The Philosophy of Peppermint

I’m still in the midst of the headlong charge to the end of book, so to sate your appetite with a little tidbit, I give you a snippet of an exercise from May 2015. This one was fun!

The three words chosen were ember, tragic, and peppermint. (At the Inkslinger’s Guild meetings, we randomly choose words and write a story using them in five minutes.)

Here goes:

“Well, since we lost our last professor in a tragic peppermint accident…”

Beth cut him off, a hand gently resting on his upper arm. “I’m sorry?” she asked.

Scott turned to look at her, surprised by her hand but glad that she felt comfortable enough to touch him. Either that, or his last words had disturbed her enough that she had forgotten for a moment what he was.

“Hmm?” he asked, knowing what she wanted to know, but wanting her to say it. And to leave her hand on his arm while she asked again.

“Did you just say a peppermint accident?” Beth asked, her other hand shoving her glasses back on her nose. A lock of black hair had fallen across her face, and she pushed it behind an ear, face intent on his response.

Scott nodded. “It was a tragic incident,” he explained. “He was fond of peppermints, and he was also fond of lecturing, and one day, he tried to answer a student question while sucking on a peppermint and choked on it. The students tried to help him, but there was nothing they could do.”

“Didn’t someone know the Heimlich maneuver? How does that even happen?” Her hand moved from his arm to her own throat as she swallowed reflexively. His skin still burned, warm like the embers of a low fire, where she had touched him.

“Well,” he said, trying to ignore the way her skin flushed slightly where her fingers touched her skin, her throat moving as she swallowed and breathed. “I guess they would have if he’d been in the science building. Unfortunately, it was Philosophy.”