[Short story] Thyme
Here’s a completely mundane story about the time Teresa made tea from thyme.
Her mother said, “About time I get my brew.” She propped up her bed table, waiting for breakfast.
Teresa proffered the high-brow teapot, a swan-like fountain, and poured into a normal, gaudy, stained mug. The liquid was jaundiced as oil.
Mother took a lukewarm sip. “Much—” coughed “—too strong.” She pushed the mug away.
Teresa brought a cool pitcher and poured the rest. “That’s why I left enough room to dilute it.”
After planting her dentures, the senior sampled the mix. “It still tastes awful.” Her articulation had improved.
“Please drink it. Thyme contains high amounts of vitamin A and minerals you can’t afford to miss.”
“What happened to you, Terri? You used to be such a good daughter.”
“I am a good daughter,” she said wearily.
“The daughter I know was an excellent cook. She made biscuits that billionaires would die for.”
Teresa discreetly handled her nonexistent love pouch, a habit she never undid. She smiled out of obligation.
“Honey, what’s with these bedeviled cords?”
“It’s just a set of medical tubing and bandages.”
“If you don’t honor your parents, God will remember your sins.”
“Are you finished with the tea?”
“Honestly, it’s too savory. You could at least make something a normal human being would drink.”
“Mom, come tomorrow, you won’t even remember what I made.”
“Are you making excuses?”
“No, I’m repenting.” It was hard. Her face gleamed, soft with second chin. “The less time I spend in the kitchen, the more time I have with you.”