The Potato, flash fiction by Emma Schilling at

The Potato

The Potato

written by: Emma Schilling


I breathe a sigh of relief as I walk through the front door. She’s gone, and I’m ready to move on. The weight of her absence has been temporarily replaced by the bag of groceries hanging from my shoulder. I trudge into the kitchen and begin to delicately place each item into its allotted spot in the fridge, the cabinets, the counter.

As I finish, my hand lingers reflexively on the only reminder of her I have left. The realization startles me. I miss her. I can’t help but smile bitterly at the thought. When she left, she had torn out a chunk of my heart. And in return, I preserved a piece of hers on my counter.

And there she stays, stealing my every spare thought. Whenever I pass through the kitchen, she stares at me, mocking me and screaming at me with all of her eyes. She greedily gorges on my apologetic sideways glances. Once upon a time, she had looked at me like no one else could. She had loved me, despite all of my blotches. But now she’s gone, so whose eyes are still watching?

My affection couldn’t satiate her then. My attention can’t sustain her now. Despite my unconditional love, I can’t bear to do anything other than simply exist around her, so I ignore her. I deny her her only purpose to me and now she silently wastes away. Day by day, she grows uglier and uglier until finally her rotten core blooms outward.

I let her die. I bury her in the garden.

Guilt pecks away at me, but before it can consume me completely, I return to the store.

And I buy another.

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