Stephen Ground

Sunday meant football, and her weekly pot of Aunt Bertie’s special chili – his favourite. Extra special, she thought, tipping in the ingredient Bertie never imagined, stirring till the bubbling glop swallowed her secret whole. Satisfied, she skipped to the garage, returning it where she’d left it after the last infestation – a shelf crowded with Skippy jars gathering dust, nuts, bolts, and screws from countless jobs half-finished, never started, delayed for booze and Hockey Night. He barked for a beer. She retrieved one from the fridge, cracked and delivered it. He grunted recognition.

Fighting the urge to rush, she let it cook till the second game was half-over; brought a bowl with beer number eight. He snatched the tray, gulped the beer, belched, then grasped the spoon and churned the glop, eyeing it. Her pulse pounded, nerves aflame, every fibre willing him to take a goddamn bite.

He swallowed a big spoonful. Grunted. Another.

She smiled, then fluttered to the kitchen to wash her hands.


A writer and filmmaker, Stephen Ground holds a degree in Theatre and a certificate in Community Arts from York University. Find his work scattered around the internet, including The Esthetic Apostle, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Sky Island Journal, or at stephenground.com.