Classic Literary Fiction france family drama jen knox short fiction death short story short stories

Gather the Ingredients

By Jen Knox
5,838 words · 22-minute reading time

Photo by Kylie Paz via Unsplash.

At one time, they believed in fairy tales. They believed in the burnt sugar-scented, cobblestone dreamland that came to life in their mother’s stories. They stayed up nights discussing life as though it were a soft, sweet thing to sample, like the truffles that cooled on wax paper in their kitchen. The perfect, plump chocolates were just waiting to be plucked by tiny fingers. Claire snuck two as Alette drew Pâtisserie Jasmine, a pastel cottage perched on a round green hill.

At forty and thirty-nine, the sisters waited in long Customs lines that ended with exhaustion and petulance. They argued over directions. Claire examined the map on her phone as Alette hailed a cab.

The driver eyed their bags, stopped twenty feet ahead of them, and popped the trunk as he idled. His car contained a layered aroma, the tarragon and sage remnants of a sophisticated lunch settling atop the sourness of upholstery that had absorbed too many spills. The cab weaved through heavy traffic beneath a swollen,...

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