Best Bread Knife

By Kate Flannery


Claire Reynolds, Attorney at Law, plugged her 3-year old son, Dylan, into the iPad. He’d been screaming for it all morning until she had finally relented. It seemed to be the only thing that calmed him these days.

Claire had missed the Skype meeting with her new clients that morning. She thought it was set for 8 a.m. Everyone else had it calendared for 7 a.m. She went into the kitchen and picked up her best bread knife. Taking slices off her newly-baked sourdough loaf, she began to formulate her plan:  the battery on the iPad would last 8 hours. Rick would be home just about then.  Perfect timing.

The only question was whether she should leave a note. Rick was a big one for leaving notes. Like the one he’d left with all the tasks she needed to take care of before he returned from his business trip tonight: flea bath for the dog, call the plumber, take his suits to the cleaners, find his passport. She hadn’t done any of them.

She took out her favorite paring knife, stabbed Rick’s note to the remains of the sourdough loaf, and took one last look at her son before she walked out of the door with the bread knife.


Before I took the Apple Store technician hostage, I thought I was in a pretty good place:  calm, purposeful. I knew what I was doing. But apparently things were sliding downhill faster than I’d realized. 

Apple calls their employees “geniuses,” because they are specially trained and certified by the company. I figure that meant they were worth a lot of money. I was hoping I could get just enough money with my demands to get me out of the country. After all, why wouldn’t Apple pay to keep one of their own safe? This one was named Dominic.

The local police arrived within five minutes of my grabbing Dominic and putting my best bread knife to his throat.  The serrated edge was making that little “genius” nervous. Good. He’d been really obnoxious when I said I needed a new battery for my iPhone5. He had sneered, “You still have a 5?  I haven’t seen one of those in years.”

Everyone in the store was on the floor when the SWAT team arrived. Phones out, turned toward me. Filming it. The cops were grouping themselves outside the glass storefront. Black-helmeted. Body-armored. Guns aimed. I fingered my favorite bread knife softly. 

I was ready.


Kate Flannery is a writer and lawyer living in Claremont, California.  Her writing has been published in Chiron Review and Emerge as well as other literary journals.  Her writing, in many respects, has been informed by 40 years of law practice, as well as her association with other lawyers.

2 thoughts on “Best Bread Knife”

  1. I loved this story!

    But at the risk of finding myself with a bread knife held to my throat I feel it necessary to point out that there’s something grammatically confused about “Apple calls their employees…” (Should be either “Apple calls its…” or “Apple call their…”)

FewerThan500 authors appreciate your feedback. Please leave a comment.