There were cookies, enormous ones, brown, thick, with melted chocolate chips oozing flavor from the inside out sitting on a large plate, covering the entire surface sitting atop a table near the fireplace. The boy had been watching them for hours; his tongue tasting them while trapped inside his mouth for such was his desire to sink his teeth into one…..no two or three at least.
“Don’t even think about them,” Denise warned as she passed by where the boy hid up under the table near the fireplace where he could easily have grabbed at least say, oh, one of them. “Don’t even think about it,” she said, pausing in front of the table. These are for tonight. They need to cool. Your father,” he caught the grind in her voice upon the use of the word “father”, “will be here to get you out for fishing in a bit.”
Chris could tell she was working on her makeup using a mirror perched on the mantle above the fireplace. A shoed foot suddenly prodded him, “Did you hear what I said.”
“Ma’am?” she issued a correction and he knew she had stopped brushing her hair and was in a very good position for a nasty kick if he didn’t respond correctly.
“Sorry.” His voice sounded close and low.
“What?” she demanded.
“I said I was sorry, ma’am!”
Silence from above. Perhaps he had been too loud with his response.
“Are you being smart-alecky?”
“Are you ready to go fishing?”
“You’re going,” she replied bluntly. There was no pause, no, oh I’ll look and see. No, do you have a coat, a rain coat. No, just … you’re going.
“So,” he decided to dare, “you have company coming?”
Silence. Again the sound of stoppage of grooming from above. The hair brush came down and was placed on the table above his head. Then her face appeared below and near his. “What I do when I do it is my business, little man. If I want company over then I will have said company, do you understand?”
Chris hung his head and agreed in a very low tone.
“Yes,” he said much louder while looking at the floor.