Another burst of flash fiction
Written for OLWG #21
I was in the kitchen when Dad came downstairs. I had already cooked up some bacon in the microwave and had just topped off my coffee. I had a cast iron skillet on the stove heating up for flapjacks. When I heard him coming I pulled his cup from the cupboard, filled it with joe and placed it on the table where he liked to sit. I put the eggs and milk back in the fridge and was stirring the pancake batter when he came in and filled the kitchen. My dad’s not a big man, but he’s the kind of man who takes over every room he enters. His personality is large, always has been, and he loves people.
“Hey, boy; are ya fixin’ breakfast this morning?”
“Makin’ pancakes, Dad; that ok?”
“Sounds great, can you make mine look like a hippopotamus?”
I pretended to consider the idea carefully, “Well, I guess I could try. You want a couple o’ eggs this morning too?”
“Nah, just pancakes and pork bellies but hippos today Danny. I think you made me giraffes yesterday, didn’t you?” He laughed and slid into his chair, grabbed the sugar bowl and scooped four spoonfuls into his cup. He went quiet and studied the weather from the kitchen window as he stirred.
“It mighta been giraffes, Dad. I don’t remember for sure.”
Since he had retired from the paper, ten years ago, Dad always had pancakes and bacon for breakfast. He always liked his pancakes made to look like a hippo. Two hippos with honey, four slices of bacon, and two cups of coffee; that was his standard fare and it was new for him every day. I had gotten pretty good at making hippo cakes.
I set his first plate of hippos in front of him with butter and honey already on em and two slices of bacon on the side. I got started on making the second stack. “What do you have going today, Dad?” I asked.
He cleared his throat, and eyeballed me for awhile, “Got a budget meeting this morning,” he said, “then, who knows? That’s what I like about the news business. Never the same two days in a row.”
I nodded my head and he tucked into his food. After breakfast he went back upstairs to shower and dress for the day. He came back down in his rumpled brown suit. I helped him with his tie. He thanked me for breakfast and headed into the dining room. A 1500 piece jigsaw puzzle occupied the dining table. He sat down and started working, he had started this one only recently and still hadn’t connected all the edges yet. I let him work while I cleaned up the kitchen. When I finished there I went upstairs to make beds and gather the laundry. Dad’s grey suit, that he wore yesterday, was hung neatly in the closet but I found his dress shirt on the floor by the bed. When I went back down he was napping in his recliner with the TV on in front of him. I did the laundry and went outside to water.
He wanted a fried bologna sandwich for lunch, we split a Budweiser.
“Want anything else, Dad?”
“Thanks Danny, but no. I gotta get movin’ or I’ll be late getting back to work”
But, he lingered to tell me about his day. It was the same day, every day: ‘the war,’ ‘the shortage of newsprint,’ ‘the deadlines,’ ‘issues with reporters and photographers,’ ‘politicians in the city,’ he had a lot of responsibility. Finally we cleared the table and stacked the dishes in the sink. We worked together on the puzzle for about an hour and got the edges done before he announced that it was time for the game and moved back to the TV. He found a game and settled in to watch the A’s. When there’s no baseball he watches soaps and talk shows. He really likes Ellen.
I took the opportunity to go to the market. I checked on Dad when I got home and he was yelling at the players on the TV. I went in and took a seat on the sofa. We enjoyed yelling at the A’s together till he fell asleep again. I left the set on and moved back to the kitchen, worked the crossword.
Every day’s an adventure. There’s an award dinner next week at the Airport Hilton. I’m taking Dad. We can rub elbows with some of his old friends, mix it up a little.
This week there are two sets of prompts. I chose the first set for this post:
- I’m gonna be late for work
- Wait till your father gets home
- They had one greedy son
- King of clubs
- I do