1 min read

Spell the word.

Day 18 of my 100-day writing project
A swarm of bees surround a bee box.
Photo by Damien TUPINIER / Unsplash

The pen scratches and the clock ticks.
The keys on a keyboard clack.
My head is heavy, like that of a brick's.

The refrigerator hums. I think of
a childhood memory where my mother
made me rehearse the spelling of this word.

"R-E •
F-R-I •
G-E •
R-A-T •
O-R.

Refrige...-uh- rator."

I slowly etched it in the smooth paper
with my blunt pencil. My tongue
held the top of my lip for comfort.

I picked the sheet up in my hands,
loudly spelled the word and gulped.
The examiner smiled in surprise.

The refrigerator saved me.
In an entrance exam meant for
six-year olds.

I've always wondered why it had no D —
while the colloquial FRIDGE did.
Was it perhaps to confuse me?

Questions linger. Cold as ice.
Melt away when the sun shines bright.
Is the refrigerator a hiding place?

For keys, spectacles and a bulky wallet
full of cash and cards? Bits and bobs?
Accidentally swallowed. Moving down my gullet.

I won the district level spell-bee competition
when I was seventeen. The word CLICHÉ
saved me this time.

Swathi is writing a blog post everyday for 100 days
Dear supporter! 👋 Thanks for stopping by. I’m Swathi, a writer, reader and a language nerd. I write about all things life, tech, reading and writing. As someone...