May 11: Flash Fiction Challenge – The Fresh Bread Sandwich


May 11, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about trading. It can be the profession of old or of modern day traders on Wall Street. It can be trading places or lunches at school. What is traded? Is it a fair deal or a dupe? Trade away and go where the prompt leads you.


School lunches were made for trading. As I was from a poor family we had fresh bread only of a Friday when the baker delivered before we went to school.

Our staple diet was vegemite* sandwiches. Mum always had an ample supply in the cupboard. The richer kids at my school had ham and cheese sandwiches and after a week of vegemite, as good as it was, Friday was open season on lunch trades.

It was the fresh bread that was the important currency. You could name your price, ham and cheese for example, with a fresh bread sanger.


*Vegemite is a staple food of most Australian kids especially those born in the 1950’s and 60’s. Vegemite is salty, slightly bitter, malty, and rich in umami – a glutamate similar in flavour to beef bouillon. You could buy large jars of the stuff and it spread easily on anything you tried to spread it on. Babies would have their rusks dipped in it, it would keep them occupied and not hungry for ages.


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17 Responses to May 11: Flash Fiction Challenge – The Fresh Bread Sandwich

  1. floridaborne says:

    I tried it once. I’ll be kind and simply say it’s an acquired taste. 🙂

  2. Lyn says:

    When I stayed with my aunt and Nana, my aunt would make me breakfast in bed every morning. It was always two slices of Vegemite toast and a cup of hot Vegemite to drink. Vegemite was cheaper than Bonox. I still indulge on occasions when I get all nostalgic 🙂 These days of course, kids aren’t as likely to swap lunches if the teachers are watching.

    • Michael says:

      I was never that lucky in swapping lunches, ours were vegemite sandwiches, every day fresh bread or not…..though I don’t think there woukd be mnany households in Australia who wouldn’t have a jar of it in their fridge or cupboard.

  3. Vegemite isn’t really available in the UK but we had Bovril or Marmite – both hideous. Great piece of flash fiction!

    • Michael says:

      Hi Mary, thanks for the follow. When you are raised on Vegemite its hard not to like it…even now days I get the occasional craving for it even though I am on a low salt diet. Have a good day.

  4. Charli Mills says:

    Vegamite is real! I thought it was a strange lyric in “I Come From the Land Down Under.” It sounds like one of those odd tastes one can grow up with. Maybe your vegamite might taste good in my pinto beans! And a fun flash, looking forward to trade.

    • Michael says:

      As Joelle said it is an acquired taste but for we Aussies it’s been a staple in our childhood diet. We weren’t very rich as a kid so Vegemite was eaten as a little bit went a long way. It’s actually very salty so added to anything you can imagine what it might be like.

      • Charli Mills says:

        The same with pinto beans. Definitely poor food, but something salty would enliven the flavor. Too bad you didn’t have our beans and we didn’t have your Vegemite! 🙂

  5. I’ve never tried vegemite – curious, though. My only experience is the mention of it in a song by the group Men at Work. Think it’s called “The Land Down Under” or something.

  6. Pingback: Trading Stories « Carrot Ranch Communications

  7. Norah says:

    Great description of Vegemite, Michael. You’re obviously a lover of it. As am I. When I started school I told Mum I would have whatever she gave me. And I got Vegemite sandwiches. Every. Day. They melted in the Queensland heat – no cooler bags or ice packs then. Hell, we had an ice box, not a refrigerator! But it was food and I was hungry, and I was grateful for it. Still love my Vegemite sandwiches, or Vegemite on Saos, with lashings of butter, of course. It’s especially good with cheese and potato chips (crisps) for extra salt and crunch. I do appreciate your flash for the memories it brought back. You created a very realistic scenario.

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