Madame Cuisinier – Friday Fictioneers.

It wasn’t a case of who done it. Rather, it was just a question of whether Madame Cuisinier knew that migratory quail were toxic, and would kill her husband.

Of course, nobody wanted to believe, that a Great Grandmother could kill her husband.  Married for over 60 years, they’d been born in Paris during the Occupation. Why not get a divorce? Why go to all the trouble of catching and preparing the quail and concocting that wonderfully fragrant yellow sauce, m’qalli, just to poison him? Why not feed him cake?

Madame Cuisinier wondered why she couldn’t follow through with their plan. Why she couldn’t eat the dish. It would’ve been the perfect end.


My apologies for going a bit over this week, but I couldn’t work out how to shortened this complex tale. I’ve been watching Masterchef lately and couldn’t by-pass a food reference.

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff Fields  PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays.

Best wishes,


24 thoughts on “Madame Cuisinier – Friday Fictioneers.

  1. 4963andypop

    Means and opportunity but no motive?fine detective stuff and i love how it left everyone wondering why murder, when the intention was a double suicide. Assuming i read it right!

  2. pennygadd51

    The implication of the final paragraph is that this was a suicide pact. Having read the symptoms of coturnism (poisoning by certain migratory quails) it wouldn’t be my first choice…
    Is the implication that their marriage, despite its outward appearance, was actually disastrous? I suppose that’s equally the question if it was murder.
    As you can see, your story has set me thinking!

  3. Rowena Post author

    Oops. It should’ve been cake or brioche. It was meant to be a reference to Marie Antoinette who said to feel the people cake when they were hungry in the lead up to the French Revolution.

  4. rochellewisoff

    Dear Rowena,

    Not sure I ever want to eat quail again. 😉
    So much for suicide pacts. It probably seemed like a good idea to her until reality dawned on her. Unique take on the prompt. Good job.



  5. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much, Rochelle. Google really helped me sort of the details behind that story. Although the Quail was on the window sill in the photo, I wasn’t sure that they can fly. That’s how I found out they’re poisonous when migrating. Clearly, that was a perfect fact to draw into a story for FF> So many of our stories end up with at least one dead body. My thinking is that neither of them wanted to go into a nursing home and had decided it was time. An elderly Australian man recently flew to Switzerland to terminate his life through euthanasia. It received quite a lot of press coverage here.
    Best wishes,

  6. Rowena Post author

    I actually couldn’t pick that it was a quail on the window sill and had to ask my husband. He picked it straight away. It was when I found out that migrating quail is poisonous, that I crossed over to the dark side. I’ll have to try and make sure next week’s is more uplifting.
    Best wishes,

  7. James McEwan

    The dark side was OK, it fitted the picture. I thought it was a good interpretation. Perhaps a bright and breezy picture next week is called for.

  8. gahlearner

    After sixty years of marriage my guess is that they wanted to go together, only she couldn’t do it in the end. I had no idea European quail could do that. Very thought-provoking story.

  9. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share -18th June, 2018. | Beyond the Flow

  10. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much. I learn quite a lot writing these flash fiction pieces and also reading the works of other contributors.
    Best wishes,

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