by Myles Abroad
Sometimes you get stuck in a a rut.
The cat slapped the bone shard dangling from the end of the knotted string. Sprawled on the sun-drenched porch, her attention followed its pendulum. Reaching the end of its arc, she batted her toy. I've seen her do this a billion times. Boring and predictable.
"Harvey? You listenin'? Weren't that the worst tastin' peach cobbler ever?"
It was my cue to agree. Lola swats, and I rock. I rubbed my four-day-old stubble and gazed at my wife creaking in her rocking chair. Her grey hair was pulled into a tight bun, the bitter lines on her face furrowing as she puffed on her corncob pipe. Truth was, it was the best damned pie I ever ate.
She and her sister, Linzy, were like two peas in a pod, prickly as porcupines, mean as copperheads and always butting heads. There was a time when I tried my mediator hat, but that backfired. Neither talked to me for a month.
Earlier, her sister brought us a pie. I was reaching for seconds when my bride had to start criticising it. It wasn't long before Linzy stormed home and we retreated to the porch leaving it all alone on the table to rot. It kept calling me, though. The hell with her stubborn pride! I thought, surging with bravado.
"I thought it was good..."
The rocking chair stopped, and the cat turned its head, boring her green eyes into mine. Our paradigm shifted in silence.
"You what?" Lola hissed.
I swallowed, saying, "You didn't let me finish. I thought it was good enough for the hogs. They'd eat anythin'"
Lola cackled and coughed. The cat seemed to smile as she whacked her bony opponent. Normality was restored. I sighed heavily as we settled back into our own boring diversion. Maybe next time...