Fry-Cook Fiasco

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A small town fry-cooks first date to this Halloween party, and it is just beyond the graveyard. What could go wrong?

Submitted: May 16, 2016

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Submitted: May 16, 2016



It all took place on the night of the Halloween party, which was at the Graven Family Barn, and Sam Bottomswart was going to be the very center of it all.

Sam, not one of the best looking guys in town, was the chief cook and bottle washer at Mary-May's Dinner.

To tell the truth, this was the first time that Sam has had a real date to this affair. I should rightly say that he had asked others before, but had never gotten a "yes" until this occasion.

Gravensfield is a one horse town that some folks call a city. I say that because only about 50 people live inside the town limits and most of them are city workers, police, fire, and elected officials. Almost everyone else who lives within the city’s limit lives outside the town, they are farmers, of one kind or another, some Thoroughbred-horse breeders, specialty ranchers, county workers, and about a hundred retirees.

The Graven family has a big ranch style spread along Hi-way 60.

They are also the proud owners and operators of the largest Mortuary in the state, having land holdings in six counties now.

The Graven Family sponsors the Halloween party every year, a kind of tongue-in-cheek way to advertise.

Ben Smith, of "Smith's Parties & More", does the decorations per Margret's Graven's specifications.

They say that Mrs. Margret Graven is the one who wears the pants in the family, and it is for sure that she runs the business end of the family business. Her husband, Mr. Robert Graven, is a mortician's mortician, a hands-on kind of guy and a wonderful salesperson. Some teasingly say that he could sell a burial plot and service to a corps.

I think that it was Mary-May that told me that Bert Thorton told her that he had heard from Tommy the garage mechanic that Robert Graven was going to start collecting vintage cars; as a hobby.

Mr. Graven didn't have anywhere safe to put the vintage cars, so he asked Bart Huelbert, of Huelbert's Industrial Buildings, to build him a barn-like building to put the cars in.

Well, wouldn't you know it, as soon as the barn was finished Robert Graven took off to the biggest Antique Auto Action in the state.

That old man had not been to anything so exciting in decades and I guess that is why he got so wound-up during the bidding. I heard from Mary-May that Doc Thompson told his nurse, Elsie Sanders, that old man Graven just keeled over from a heart attack; boor man.

They say it happened at the very moment that the gavel came down! What a shame, he paid 40 grand for a 56 Lincoln and he never got to drive it.


Sam Bottomswart had a good reason to be excited about this party, Sally Graven, the Graven's only daughter, had been coming by the diner in the evening hours; she would buy a cherry-coke and just sit and watch Sam working in the kitchen.

Word around town is that Sally, a spicy little red-haired young woman, has been away at a private girls school; others say that it was a mental institution.

Another story is that Sally Graven has been engaged recently, but the fact is that she may have been engaged twice, on two different occasions.

No one knows why she never got hitched, but some suspect her mother, Mrs. Margret Graven, is the one who keeps putting the Kibosh on Sally's marriage plans. But Sally doesn't give up easily, or so it seems.

One evening, last week, Sally just up and asked Sam if he had a date for the party. Of course he said he hadn't asked anyone yet, but if Sally would be so inclined as to be persuaded to attend, as his date, then he wouldn't ask anyone else; she accepted in the blink of an eye.

The big night finally arrived and Sam put on his Halloween outfit, jumped into his pick-up truck, and headed toward Graven Meadow; that is what Mrs. Graven named their 20 square mile, tree laden graveyard, mortuary and homestead.

As the sun dipped below the nearby hills and the full-moon became even more visible in the evening sky, Sam stood alongside a dirt access road in all his Halloween Glory.  

That particular access road runs full length of Graven Meadow and is the shortest way to get to the Graven Estate from Sam's place.

The problem was that Sam's truck had sprung a leak and steam was rolling out from under its hood. 

"Drat, what could be leaking?" Sam thought to himself, “Less than a year ago I put new hoses and antifreeze in this pile of junk; this leak makes no sense at all!

Well, I'm not going to miss this date," Sam said while still trying to open the hot hood. "I'll just have to leave the truck here and walk across the graveyard to the county road. Maybe I can catch a ride with someone else that is going to the party.

I'd better call Sally and tell her... Shit! No service in this area? Crap!"

Sam headed into the tree laden graveyard and toward the distant county road.


Some moments later Sam got the feeling someone was watching him, maybe following him, so he stopped and looked around. He saw nothing out of the ordinary under that big full moon, just trees and gravestones.

Sam shrugged his shoulders and continued walking.

"What a great costume, it is so appropriate for this occasion."

Sam turned to see who was talking and found that Margret Graven was walking up behind him. She had her Halloween costume on and was dressed as Lizzie Borden; all she needed was some blood spatter on her clothes and hatchet.

Sam's head fell to the ground! 

Mrs. Graven picked Sam's head up by its hair and said, "I'm very sorry that this had to end this way Sam, but I couldn't allow another stupid engagement to happen. After all, she is my only daughter and you, well; you were just a fry cook."



D. Thurmond / JEF


© Copyright 2019 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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