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Wordie Wednesday: sippet

Definition of sippet

  1. A small piece of bread or the like for dipping in liquid food, as in gravy or milk; a small sop.

  2. A small bit; fragment.

  3. A crouton.

The aroma entered the room first, a succulent mixture of grass and grain wafting through the air. “Your meal, Billy, as you requested,” Joe said, as he lifted the lid on the platter to reveal the sizzling steak resting in its bed of carmelized onions and its own thin, light red jus.

The baked potato wallowed in butter and sour cream, next to roasted root vegetables, crisp fried mushrooms and a slice of the thickest, softest white bread. And there was gravy. A glass of IPA completed the meal, its golden liquid glistening from the lights over Billy’s head.

Joe set the platter on the table and waited for Billy to sit down.

“Horseradish or brown sauce?” he asked.

Billy closed his eyes and allowed the moment to unfold. Every spit and sizzle amplified in his ears, the aromas lingered in his nostrils.

“I’ll take horseradish,” he answered.

Time slowed. The others in the room shifted their weight. Billy ate slowly, cutting his beef into small pieces and savouring every bite. Each morsel of meat was bathed in gravy, and then loaded up with potato dipped in sour cream and mushrooms if there was room. The pungent horseradish exquisitely balanced the taste of the thick steak. It really was a meal fit for a king.

“It’s time, Billy,” Joe said, as Billy downed the last of his beer. Billy paused. Slowly picking up the last sippet of bread, he mopped up the rest of the gravy on the plate and deposited the scrap in his mouth. Chewing thoughtfully, he swallowed, lifting his napkin to wipe his mouth.

He shifted on his chair and pushed it from the table, straightening as he stood. He held out his wrists so Joe could snap the cuffs back on, and without haste or ceremony, followed Joe out the door.

“Dead man walking,” Joe announced as he led Billy into the room at the end of the hallway.

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