Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Speak Easy My Friend

(Homage to Montgomery County)

by Richard Tornello

As the dawn begins to stretch awake, the early morning hours,
My brain
it perks,
it shakes and bakes
its coffee’s cake.

Alas/alack, reality hits the floor, I spring wide eyed.
THEY’VE cashiered the caffeine, and transfats… shown the door.
What once was a feast of joy, is now just quite a bore.

Taste there was, was once so great …
the government now instigates,
My choice
ingredients which I consume, my metabolism participates.

Now in queue with all the rest I stand and wait my turn.
Grim remembering of past goods
taste, for now, the gourmand’s cake.

While standing there I chance to sniff,
my nose lifts in the air.
The perfume of….?

Nonfat cakes’ odor smell/ the same,
the taste is cardboard fare.
I must be nuts, am I insane?
to my brain the perfume of… remember when?

Laws come down from higher ground.
My abode, un-transfatted/decaffeinated town.
A lack of taste, we get no buzz.
The transfat Nazis have the fuzz.

That smell, perfume to my mind,
Memories trace, element, aroma … cake?

I hunt, I search … to no avail.
I hang my head a low moan, and
escapes a wail.

A close friend comes, consoles me, sad
whispers sweet words in my ear.
I look up, Oh wonder full, you mock,
You must be kidding, my leg you pull.

He smiles and points a way. The rest… is … up to me, says he:

“I’ve discovered a way around the current laws,
My health be damned for sooth.
Behind the Starbucks in our town
An unknown bakery underground,
The cover of the street provides profound.”

“As I said, below the store is a place for more.
Walk right up and knock the door.
Drop my name, when slide moves left,
but only after eyes meet test.”

“Entre in to hidden place, a café of old, under case.”

“It will clog your arteries make no mistake.
But what a flavor, my god, the taste.
Remember this-dear friend:
just speak easy, face demure.
And will a cup of java/jelly roll,
most- assuredly- appear.”

A smile across my face now spreads.
I’m hip to what I’m to do.
I speak his name in easy peace:
And … in … my… hand,
Oh great anticipation, a cake will place.

Coffee delight with friends so dear/so near,
The health effects,
be damned.
“Life is short, dessert first.
Place that piece of cake right here!”


Now my thighs and hips grow large
to all my friends surprise.

No idea have they of me when I say I speak easy.
“Yes you do,”
is their reply,
“But still, we have no reason why
in this town of laws,
no reason forThis cause!”
Your girth is large, you mirth as big.
Seems you’ve eaten like a pig!

I smile a smile of sweet content.

I wink, I nod …
To those that know
no question made,
no answer given half baked.
I know just where my monies spent.
Not on junk, or tasteless dough,
Oh no.
It’s been parlayed, my love,… for jelly roll.

© 2010 Richard Tornello

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