Hildreth tensed up as Jeff removed ten lemon custard doughnut holes from the salad bowl. “Oh, man. I didn’t realize you meant right now.”
“If we wait, you’ll keep pushing it off to some other day.”
“Darn. You read my mind.”
“Nah. I just know how you are.” He dusted his hands off. “Are you ready?”
“Give me a full week of deep meditation and fasting followed by the Last Rites and I might say yes.”
Jeff pulled out the first one. “Here comes the airplane…”
“Go! Go! Go!”
Tears poured down Hildreth’s face as he put the last one in his mouth. His stomach clenched up and threatened to toss all of its contents back upstairs.
He bit into it and the lemon custard squirshed out like pus oozing from an infected wound. The taste of raw eggs overcame the lemon’s tang.
Hildreth covered his mouth.
“Swallow! Swallow! Swallow!”
It’s the last one. I can do this.
The custard stuck to his teeth and gums.
Is this stuff glue?
No. Glue would probably taste better.
He took a deep breath, which sent the taste up into his nose, which convinced his stomach that none of its contents were worth keeping.
He raced to the sink and threw the whole lot up.
Jeff patted him on the back. “It was a valiant effort.”
Hildreth snatched Jeff’s cup of coffee, took a sip, swished it, gargled it, and spit it out in the sink. “Bleargh! Don’t ever make me do that again.”
Jeff replayed the video on his phone. “Hm. We might have to redo it. The picture quality is—”
Hildreth spun around to punch him.
Jeff blocked him, set his phone on the counter, and launched into a fast paced attack.
Hildreth kept his mind steady, clear, and calm. He could feel the rhythm of the fight.
Jeff gave as good as he got, but Hildreth had the advantage of years of daily practice.
In a matter of minutes, he had Jeff trapped behind the kitchen table. He went for the winning blow.
Jeff grabbed him and tossed him on top of the table, knocking over the salad bowl. Doughnut holes spilled out and hurried down to the floor.
Hildreth laid still, momentarily stunned and winded.
Jeff curled his hand into a fist to “stake” Hildreth’s heart. As Jeff brought his fist down, Hildreth regained his wits and staked Jeff at the same time.
Both men grinned. “It’s nice to see I still got it.” said Jeff.
Hildreth sat up and rubbed the back of his head. “You sure do.”