The Chewer

The Chewer

A Story by Sam-Stafford
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A man sits behind a woman who is chewing loudly in church.

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The Chewer


By Sam Stafford

 

I’m slouched on a pew, half-listening to the tubby preacher. Old Mrs Butcher, who still smells of tobacco years after quitting, is bolted to the seat in front. She looks serious, stern, and sexless. A knobbly oak armrest digs into my side and Mrs Butcher is chewing. The preacher remonstrates against greed. I should be listening. But Mrs Butcher is chewing.

            The whiff of harsh blackcurrant, mixed with saliva, sticks in my nostrils. Who the hell does she think she is? Just who the hell does she think she is? There are three hundred people in the congregation, and we’d have brought our own blackcurrant sweets if we wanted. I swivel to Mr Callaghan, who’s a prick by the way, to share my annoyance, but he’s gooey eyed at the wobbling and warbling preacher. Callaghan hasn’t noticed. I scan the rest of the congregation and they’ve not noticed either.

            Mrs Butcher swallows. She then delves into her pocket and picks out a little plastic bowtie. She pulls on both ends with yellow fingernails. The wrapper crackles as it reveals its purple prize. Her hand goes to her mouth and she slurps the sweet from the wrapper. It releases itself with a sticky, reluctant rip. As her mouth goes to work, she crumples the wrapper in her hand and surreptitiously drops it to the floor. I look down and the wrapper begins to unravel. The hard-boiled toffee smacks against Mrs Butcher’s false teeth. Her jaw moves as she positions the sweet between her molars.

My mouth tightens and my arsehole clamps; locking down the hatches before the anger erupts. And there it is - crack! Like a broken bone. She bites the thing in two, and then four, eight and so on. Her tongue goes to work at the back of her mouth, squelches against her inner cheek, hooks sticky globs, and sends them down her gullet.

She’s a one-woman band by this point; wetting and smacking her wrinkled lips; vocalising her enjoyment with ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’; clicking her tongue; breathing heavily through her nose; kissing her teeth with her lips and the worst thing; she digs her nails into her tooth-pits and then sucks them clean with a pop.

The preacher’s volume stays steady but surely to God he can hear this. An Imam in Timbuktu could hear this. Has the congregation gone mad? Can’t they hear? Don’t they care? Is that it? Does no one in this whole damn church care? It's borderline sacrilegious but no one in this damn church cares. My eyes bulge as I question every tenet of my religion and the values of my whole damn community.

But then, an angel enters our little church.

“Stop crunching that f*****g sweet,” snaps good old Mr Butcher, sat in the seat beside her.

© 2020 Sam-Stafford


Author's Note

Sam-Stafford
Just a very quick story I wrote today. For enjoyment more than anything else. Also I'm trying to improve my writing so I was trying to write it while remembering some techniques I'm learning. Happy for feedback.

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Featured Review

I find this hilarious, though a bit torturous. Some of us are born with a natural repulsion toward mouth sounds. I am one of those, as it seems, and you may be, also. Someone pin a medal on old Mr. Butcher! In my opinion, your writing shows a good deal of polish.

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Sam-Stafford

9 Months Ago

Thanks for the review.

Nothing worse than mouth noise. I'm from a family of loud eat.. read more



Reviews

It's amazing how many nuggets a writer can massage out of everyday life, even in church.


Posted 9 Months Ago


This is really immersive and really well written. I could feel my self growing irritable just ‘listening’ to her. Your use of lots of questions is great, very Lady Macbeth, to demonstrate the mounting frustration.
Only critique would be ‘upper and lower molars’ doesn’t tell us anything more than ‘molars’ would - and it’s a bit of a mouthful 😉- and ‘says Mr Butcher’ could be replaced with something more fitting to the fact he swears at her.
Loved it!

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Sam-Stafford

9 Months Ago

Thanks for your comments, they make writing worth it for me!

First critique, you're .. read more
Reporters, the good ones, have a talent for observation. A good writer has a talent for reporting the results of observation - the feeling an observer has when the repellant happens. That talent and the ability to pass it on to the reader are rare.
I'm impressed.
Cooper

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Sam-Stafford

9 Months Ago

Thank you, that's very kind.
I find this hilarious, though a bit torturous. Some of us are born with a natural repulsion toward mouth sounds. I am one of those, as it seems, and you may be, also. Someone pin a medal on old Mr. Butcher! In my opinion, your writing shows a good deal of polish.

Posted 9 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Sam-Stafford

9 Months Ago

Thanks for the review.

Nothing worse than mouth noise. I'm from a family of loud eat.. read more

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4 Reviews
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Added on December 16, 2020
Last Updated on December 18, 2020
Tags: Humorous, Funny, Short, Story, Micro-story

Author

Sam-Stafford
Sam-Stafford

Ormskirk, West Lancashire, United Kingdom



About
Been writing since I was a child. Still finding my feet in terms of my style so enjoy writing a broad range. Mainly doing short stories for this reason, but I have finished a novel which simply isn't .. more..

Writing