‘Chicken Tikka Sandwich’ by Molly Monelle

This week’s Friday Story features Molly Monelle’s ‘Chicken Tikka Sandwich.’ Molly is a student in the First Story group at John Cabot Academy led by Chelsey Flood, and this piece is featured in their anthology, I’mpossible.

With impressive clarity, Molly’s piece evokes the way a sense memory can cause grief to revisit us. The simple yet vivid language she uses echoes the sharpness with which we sometimes recall an event when we encounter a scent or taste – hairspray, scrambled eggs, a chicken tikka sandwich.

 

Chicken Tikka Sandwich by Molly Monelle

Sometimes, a certain smell or taste can remind you of an event in your life that changed you forever. Like a chicken tikka sandwich. I remember when my cat Bungle died. She started to hide under our matte-black dining table refusing to eat. The noises she made were different to any she’d made before; I knew something was up.

I came home from school and an empty cream and red cat box sat at the bottom of the stairs. My brother looked at me with a blank expression. I crept up the stairs while Mum sat in the living room staring the Antiques Road Show on TV. She looked up and asked me and my brother to sit down, and my stomach felt empty, like I couldn’t breathe.

‘Bungle is gone…’ she said. Fresh tears streamed down her face. I buried my head into my black leather bag, smelling what was left of today’s chicken tikka sandwich and cried.

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