©2019-2021 Michael Raven
The tea kettle had stopped knocking and rattling, an indication that it would begin its high-pitched shriek that would break the early evening quiet, which meant it was the perfect temperature for Kori’s needs and she removed it from the propane flame. The water inside protested the disturbance as it slopped against the sides of the tin, sputtering and cursing at her. Kori ignored the noise and poured some over the dark green tea leaves and watched their writing as they unfolded in the bath of hot water. After steeping her tea for several minutes, she remove the strainer and turned her attention back to her bowl of kombu, white miso and matchstick-cut vegetables, and poured the remaining water into the bowl, stirring the contents with a pair of chopsticks.
Over the lake a loon laughed at her as she brought the tea to her lips and sipped. Bliss crept to the corners of her mouth, pulling it into a faint grin.
She’d always preferred a simple meal after the hard work of burying the dead. It was hot work under the floorboards of her northwoods cabin — and she found that the combination of the heat of exertion and lingering spell of the dead tended to ruin her appetite but knew she’d need her energy to finish what she’d started.
Another one of my social media flash fictions, posted on this day in 2019. Per usual, light editing was performed for clarification, cleanup or obvious errors, but the core story is unchanged. The OED word of the day used for my trigger was “kombu”.