This is an excerpt from "A Taste of Home", my cardamom Spice It Up due out in a couple of days. It's a contemporary college story, detailing the adventures of new freshman Trevor while he tries to get a handle on college and where he stands with Carter, a friend with benefits from high school. Trevor wants to deepen the relationship, but he's not sure if Carter feels the same way.
They left Carter's room and walked together to the
dining hall, making small talk the entire way there. He
noticed that Carter controlled most of the conversation
and directed the majority of questions to Brian. That was
to be expected -- Brian was the new one in the group,
and since he was Carter’s roomie, it made sense that the
spotlight would be on him.
Soon enough, Trevor reversed his decision. Brian
was so sharp-minded, quick on the draw, and well-
spoken that Trevor was beginning to feel pretty lame in
comparison, and he stopped talking because he was
starting to feel left out. However, when they grabbed
their trays for dinner, Carter brushed a hand against
Trevor's arm and smiled.
That perked Trevor up some. And he perked up more
when he saw the huge tumblers for drinks. Those
fuckers looked like they could hold a quart of soda. He
started heading toward the Coke and Sprite dispenser,
but then he realized that if he drank any, he would be
burping up a storm later. Giving Brian more fodder to
tease him? No way was he going to do that.
He filled his glass with orange juice instead and
headed to the area where they were serving hot food.
Trevor had to do a double-take when he saw the entrees
-- there were formless lumps hidden under some sort of
thick, globby sauce brown sauce; something kind of
meat-like that might have been either pork or chicken,
which was doused in a white goop with coagulating
yellow lumps; and a bell pepper stuffed with what
looked like a pile of granola cereal.
Ew. Everything looked gross, but he had to pick
something. He waffled a bit and then pointed at the
Mystery Meat in Brown Sauce. The surly worker behind
the counter plopped some into Trevor's dish along with a
stiff white mass that looked like mashed potatoes.
Trevor decided to cover his butt in case the shit was
rancid and grabbed some pudding.
Once he sat down, Carter pointed to Trevor's entree
and said, "What the fuck is that?"
"No clue," Trevor replied. He cut a lump open with
"Looks like pork," Brian said. "And I wouldn't eat the
bottom half of that – it looks like it came off of Lady
Gaga’s meat dress."
"Ugh, you're right." Trevor cut off the good part and
took a bite. The meat was so dry that it stuck in his
throat. "Yuck. I think I'll stick to the mashed potatoes."
He tried to saw them open with his fork, but decided
to give up when the starchy heap crumbled apart. Carter
and Brian had chosen the pepper and they were trying
their best to crunch their way through it, but judging by
their grimaces, their jaws were getting tired. The food
was a fail, but he could always eat his dessert.
"Are you sure you want to eat that?" Carter said.
"How can they fuck up pudding?"