Thursday, October 31, 2019

Chocolate Truffles for the (Possession of) the Human Spirit #5

This short story was published as part of Tellables' October 2019 Box of Chocolates Assortment 11 of spooky stories. Box of Chocolates is an Alexa skill you can install to sample monthly short stories narrated by digital, story-telling chocolatiers . 

If you have an Alexa device, I recommend you give the Box of Chocolates skill a try. My story this month is Chocolate #8, The Salted Blood Truffle. 

Alternatively, you can read my slightly extended version of the story here

And if you like the idea of writing delicious, super-short stories (100-400 words) by all means check out the Tellables website for story submission guidelines. 

The Salted Blood Truffle

Happy All Hallows Eve to ye!

May the demons leave ye untouched this night. Sure as death, there was a time when superstition was more than sly whispers and giggles shared in the kitchen. Spirits, in particular, readily spoke to anyone who feared God or heard the wind in the trees.

Listen close and I'll share some secrets with ye. As an apprentice confectioner I was taught many traditions to ward off evil spirits, the least being food spoilage. Salt and smoke were key elements in the preservation of flesh and savory foods, but with sweets the key charm was invoking high temperatures.

In truth, prior to the Great War knowledge of confection was infused with the blackest of arts. Medicinal recipes were at the heart of my craft. Handed down orally over generations, both ingredients and process were key. Witch-hazel gumdrops could stave off the creeping ague and St. John's Wort licorice could suppress minor possessions. Such medicinal wards were my profitable specialties.

At the height of my career my ambitions grew beyond such curatives. To that end I tracked down a master confectioner who specialized in recipes that influenced living spirits. After a bit of pointed coaxing he shared a very special truffle recipe with me, the salted blood truffle. 

Allegedly from the time of Charlemagne, it promised limited immortality. I was dubious, as it required the distillation of blood and tears of a person taking their last breath. To my surprise the master confectioner provided these without too much screaming. I must say the results were quite effective as I speak to ye now more than a hundred years after my death.

If ye doubt my word, then question my great grandson Brandon tomorrow.  He won't recall telling you this tale let alone any tale on the day of Halloween since his father passed. Let's just say I live vicariously through my offspring.  Now, I can't say living one day a year on the eve of Hallows is optimum, but it beats the alternative.

Sharing this tale has been quite satisfying, alas I have other plans for the evening, so I'll bid ye good day.

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