Wednesday, August 11, 2010
3ww: A Remedy
It's Three Word Wednesday!
A florid perfume for a florid man. He sat; the chair shivered beneath his weight. Lila crinkled her nose none too delicately.
"What is that, Walter?"
He stuffed a white linen napkin beneath his shirt collar, took a second from the seat next to him and arranged it over his ample lap.
"Why, it's only Mrs. Morrison's Digestive Remedy, my dear." He took a roll from the basket.
"But why do you smell that way if you have consumed it?" She shook her head, watching him slather on half a stick of butter onto the poor roll.
"I have not consumed it, at least, not in the traditional sense." He set down the knife and reached beneath the napkin, fingers fumbling.
"Is this a joke, Walter? I'm sure I don't understand." Her own bony fingers twisted one of the two hundred gray pearls hanging from her neck like so much rain-laden spidersilk.
"My darling, surely you are aware of my greatest desire in this world."
"To be a father to a child." She added, as if in afterthought, "Or three. Perhaps one son, two beautiful daughters."
He waved a hand, crumbs flying. "Oh, yes, of course. But also to perform the greatest gastronomic feat this world has ever seen!"
He flipped up the napkin, showing his shirt unbuttoned. Revealed beneath that fine Egyptian cotton was not a hairy expanse of forty-year-old banker, but an enormous blue glass bubble. No heart, no lungs, no liver -- only the bubble, with a small amount of liquid sloshing about inside.
Lila sat straight up in her seat, shrieking, "Walter! What have you done?"
"Now, dear, now. It will all be all right. I am taking you to New York next week, and you may pick out the most expensive dress you can find. You must look your best."
"My... my best?"
"Yes. For I have been to see the one and only Dr. Darius, and he has cured me of all mortal restraints when it comes to dining. And next week, darling, next week!" Producing a bottle of the Remedy from his pocket, he opened a small door on the front of the bubble and poured a little in. He shut the door and popped the roll into his mouth, masticating with enormous relish. The bread fell into the bubble and, in moments, was entirely disintegrated by Mrs. Morrison's Digestive Remedy. He smacked his lips and began to close up shirt. "Next week, we shall dine at the world famous Rickenbacker, and I shall eat everything on the menu!"
"But... but, darling, you've already done that."
He smiled, leaning forward and shaking the table a bit. "Twice."
Lila fidgeted, not touching her food for a minute, leveraging options. Finally, she asked, "And shoes?"
"The most expensive you can find."
Lila nodded, smiling primly. Well, then. It was all settled.
That night, her husband rose at two a.m. for his customary snack. Their cat, Betty, jumped from the bed and raced in front of him. He often shared his milk, if not his turkey or salami.
The sound of glass shattering woke her. She peered into the darkness, but hearing nothing more, went back to sleep.
In the morning, she found a frothy puddle at the bottom of the stairs.
"George!" she called to the butler. "Come clean this up." And she went to the sitting room and had her coffee, thinking how diligent her husband was to go into work so early that morning.
Thank you for stopping by and reading! Critique welcome.