Good morning, Happy Hump Day and Happy St Patrick's Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.
Chan thinks everyone has forgotten his birthday and gone to work feeling rather sorry for himself. But that is hardly the case, as he receives an unexpected message to come home. See what's going on in this week's chapter of Super Trooper. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!Super Trooper #66 (15.3)
Everything had gone perfectly today, just as Evan hoped it would. It had been difficult to send Chan off to work looking like a wounded puppy because no one had acknowledged his birthday. But that would have given everything away, and he was sure his lover forgave him for that now.
Laksha had begun to bake as soon as Chan was out of sight. The result was the most beautiful carrot cake Evan had ever seen, completely with traditional fondant decorations. She seemed pleased with the praised he heaped on her, and helped him to prep for the food he was going to make for Chan’s birthday lunch. He couldn’t even pronounce the name of the main dish when he started, but with Laksha’s help, and a great deal of repetition, he got it. Murgh Makhani, otherwise known as Butter Chicken. At Laksha’s suggestion, he made a black lentil dish to go with it, naan bread, and a green salad.
Kamal offered to watch Madhu as well as decorate the dining room. He’d been drawing pictures ever since Evan confided the secret of Chan’s birthday to him—pictures of things he loved that he knew his brother would appreciate—and placed them about the dining room, along with balloons that he blew up (with a little help from Evan and Laksha).
Evan had never had a birthday party as a child, and didn’t have the first idea what they should look like. But Laksha assured him this was exactly the way their parents had celebrated the occasion of each child’s birth.
“Then this is how we’ll celebrate birthdays from now on,” Evan declared, winning him Laksha’s approval, along with a big hug.
Denise had played her part perfectly. Of course, she was in on their scheme from the beginning, and was more than happy to help. After taking Madhu to the park, she’d returned her and then gone home, calling Chan at the pre-arranged time. After hanging up with him, she’d called Evan and told him Chan was on his way and giggled when she told him that Chan sounded grumpy.
But that all changed when Chan walked in the door.
“You get to sit here,” Kamal commanded in an imperious tone as he pointed toward the couch.
“Yes, your royal highness,” Chan said with a grin. He ruffled his brother’s hair and then took the chosen seat. Madhu climbed up on one side of him, along with her precious wolf, and Kamal claimed the other side. Laksha gracefully settled into the arm chair, while Evan stood and beamed at them all.
Laksha and Kamal had each made birthday cards, which they presented to Chan. Evan, not having the same artistic bent, had purchased one and asked Chan to open it later. Not that he’d said anything the children couldn’t hear, but he considered the sentiments too personal to share, and nothing of interest to anyone other than Chan.
Chan loved all of his gifts and exclaimed over each and everyone. Evan noticed him wiping at his eyes more than once.
“Are you all right?” Evan asked, concerned.
“Yes. Very all right, and very happy.”
As they celebrated Evan scurried to and from the kitchen to check on the food, until Laksha gave him the official okay that everything looked perfect. She helped him to placed the finished dishes on the table, beside her beautiful cake and started to announce the meal was ready, but Kamal was ahead of her.
“Time to eat!” he announced in a loud voice. “And I’m starved!”
Everyone laughed as he made a beeline toward the table. Laksha shook her head as she followed in a more sedate manner. Chan bent down to pick up Madhu and carry her in, but the little girl pulled away from him and positioned herself in front of Evan instead. She reached up toward him, saying, “Evan!”
Everyone turned toward her in surprise. She had never once spoken his name, most of the time barely acknowledged his presence. And now she was asking for him.
Evan felt as though he might cry of happiness himself as he picked up the little girl and hugged her tight before they all entered the dining room.
to be continued
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