This week's prompts were: "Love is a many splendored thing..." or use: chicken, cheee, fiesta or "If I've told you once, I've told you a hundred times..." or use any holiday or "And then he said...." or "Well, excuuuuuuuuuse me, Princess!'
Stan and Ollie continues! Last week we saw an obnoxious reporter. Now what? And don't forget to see what my fellow Briefers are up to. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
Stan and Ollie #9
By the time we leave the park, the white mouse has morphed into the ginger feline once more, a self-satisfied smirk resting upon her catty lips. I don’t give her any credit for the ploy that rid us of the annoying reporter. I’m sure it was Ollie’s idea, and he mentally telegraphed it to her to carry out. Whatever. It worked and she’s gone. At least for now.
Pedestrian traffic is definitely thinning out; one of the disadvantages of life in a small town. After dark, the people tend to go home and keep to themselves. There probably isn’t a whole lot to be learned tonight, but we’ll do what we can.
“We should probably get some food into you. I bet you’re hungry.” My Ollie has a high metabolism that requires frequent feeding. A secondary reason why I chose the diner as our hideaway from the world at large. I have to admit that when we first opened, I wasn’t the best chef out there. But now I think I can hold my own pretty well. And Ollie says he prefers my food to anyone else’s, which is all that counts with me.
Ollie turns grateful eyes my way, nodding. “I’d like some chicken, if we can find it. Maybe something with some cheese?”
For you, anything, my love.
Despite the fact that Ollie seems to be craving a fiesta, I have a feeling we probably won’t find a Mexican restaurant anywhere in this town, but maybe we can locate someplace that specializes in down home Southern cuisine, with perhaps a slight nod to our southern neighbor.
As if reading my mind, Ollie pulls me in the direction of an elderly gentleman who stands on the sidewalk a short distance ahead of us, silver head turned upward, admiring the night sky with a rapt gaze. “Excuse me, sir…”? The man turns, favoring Ollie and Xylina with his polite gaze, then looks at me, before replying.
‘Yes, sir? May I be of some assistance to you?” Of course he realizes we’re not native to these parts. Our status as strangers envelops us like a red neon light. Or an invisible caption that hangs between us that reads, ‘careful, they’re not from around here’.
“We’ve just arrived in Cortez, and we wondered if you might be able to direct us to the best place to get a good chicken dinner?”
“Why certainly, certainly.” He graciously grins. “Aunt Hettie’s Fixin’s, over on Charleston Avenue. I can personally vouch for the fact that they serve the best chicken you’ll find within a hundred miles.”
He gives us detailed directions, although I’m fairly sure that you can find anyplace in this small burg with just a bit of walking. We thank the gentleman most graciously and continue on our way.
“Shouldn’t we stop by the hotel first?” I pointedly ask. Ollie knows what I mean; I intend to make a deposit. In other words, drop off the Fur Princess and make this an evening for two. She stiffens in Ollie’s arms—it’s bad enough he has his hands full of cat and I can’t take his hand in mine, and don’t even think that isn’t deliberate—the fur on her back standing straight up as she hisses at me in her native tongue. Thank goodness, I have no idea what that translates to, nor do I care to know.
Ollie looks between me and his pampered pet, his brow slightly furrowed, and a twinge of guilt assails me for putting him in a position where he must choose between her and me. But only a slight one, and I get over it, because I’m very selfish where he is concerned, and I don’t see that changing any time in the near future.
He strokes her luxurious fur. I watch in fascination as it swirls about his fingertips, curling about them while her defiant hiss becomes a contented purr. No one can handle that damn cat like he can, I’ll grant him that.
He lowers his head so that his lips are against her ear, and I hear the whispered cadence of his gentle voice, although the words are indistinguishable. Xylina’s tail rises and falls in a languid motion before curling up into a question mark, then relaxing once again.
“Thank you, Xy,” he murmurs, setting her on her feet. She trots off without a backward glance, although I can easily decipher her parting shot at me as her tail takes on the shape of an arrow, aimed at a certain portion of her anatomy. Message received, loud and clear. And I still don’t care. I’ve gotten rid of her and that’s all that matters to me.
“Where’s her majesty off to?” I take advantage of her absence to claim his arm once more as we stroll leisurely in the direction of the restaurant.
“I asked her to do a little reconnaissance, see if she can find any sign of Consuelo.”
That makes sense. Finding her body would give us more of a starting point.
Aunt Hettie’s seems to be the most popular place in town. Judging by the population of Cortez, at least half of them seem to be crowded into this fine dining establishment. Still, with Ollie’s charm, and my persistence, we find ourselves seated at the bar, awaiting the next open table. I order a beer for myself, a Shirley Temple for Ollie, ignoring the look my order receives. He can’t tolerate alcohol; it’s poison to his system.
The décor seems to be a blend of country chic and Confederate charm, Rebel flags mingling with wicker baskets and ruffled roosters. The South is rising again.
Suddenly, a hush falls over the diners, a silence so profound you can hear the sounds of sizzling from the kitchen.
“Bodean, your table’s ready.” At that moment he’s joined by a companion—a waif-like honey-blonde in a dress so short you can see all the way to Canada without trying.
“Hello, Papa Bear,” she greets him.
to be continued
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Until next time, take care!