What does it taste like?

Do you recall when you lost the sensation of taste? Is there a particular memory that comes to mind when you first noticed it?” Dr. Russell asked.

Sam thought hard, up until recently he hadn’t even remembered that he had ever been able to taste anything at all.

A five-year-old Sam getting under his mother’s feet more than he was helping her prepare Thanksgiving dinner, but he had put all the marshmallows on the sweet potato casserole.

“What does it taste like?” Sam asked as his mother took the casserole out of the oven. 

“It tastes sweet and gooey; here have a taste.”

Nothing.

___________________________________

Starting Over

“Your initial tests were inconclusive, Sam.” Dr. Russell reported.

“Are we going to have to start over?”

“Not quite, I do have some ideas. I’d like to switch directions. Starting with a full body scan from head to toe and see what those results are before we go any further.”

“You have any idea what’s causing my condition?” questioned Sam with a sliver of hope.

“I have a hunch. We’ll wait and see what the scan results are before we start jumping to conclusions.” the doctor replied, not wanting to get Sam’s hopes up too high.

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Later that afternoon Sam entered the scan room. The massive machine, a shrine to the medical gods, shined with the hopes and fears of patients tested. The white coated technician motioned for Sam to crawl up on to the machine. Sam fidgeted, trying to find comfortable position on the cool, hard surface. The technician darted behind his protective shield.

“Lie still,” the coated man commanded over the speaker from his shielded little room as he started the machine.

A slight humming noise began and picked up in volume as Sam was slid further into the cavern of the gods. He prayed they would find the solution to his condition and he would taste again. As the machine engulfed Sam fully he began to feel crowded and started to panic.

“Almost there, hang in there buddy” the shielded man encouraged. The scan went on for an eternity before Sam the man again saying, “All done.”

—–

The Daily Post Writing Challenge: Staring Over

Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #299

If This is the Title… The Forgotten Memory

So Liam, over at lifeofathinker, has a writing challenge that I just discovered. “If this is the title” is the name of the challenge. Liam chooses a title and we are to write (up to 500 words) a short story that fits that title. This week it’s ‘The Forgotten Memory’, another change but without the twist.

In Liam’s words:

So I thought that I would do another one of a writing change this week. Don’t worry, it’s not for a change in genre. Instead, I would like you to write a story in the present, but an activity prompts a “forgotten memory”, and in order to explain it to the reader. I want you to write a flashback.

So this week’s title is: The Forgotten Memory

_________________________________________________________

After all the prodding and poking and testing, Sam was finally showed into Dr. Russell’s office late that afternoon. He was exhausted and ready to go home.

“You’re doing great, Sam. Were through with the tests for today. I just like to review you medical history and have you answer a few questions before you leave today.” Dr. Russell beamed.

“Sure,” how could he say no to her beautiful smile, especially when she was trying to help him.

“First, is there a time any time at all when you remember being able to to taste anything, even just the slightest hint of a taste?”

Sam gave pause and stared at the ceiling tiles for a moment.

“Can I have one, can I have one,” a four year old Sam begged his mother as the passed by the candy shop on their way to the park that hot summer day. It had rained most of the week. Sam had cabin fever, had it bad. His mother was grateful to get him out of the house to expend some of that pent up energy even if the humidity hot you like a break wall when you stepped out the door. 

“Yes you can have one,” Sam’s mother obliged as they went inside the store. The air conditioning made goosebumps appear on Sam’s arm. He reached for the red lollipop and handed it to his mother.

“This one!”

“What do you say?”

“Please,” Sam grinned.

“He’s a cute one,” the clerk complimented as Sam’s mother paid for the candy.

“Thank you, he’s so excited to finally get to play outside this week.”

“Yeah, all this rain is going to make it a bad mosquito year.” the clerk commented.

“Hmmm, yes.” Sam’s mother answered wishing she had thought to bring bug spray. “Come along, Sam.”

Sam enjoyed his red lollipop. It tasted sticky and sweet like strawberries that have been left to sit during dinner with sugar for dessert. He enjoyed playing in the puddles at the park. He didn’t mind getting wet. He did mind when his lollipop fell, he picked up and kept going. It still tasted sweet and mom didn’t see.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sam Resolved

Turning back to his coffee, Sam resolved to make this year the year of Taste. he could almost taste the coffee now, almost. The sweet aroma he inhaled would have to satisfy him until he could make an appointment with Dr. Russell.

“Once I can taste the food, I’ll learn to cook the food.,” Sam grinned as he planned the year ahead. Next Thanksgiving would be at his house. He would cook the whole meal, delectable delights he would savor each taste test. No longer would family gatherings be torture.

“This is my year!” Sam resolved as he headed home.

Friday Fictioneers: Sam’s New Year Hope

Friday Fictioneers: Every Friday authors from around the world gather here to share their 100-words based on the photo prompt and offer constructive crit and encouragement to each other. This creates a wonderful opportunity for free reading of very fresh fiction! Readers are encouraged to comment as well. Read my Entry Below:

Copyright Jean L. Hays

Copyright Jean L. Hays

Sam made it through the holidays, sneaking away to savor the aromas at the coffee shop.

“This next year was going to be the year he finally would know what it was like to taste,” he mused over his coffee.

“Is this seat taken?” a smartly dressed woman asked.

“No.”

“Pretty crowded, guess we all need an escape from the relatives.”

“Yeah,” Sam laughed knowingly.

“I’m Dr. Juliet Russell.”

“Sam Brown. What’s your specialty?”

“Sensory Neurology Research, so smell, taste..”

“Did you say taste…” Sam interrupted.

“Why yes. Are you in that line of work?”

“No not yet.” Sam smiled.

Story A Day Sept 29: Coffee Shop

Sam entered the coffee shop full of shopping warriors on the Saturday afternoon after Thanksgiving fueling up for a day’s worth of sale busting and packing wrapping. Christmas carols faintly fluttered in and out over the chattering of the noise and clanging of cups by the baristas. The sweet aroma of caramel and bitterness of expresso overpowered the tiny shop.

This is what made the coffee shop Sam’s favorite place. Even though he couldn’t tase the grade black coffee he ordered nor the pumpkin scone, the aroma of the coffee  and pastries overpowered his sense of smell in the tiny shop. For someone who could not taste the bitterness of his coffee nor the sweetness of the his scone, the fragrance of the coffee shop was heaven.

Every Saturday morning, Sam came to the coffee shop and ordered a coffee and a scone. It was his weekly ritual. One he desperately needed after another depressing Thanksgiving. Sam savored the perfume of his coffee as he watched the shoppers rush in and out. How he envied their ability to taste thier morning treats. How he pitied them for not taking the time to appreciate the gift they had.

Story A Day Sept 24: No Memories of Taste

Sam moved through the motions of the meal.

“Pass the yams.”
“Seconds?”
“No thank you.”
“Empty the plate before dessert.”
Yes, ma’am.”

Food was just a means of energy for Sam and Thanksgiving dinner the ideal hell for someone who could not taste. Especially for someone with no memory of taste at all.

Every year Sam volunteered to carve the turkey so that he could make a wish on the wishbone. Every year he made the same wish, just one taste. Every year he was disappointed.

Sam stared at the depths of the dessert table disheartened.  He could not bring himself to try even one more bite of disappointment.

 

Creative Copy Challenge 279