The Holiday Picnic

Reads: 117  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 06, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 06, 2018

A A A

A A A


The Holiday Picnic - Part 1

 

In Far Rockaway

Vaughn Waglen, forty-one and hung over from last night’s pre-holiday celebration, gets word that he has been designated as the barbeque chef for the Memorial Day picnic.  Waglen exits his fifteenth-floor apartment building on Beach 9th Street having ended a call on his cellphone. Vaughn’s head explodes as his thoughts scramble.

“Those brats, those greedy, lazy kids. They swim, sing songs of mindless lyrical lunacy, while I fire up the grill, sweat over burgers, franks, pork chops and ribs, while they laugh and call me an old fool under their breaths. I’d give anyone of those delinquents a dollar if they could make toast, not burnt, with butter. I better not catch them with a beer, I’ll confiscate it in the name of science. They’re too young to suck down suds. I’ll make the health sacrifice even if I have to crack their jaws to get their brews, those selfish brats.”

The air is loaded down with heat, humidity, and a burning sun overhead as an angry and dejected Vaughn walks to his SUV and enters the front passenger’s seat. Lois Lynn: a large woman dressed in black, his wife, is in the driver’s seat. Lois’ three-year-old grandson, and his mother, Dahlia are in the car. The rest of the picnic party are in two other vehicles.

Lois drives onto Seagirt Boulevard toward the highway. Vaughn starts to light a cigarette, as he asks, “I thought Myron was Grill Master this weekend?”

Vaughn lights the cigarette, with Lois glancing over at him.

“Put that out,” Lois advises.

“Oh, so now you’re telling me when I can and can’t smoke?” Vaughn asks while fighting to hold back the crazed anger in his head with his scraggly beard partially hiding his imploding expression.

“I say you can smoke all the cigarettes you want, I’ll stop the car and leave you along the side of the roadway,” Lois replies.

Vaughn opens the window and tosses the cigarette out. “So, what happened with Myron today? The fourth was supposed to be my turn.” Vaughn.

“Myron had to take over for his uncle whose sick,” Lois states as she drives up highway 878.

Vaughn turns to speak to Dahlia in the backseat, she: an intelligent young woman of twenty years. “You have any skill barbequing, Dahlia?”

“Sure, once the coals get going good,” Dahlia relies with confidence, but bewildered as to why she’s being given last minute honors.

Vaughn then motions with his right hand in a chopping motion as if knighting someone. “I hereby deem you Chef Royale. Go forth and cooketh thy meals with honor and gusto.”

“I’m today’s Grill Master?” Dahlia asks.

“Thy kingdom awaits you.” Vaughn.

“And what will you be doing while the Royal Chef engages?” Lois.

“I’ll start the coals, get them going, then kick back with a cold one, maybe two.” Vaughn.

“Maybe twenty-two you mean, in between running after the bathing beauties on the beach while they run from you and their boyfriends run to kick you in your sagging pants.”

“I’m too smooth to run.” Vaughn.

“You mean too old. And who will be watching my grandson while you’re getting your face beat in and the Royal Chef operates?” Lois asks.

“Dee-Ray can play in the grass, chase butterflies and moths, till he gets dizzy and passes out.” Vaughn.

“I think Mother Lois was asking about Dee-Ray not you,” Dahlia comments.

“Hey, look I can’t watch him, he’s all over the place. In wide open spaces he’d run from here back to Africa. He’d give me a heart attack.”

“Look, you actually, in front of witnesses, volunteered to have one, maybe two if it doesn’t rain,” Lois advises.

Vaughn sits in silence feeling the anger return and wishing he had a cigarette.

Dahlia watches the path on 878 as Lois drives, both are calm and silent. Dee-Ray however states, “Butterflies, mama, butterflies.”

 

***

 

To be continued. . .

 


© Copyright 2018 Allen Henriquez. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

More Other Short Stories