The Toaster

2 min

I am a musician from Michigan who likes to write  [+]

Image of Spring 2019


Image of Short Story
I make toast - beautiful, browned bread, evenly crispy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside.

I made my first toast for you after you returned from your honeymoon in Detroit in 1947. I have warm, cozy memories of your first years together. Every morning I gave you delightful aromas of toasted bread which mixed with percolated coffee and, on Sundays, eggs and bacon sputtering on the skillet.

I worked hard for you after the little ones came along – buttered toast in the morning, sandwiches for lunch and the occasional bedtime snack. I recall their little faces peering over me, watching my coils heat up and glow, marveling at how I miraculously transformed a hum-drum piece of white bread into delicious toast, ready for butter and jam.

Then you moved into a new house. Things changed.

The little ones grew up and moved away. You remodeled your kitchen. Copper countertops, cork floor and new appliances. The percolator made way for Mr. Coffee. There was a new-fangled oven called a microwave. All in the name of progress. Maybe you can guess what happened to me. I was put into a deep, dark cupboard next to the sink where I could hear the comings and goings in the kitchen but would never be a part of your lives again.

I was forgotten while my replacement, an ugly thing called a toaster oven, took my place. It was neither a toaster nor an oven but it was given my old position between the microwave and Mr. Coffee. No more would my heating coils kindle your toast.

I went into a kind of coma and don’t remember how much time passed while life went on without me.

Then another move. After downsizing and giving away many of your possessions to your grown children, you managed to hang on to me. Why I wasn’t thrown into the trash heap of antiquity I don’t know, but you did manage to find a place for me in the back of another dark cupboard. Soon I heard the sweet voices and scampering feet of grandchildren. They probably never knew of my existence. But I was there, next to the refrigerator.

The grandchildren grew up and didn’t come for visits anymore.

Time passed . . . . Silence.

You don’t live here anymore.

One day I was roused out of my coma when one of the daughters opened the cupboard door and took everything out. She expressed surprise to find me there. She set me on the counter next to the stained and battered toaster oven. I still looked almost new in my shiny chrome case. Did she remember me?

I was put in a box with other items from the kitchen and we jostled about for a short ride in a car.

Before I realized what was happening, I was taken out of the box, put on a nice granite countertop in a pretty kitchen, and plugged in to a wall socket. Was I going to be put into service again? Perhaps I wasn’t abandoned after all. After a test run I was cleaned out, crumbs removed, and chrome polished. The next morning my coils were rekindled and I made my first piece of toast in many years. Now I make gluten-free English muffins every morning for the son-in-law.

Ahh, it’s good to be alive!

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Image of Houda Belabd
Houda Belabd · ago
Thank you for this story rich in sensations, notes and colors.
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Image of Elizabeth
Elizabeth · ago
Hi! What an amazing story! So creative! I invite you to check out my book “The Life of a balloon!” I think we both have a creative side of us!
Image of Susang633
Susang633 · ago
Very creative! Who knew we had a budding author in our book club!
Image of Corinne Val
Corinne Val · ago
Bravo, well written and Moving !
Image of Ann Sutherland
Ann Sutherland · ago
Hello OperaMom, I'll never look at my toaster the same way! Mine is a very faithful appliance :)
Image of GITA
GITA · ago
Our first toaster had the sides that opened up to receive the bread and it made such great smells. Good luck. If you have the time, please read mine, "The Curve."
Image of Jon Robson
Jon Robson · ago
Lot's of fun! I'm now feeling bad about the toaster I threw out a few weeks back. 😂
Image of lis
lis · ago
Thanks for sharing! Good luck!
Image of Madeleine Phillips
Madeleine Phillips · ago
Well done! It is heartening when the old is new again! Mid-century modern is eclipsed with this 1947 toaster gem! Heartwarming story!
Image of cag
cag · ago
Loved this story and I can totally relate to the toaster as sometimes I feel like I'm in the cupboard with busy children and grandchildren. Maybe that's the symbolism intended in this story. Very creative!
Image of acellogoddess
acellogoddess · ago
Ahhh, the days when chrome was chrome! What a unique perspective. Thanks for the happy ending!
Image of Eric B.
Eric B. · ago
5 french points ;-) ! Good luck.
Image of Susan Budrys
Susan Budrys · ago
Really fun and creative!
Image of Danie Botha
Danie Botha · ago
What a pleasure to see how life is blown into one of our stalwart "mini" appliances—so often under-appreciated!

Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Thanks so much for your comment, Danie!
Image of Ann Sloan
Ann Sloan · ago
This makes so much sense. I hated my toaster oven. 😂
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Hi Ann, thanks so much for your comment and your vote! The whole story is true, too. Except maybe the part about the toaster as a sentient being. Ha, ha.
Image of Leif Gregersen
Leif Gregersen · ago
Excellent story. Funny enough I wrote a story about the adventures of an inanimate object (a ship) and won a contest with it. Good job, I love your story!
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Thanks so much, Leif. I had fun writing it.
Image of Patdamechanic
Patdamechanic · ago
Operamom I love your story and creativity. Brings back a lot of warm memories
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Thanks, Pat! I got your comment.
Image of Robert Larson
Robert Larson · ago
Good story! I love my old toaster.
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Thanks for your support, Robert.
Image of Cheri Carleton
Cheri Carleton · ago
I enjoyed it very much.
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Thanks so much, Cheri!
Image of Mary Taitt
Mary Taitt · ago
What a warm-hearted story, literally as well as figuratively! Many smiles! Love it!
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Thanks so muxh for your support, Mary.
Image of Steve Molenaar
Steve Molenaar · ago
This brought back a memory of the old manual toaster with the fold-down sides. Each side of the bread was toasted separately and you had to time it yourself so as not to have blackened toast.
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Thanks, Steve! I think the toaster you describe is even older than my toaster.
Image of PoeFan
PoeFan · ago
This is such a touching story, one to reread many more times. I love the point of view!
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Thanks so much for your comment. Happy you want to re-read it!
Image of Leticia Maly
Leticia Maly · ago
Beautiful, I still have my blender from 40 years ago wedding present. Use it still!
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Thanks. The Toaster is more like 70 years old!
Image of Judy Nantau
Judy Nantau · ago
Toasting you Laura! Loved it!
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Image of Nadine Deleury
Nadine Deleury · ago
very creative, I did not expect a story not related to music! good luck! well written and moving! I will never look at my toaster the same way!
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Ha, ha, thanks for your comment and your vote!
Image of Franziska
Franziska · ago
DELIGHTFUL, warm hearted story.
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Thanks for your comment.
Image of JKH
JKH · ago
Such a creative story -- poignant, sad, sweet. The fact that the author succeeds in generating these emotions when writing about a toaster is a testament to her skill.
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Thanks for your comment.
Image of JackBates
JackBates · ago
Fun slant. Works as a metaphor for aging and how we overlook a person's contributions. WAIT! I think I'm the toaster!
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Ha, ha! Thanks for your comment.
Image of Robert H. Lindberg
Robert H. Lindberg · ago
My comments didn't save before. Just wanted to say how much I liked the story. I first thought it was a housewife that was being forgotten by her husband. I sometimes write stories like that myself. A vulnerable heartfelt story via an animate object. Makes me think and connect. I like the opening lines, they hooked me.
Image of Operamom
Operamom · ago
Thanks for your comment. When did you realize i was really talking about a toaster and not a forgotten housewife?
Image of Robert H. Lindberg
Robert H. Lindberg · ago
When the toaster was placed in the cupboard. But I guess when we read these stories we always assume it's person talking.
Image of Keith Simmonds
Keith Simmonds · ago
Bravo and my votes for the imagination and originality
of this fascinating story, Operamom! Here’s an invitation to
read and support “The Awakening” which is also in the Button
Fiction competition! Thanks in advance!

Image of Nancy Ratajczak
Nancy Ratajczak · ago
Really loved this short story - it brought tears to me eyes!!
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