WeWriWa—First meal of freedom

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Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. This week’s snippet comes right after last week’s, when 17-year-old Adrián and 18-year-old Emánuel were brought into a safe house under the protection of Czech partisans. One of the partisans just promised to fetch a doctor.

Egyptian olives and olive oil, Copyright Dina Said

The tallest partisan spoke to the four partisans who were already in the house, and two of them ran off.  The third partisan from the forest, a brunet with one blue eye and one green eye, rummaged around in the small pantry and came back with a bottle of olive oil.

“Both of you are really malnourished, and it’s best to give an empty stomach a protective coating before sending down heavier foodstuffs.  We’ll give you tea, mashed potatoes, and chicken broth after this.”

Emánuel grabbed the bottle of olive oil, let a generous amount drizzle onto his tongue, and gulped it down.  He then passed it to Adrián, who started to reach for it with his right hand.  A wave of pain shot through his shoulder and radiated down his arm, resulting in a loud gasp.  He dared not scream, either in front of these tough older guys or from fear of the wrong person overhearing.  Adrián took the bottle with his left hand and drizzled olive oil onto his tongue, then swallowed.

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One of my Sephardic friends told me about the custom of breaking the Yom Kippur fast with olive oil, for the reasons explained above. After not eating, or barely eating, for a long time, the body can’t just immediately adjust to normal food. The olive oil is a transition between fasting and regular food.

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11 thoughts on “WeWriWa—First meal of freedom

  1. I did not know about olive oil either. (filing it away for future use) Thank you for the snippet. I liked the imagery of pain radiating down his arm. Well done.

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