[Writer’s note: What began as a writing prompt — photo and first paragraph — has become at least the start of a story. I will endeavor to add short sections to it, at lest as long as there is some interest. It might be a little rough in parts, but that’s because it is coming “hot off the press,” which could be part of the fun of it. In the meantime, you are free to jump off from any part of this story thus far and write your own version. Click Holly’s Corner below to get Parts 1 – 4.]
by David E. Booker
I felt a little heat come into my ears.
“How cute,” Tricia said, her eyesight back to normal.
“Glad I could entertain.”
I turned and walked up to bar to order a sandwich. Diving into the mud and straddling a 2×6 had left me wet and hungry. The wet part would have to resolve itself with time. The hunger part I could do something about.
“I’ll have a Ricky Ricardo,” I said. “Don’t tell Lucy.”
The young woman behind the counter had a rainbow of colors in her hair, and if perplexed could be a color, she had that one on her face.
I made my glass of tea and found where Tricia was sitting. It was in a booth that looked out one of the front windows. On the window was painted a pig carrying a rolling pin and words underneath about bacon being a salvation. Beyond the pig was the outside world, the sidewalk where I had taken my dive, and the rain that continued its drumming on the world. My client had had a front row seat to my brush with a rolling pin.Tricia already had a sandwich, something vegetarian and most of it eaten or at least nibbled into.
“That was my sister that threatened you.”
I didn’t bother correcting the second that. “She doesn’t look anything like you.”
“Well … technically she’s my step-sister. My dad remarried after my mom died.”
Tricia shrugged. I was two when mom died. Don’t remember much about her. My step-mom was the only mom I really knew, and she was okay … when she wasn’t drinking. And I’m afraid my sister has inherited her predilection.”
I raised an eyebrow slightly. I was impressed that Tricia knew what predilection meant and wasn’t afraid to use it.
My sandwich arrived. I had snagged a bottle of hot sauce from the small round table nearby. The sandwich was cut into two pieces. I lifted the top off one half and added some of the sauce. Tricia winced.
“Don’t like hot sauce?”
“You’re ruining the chef’s work.”
“The chef doesn’t put enough heat on my Ricky.”
Tricia slumped back in her booth seat. There was a slight frown on her face, which only served to make her look even more attractive. She was almost too pretty: blond hair, thin, big teeth, large blue eyes. The wrinkles made her look more human, more accessible, at least to a shlub like me.
“You’re right,” she said. She reached forward and fiddled with her paper napkin.
“Tell you what. I’ll eat the other half as is. As it was made by the chef.”
(To be continued.)