(I wanted to write my first fiction piece on my blog, so I was looking through my writing prompts on my Pinterest board, and found “Write about the taste of sunshine.” Judging by the look on a friend’s face, she didn’t think it could work, unless it was about a little fairy land where people drink mugs of sunshine. But I want to make it work without the little people drinking mugs of sunshine.)
Zeke liked tasting things. It wasn’t that he had a weird obsession with eating glue or chalk. He just found that the best way to learn about the world was by sticking the world in his mouth. It didn’t have to stay there very long. Just long enough for him to taste it.
When he was 5, he tasted every seasoning in his mother’s spice rack. He spent the rest of that day drinking water to get rid of the taste of tartar sauce.
When he was 7, he got lost in a grocery store and was found sampling the different varieties of cabbage. He had already made his way through the potatoes.
When he was 8, he got his tongue stuck to a frozen pole because he wanted to know what frozen metal tasted like.
Remarkably, Zeke could remember the taste of anything he had ever tasted, if it had a name. One day, when he was 10, he bet the rest of his class that he could name all of the ingredients in the school’s lunch. He won $20 dollar in lunch money (which his mother made him return).
The one thing that really bothered Zeke was that there were some things he just couldn’t taste. He could taste the rain water, and he tasted snow. He guessed that rain clouds tasted like rain and snow clouds tasted like snow. The wind was fun to taste. He claimed that it tasted different when it was about to rain than it did when it was about to snow, and different if a house was burning than if someone was burning leaves.
But no matter how he tried, he couldn’t taste the sunshine. He would lie out in the sunshine for hours with his mouth open and his tongue sticking out, trying to taste the sunshine. He could feel the warmth, but all he could taste was the air, or so he thought.
On one such day, as his tongue was getting very dry, trying to decide whether he could taste the sunshine, or if it was just the air, he realized that all tastes are just a combination of all the sensations you feel at one moment. Which is why he liked brocolli on Saturdays, but never on Tuesdays. So, he decided that sunshine tastes like warmth and a very dry tongue, with just a hint of smoke in the air. He wandered what it would taste like tomorrow.