“Potatoes or Salad?”

“Potatoes or salad?”

“Potatoes or salad?” The waiter asked the figure sitting in the shadows. I could only see their outline from where I was sitting. I’m not sure what they replied, but the waiter left with a confused expression. Moments later, he reemerged from the kitchen carrying a large pineapple. 

“Sauce, you forgot the sauce,” I called to the waiter. I looked back to the corner of the restaurant where the shadowy figure was perched just seconds earlier, and was shocked to see the table had completely vanished. It wasn’t that the shadow and the pineapple were no longer at the table, but the table had somehow become part of the shadow. Panicking only slightly, the way one does in dreams, I almost didn’t hear the waiter’s reply: “No more sauce, only solid.”

Missing reality when it made sense, I try my hardest now to wake up. Must be a dream, must be a dream, must be a dream. It wasn’t. It isn’t. I will never know relief…

Appearing into this scene was easy, but the feat is disappearing.

Notes: I followed the instructions fairly literally, though in hindsight, making sure I clicked the right word and ignoring dead ends may have been cheating.  I deliberately made the three story arcs follow one another as I was writing them despite choosing completely random words every time, so I had no editing to do to make the story cohesive. Don’t ask me why I thought the opposite of a potato was a pineapple… what would you say the opposite of a potato is?

Sophie Dufresne (they/them) studies psychology and creative writing at Concordia University in Montreal. They developed a passion for poetry after reading “Hope” by Emily Dickinson in sixth grade. They are an editor at their student newspaper and have been published by Milk Carton Press, Oddball Magazine, Brain Mill Press, _voidspace and JAKE, among other publications. You can find them on twitter @i_m_sope.