This is my DWP, trying to continue writing, to work on character and scene building so I can start writing a book. 🙂
“What is the one thing your protagonist refuses to eat.”
I looked at Becca and giggled as she confusedly turned toward me, with a mouth full of corn husk.
“How are you supposed to eat this?” She said, while trying to chew on the sinewy wrapping.
“Oh! No, you, um…” I said, holding in a peal of laughter, “You take that part off and eat the stuff inside.”
She stopped chewing and spit the tamal into a nearby trash can.
“How embarrassing,” she said, blushing, as she began to pick strands of corn husk from between her teeth.
No one noticed. Everyone else was too busy waiting in line for brisket tacos and sausage on a stick. Becca wiped her greasy hands on a paper towel and tried again, this time unfolding the meat-pie package.
The next tamal slipped through the envelope and fell on the floor.
“These buggers are more slippery than oysters!” She wailed, as we waited in line for a strawberry-topped funnel cake.
I sighed and looked ahead–five more in line, and a couple more waiting at the register. I can almost taste it!
“So what do you think?” I ask her.
“Not bad, kinda chewy, and I think something squished in my mouth, but hey… I’ve had worse,” Becca replied.
I crinkled my nose and looked at her, thinking about my first time.
“I used to like the ones with raisins,” I said, as we shuffled forward.
“What happened?” she said, as the fourth made it in her mouth successfully.
“I saw how they were made, and haven’t really had a taste for them since.” I said, grimacing at the thought of my 10th birthday.
“What’s in it?” she asked, as she finished chewing.
“I don’t want to ruin it for you,” I said plainly. “It’s just meat, wrapped in spiced corn meal steamed in a corn husk for good measure.”
“Tell me!” She squealed, noticing my uneasy shuffling forward. Suddenly, I wasn’t in the mood for funnel cake. Her elbow found the perfect spot on my ribs and the pain made me jump.
“When my mom’s best friend said she wanted to make tamales from scratch, I was excited. I thought it was beef or chicken you get at the store, or something like that, but…” I stopped and looked at her, as she wiped her hands, threw away the food tray, and stuffed them back into her jacket.
“Oh, come on,” Becca said, annoyed.
I looked at her and blurted it out, “It’s made of pig.”
“So is bacon,” Becca said, snorting at her own joke.
“It’s the pieces you don’t eat anywhere else.” I said, watching her smile disappear. “I walked into the kitchen– on my birthday–” I enunciated. “And saw a pig’s head in the kitchen sink… I thought it was stuck.”
Becca let out a roar and held her sides as she laughed. Tears streamed down her face as the person behind her pointed that we were falling behind in line.
“You thought it was STUCK?!” she squealed.
“Hey, I was TEN!” I shouted. “And for your information, tamales are made with pig cheek, brain.. and, and,” I said, fishing for the grossest thing I could think of… and eye balls!”
Becca stopped laughing and began to wheeze. Her face slowly turned white as she looked back at the trash can.
I moved my eyes around in crazy circles, trying to make a point and stifle the blow to my ego.
She punched my shoulder as she lurched toward the trash can, heaving.
“One funnel cake please,” I said, smiling.