Imagine walking into your favorite café. The bell chimes, and instantly the aroma of coffee and pastries tickle your taste buds. Stacks of books line the walls, and you’re surrounded by patrons sipping espressos, typing dutifully on their laptops. That’s the moment you spot the group of women seated at a corner table, leaning closely to one another, their voices low. So, you pull up a stool and order a latte and a slice of your favorite pie or maybe a croissant. The women gathered are giddy with laughter, their eyes bright as they set forth to tell their favorite stories, the dim lighting providing the perfect ambiance. Each woman eagerly awaiting their turn, hoping to startle readers with their most terrifying tales.
This is what it is like in the Café Macabre.
This, and an invitation of course, is what drew me to the Café Macabre II anthology. I knew, the moment I read the name, that I wanted to author a story alongside these amazing women, inside this imaginary café. “But what does your story have to do with food?” you may be asking. Nothing really. But food has everything to do with my character, Maryann.
Maryann was such a homely little thing, her mouse brown hair tied neatly into a bun, her boring scarves and buttoned cardigans. Quite pitiful really. It was almost as pitiful as her evening routine—A microwave meal (tonight’s dish was mac and cheese) washed down with a bottle of cheap wine.
Why did I choose such a depressing meal for my character? Because that is exactly how Maryann’s story begins. Waking up each morning and going to work, wearing the same boring clothes, with the same dull hairdo, unseen or completely unappreciated by everyone around her. Bossed around and degraded until she just can’t take anymore.
It isn’t until Maryann finds the courage to change that her diet changes. A spritz of Luxury #35, and she was at Tom’s house, T-bones on the grill, and fancy rosé in hand. Asparagus, potatoes, oh my. Her buttoned-down cardigan tossed aside for a slinkier, sexier outfit. Visions of murder in her mind. Wait, what? Murder you say? That’s right. Maryann traded her boring mac and cheese microwave dinner for murder. Funny how that happens in the café. So many women find themselves in a murderous mood. Must be something in the food.
Thanks for stopping by to share your food for thought, Patricia!