“Bread and Buttons”

Never Before

Like write instead of type!

At long last, another story! This one’s been sitting on my computer for a while, actually; it was my first short fiction assignment for the English 484 class I’m currently in, and while the main readings for the course are various iterations of Little Red Riding Hood from throughout history, the prompt here was pretty open-ended.

Seeing as I tend to do better with some guidance (at least when a grade is on the line), I followed a brainstorming suggestion from early on–what I call the “Yahoo Email Password” method of drafting–wherein I mashed together two or three concepts I had preexisting interest/skill in and saw what emerged. I wasn’t particularly satisfied or invested in what I came up with, even after working on it to literally the last second (and a few after that–some rapid-fire negotiation with the professor was in order when the submission portal glitched and made me technically late)… but from the online classmate’s comments and peer review session that occurred this morning, it sounds like I may have sold myself short in my estimate!

But hey, as always, it’s your call. So with just a little more ado, please enjoy…

Bread and Buttons


  1. Actually a pretty good story about transition. I did notice a seeming narrative inconsistency where first Dan is too apathetic and then later one of his faults is said to be that he worries too much? Or is the former a deliberate result of the latter?

    I liked the focus on cooking, which doesn’t seem to be explored that much for some reason.

    Anyway, his wife has amber hair, which is close enough to red hair for this story to be a winner even independently of everything else.

  2. Thanks! Yeah, the idea is that his internal obsession over all the possible routes his life *could* take/have taken manifests as chronic disinterest… or at least he thinks it does. The cooking element was something I had fun with integrating in relation to his character, but I started to hit thematic critical mass (and, as far as the original assignment was concerned, max page count) after a while, and I’ll admit it could be integrated a little more overall.

    And yes, let’s hear it for redheads and the near-red!

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