The man failed to reach the bottom of the bowl for his last sip of supper: fresh venison and smoked jalapeños in bone broth simmered all Sunday, packing heat. He concluded the spoon was at fault.
The man quested the redwoods and whittled a spoon as tall as the forest. His kukri knife shaved off years of nature, exposing homes of bark beetles, spider mites, and fire ants. He sanded past the tenants escaping down his arm to create something he could handle. Finished, the man dipped the redwood spoon into the bowl for his final sip of soup, but the bowl carved deeper. It reminded him of the Bean in Chicago. His reflection did not reveal a quitter.
He went into the city that was not Chicago and demolished a skyscraper. Sidewalks observed the man grind sawing it into a 30 level spoon. Polished steel beams and pink fiberglass insulation, riddled with mice holes — something that the man could grasp. Finished, he plunged the spoon into the bowl, yet, the bowl descended further. It reminded him of a country he never read about. The man prized the recipe, an uncompromising pursuit.
The bowl was now his ship. He shoved off to sea with the 30 level spoon, distant from the eyes that berated his hunger. Saddling the rim, he used the redwood spoon to paddle against the current. The bowl’s bottom, an unobtainable abyss, voyaged over angel fish and plastic utensils.
The man, drained in the wake of hunting, fell into the ocean and sunk to depths unexplored. Lungs deflated and fingertips seeking, he invented a chasm in the bowl. He broke and released the savory soup into the world. The ship forfeited air for water. All that was left to consume was the ocean. Sodium and sulfur and the world’s excrement dominated the stock, boiled plates simmering for eternity. The man’s single regret was not bearing any peppercorns. He would have cracked and shook the potent seasoning to produce soup spicier than a volcano. One that was dormant though. One not likely to erupt.
Corey Miller lives with his wife in a tiny house they built near Cleveland. He is an award-winning Brewmaster who enjoys a good lager. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in MoonPark Review, X-R-A-Y, Barren, Cleaver, Bending Genres, Hobart, Cease Cows, and elsewhere. When not working or writing, Corey likes to take the dogs for adventures. Follow him on Twitter: @IronBrewer