rusty back made a noise when she got up. Her grey hair poured beautifully from her head and it seemed to me that despite her age she never walked to get to places, she flowed. An oversized warm ball made its way in front of me. “I haven’t cooked in a while, that was fun!” Puma joked. Seeing her happy uneven smile made my heart skip a beat. I looked at the dish, the steam warmed my lungs. The whole house smelled of spices and stew. All was well until I saw it. Chicken, swimming around the reddish liquid. I am deadly allergic, but I love Puma, I could never offend her this way. It was all-over as well, I couldn’t possibly take it out without missing half the flavour. I gazed at her; she couldn’t wait for me to try it. Should I? I haven’t eaten it in so long, there’s a chance I outgrew it. Sure, it’s possible. I could never offend Puma. The spoon slowly reached my mouth, a spoonful of chicken. Fleetly it ran down my throat knowing that it would soon be coming up again. I’m deadly allergic to chicken, but I love Puma, more than life itself.

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2 years ago

There’s something about this story that just keeps drawing me in. I’ve read it many times now, and it always sends a shiver down my spine. Perhaps it’s the desert heat, suddenly cooling to bitter cold. Perhaps it’s the hunger, the smell of spices, the warmth of cooking, the known danger. But more than anything I think the charm is in what isn’t revealed. Who is telling the story? A man? A… Read more »

Shreya Dhital
Shreya Dhital(@shreya-dhital)
2 years ago

Well written story. I especially liked this portion: At this time the world transformed and the unbearable heat turned into bitterly cold in a matter of hours. 🙂

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

Who is Puma? This story fascinates me – so many questions! I would love to know more about the characters in this story.

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
2 years ago

The story doesn’t end after reading. There are so many unanswered questions swarming in the reader’s mind and that’s exactly what the power of literature is. An amazing story about love and putting someone else’s happiness first.

Leena Auckel
Leena Auckel(@leena-auckel)
2 years ago

Puma is a mystery… The beauty of this story is that each reader imagines a different Puma in his/her mind,

musing mind
musing mind(@musing-mind)
2 years ago

What happened to the character? Did the character show signs of allergy to chicken? The story is written very well and has left me with lots of questions and curiosity.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
2 years ago

Everyone has posed the questions, intrigued. I don’t even know if they are human or animal, but I suppose we never will.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
2 years ago

Congratulations on your win, Lydia. Your story is great but intriguing. So many unanswered questions left hanging in my mind. But what is most important and clear is the amazing and unconditional love that tied the whole story together. He/she will do everything to seek the happiness of his/her love. What an inspiring piece.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Lydia E Atzemian
2 years ago

Thank you, Lydia.

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