The oyster knife fit perfectly in her hand, its old wooden handle smooth and darkened with a century of use; how it pried open the barnacled shell (shell after shell) until there was a pile resting at her feet and the soft flesh of the oysters filled a bowl, their delicate lace edges curling outward away from the green sack of their being. She slipped one into her mouth— oysters on the half shell always her favorite. Always a top shell and a bottom shell. Never a pearl. Someday, she said to herself— someday she will find a pearl, but until then she promised herself, she would keep on eating oysters.
When the blade goes dull, I will think of Zora Neale Hurston who wrote
“No, I do not weep at the world — I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”
Sharpen your knife.
dVerse prompt to write prosey using the words of Zora Neale Hurston from 1928 in World Tomorrow —How It Feels to be Colored Me.
Also using Ursula K. Le Guin’s Steering the Craft Exercise 3, using long and short sentences.
Real old oyster knife pictured found at a thrift shop San Juan Island.
10 thoughts on “Oyster Knife”
So beautiful and dark with the ending in how I interpret it. Love it!
Interesting take on the prompt. I’ve never had oysters, but your character has me thinking about trying them.
Such beautiful prose, Jane! You were meant to write to this line.
Yes, I have had that oyster knife in my kitchen for almost twenty years. About time I sharpened it. (Not really but metaphorically.)
I love how you brought the prompt in at the end. It fit is as smoothly as could be. Well done.
I love how you included the quote as advice. And you describe the oysters so beautifully!
That’s clever! You put the prompt itself into the piece! Excellent, Jane!
Your Prosery is incredibly creative from the image thru last word. Beautifully composed.
Thank you for the encouraging words.
The first thought that occurred to me was also ‘pearl’ 🤫 though I did not use it in the piece.