Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Friday, May 11, 2018

Hold the Onions


I set the basket down on the desk and took a seat in the proffered chair, hooking my dripping umbrella on the carved, wooden arm.
For a moment, there was silence between us as we studied each other.
Then his eyes turned to my basket.
I felt a frown gather, drawing my brows together. What was so interesting? I followed his gaze.
It was an ordinary enough basket. Plain. Serviceable. Stiff, yellow straw with brown leather hinges and bindings.
Unremarkable.
My frown deepened as a small, cold trickle of fear? anger? disgust? looped its way down my back. Could he smell them? I thought I had disguised them so well. My nostrils twitched slightly as I stealthily took a sniff of the air.
Nothing.
Did he have super senses? Should I be alarmed?
Outside in the street a group of boisterous children ran past, screaming with laughter as they splashed through the puddles.
Both of us turned, distracted for a moment. Then I swung my head back to him.
Now his eyes were on me. Strange eyes. Green. With a blue center next to the pupil.
Cold eyes.
Hungry.
I took a deep breath and held out my hand, palm up. “If you’ll ‘cross my palm with silver’, figuratively speaking, we can get on with this,” I suggested.
He started and blinked. “Oh. Oh, yes. Of course.” He reached into a vest pocket.
I kept my eyes on his hand.
I had been fooled before.
Something jingled slightly and he dragged out a tightly closed fist. Spinning his chair, he presented his back to me and peered down at his hand.
Then he turned back, his fingers closed once more over his palm. “Okay,” he said softly. “I’m ready.”
“Good.” I slid a paper across the desk toward him. “If you’ll just sign . . .”
He nodded and pinned the sheet to the table with his fist, then grabbed a pen with his free hand, scrawled something across the bottom and released it.
I pulled it back toward me. His scrawl seemed indecipherable, but I was fairly certain those who needed to would be able to decrypt it.
I gave what passed for a smile and pushed the basket toward him.
His eyes flared and, with one hand, he eagerly began to attack the straps.
Again, I held out my hand. “Maybe it would be easier if . . .”
“Oh. Of course. He held his closed fist over my palm and uncurled his fingers, releasing a fair-sized stream of silver coins into it. “That should be about right.”
I looked down and poked at the money. “It seems so.”
He hadn’t waited for my response, but was once more tackling the straps. This time with two hands.
In a moment, he had flipped the lid back and was staring down inside. “Is this really . . .?”
I nodded.
He reached in and, with two hands, tenderly lifted his prize out of the basket. Then, eyes still fixed on it, he set it reverently on the spotless blotter in front of him.
I stood up, pocketing both his change and the receipt and reached for my basket, then said, in a rather sing-song voice, “The one and only Furiner’s Market Special 'Count-To-Five' Deluxe. One oven-fresh roll, two seasonings, three meats, four cheeses and five vegetables, all rolled together with a heaping dollop of love.” My eyes narrowed slightly and I felt a small smile tickle the corners of my mouth. “Or, in your case, the Count-To-Four Special because you instructed us to withhold the onions.” I turned away and continued under my breath, “Which, in my opinion, gives the sandwich it’s unique flavour.”
“What?”
I looked at him.
His eyes were on mine. “You’re sure. No onions.”
I nodded. “Quite.”
As I walked out the door, I let the smile that had been teasing my lips for the past five minutes widen. “No onions, indeed!”



Each month, we, the followers of Karen, submit words. Which are then re-submitted by our fearless leader to other members of our circle.
The resulting Use Your Words posts are unique, inspiring, thoughtful, entertaining and/or all of the above.

My words this month receipt ~ pen ~ basket ~ screaming ~ umbrella
were submitted by: https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/  



Here are Karen's other victims happy fellow writers.
See how they did!
              

9 comments:

  1. Whoa, that is SOME burger!! And throughout the entire post I had no idea what you were talking about.
    Good decision to hold the onion, I do the same.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now that's the kind of sandwich my middle son loves, we call it the Dagwood, the bigger the better. Jam all that you can on there and he's a happy man. Great job using all the words.
    Dawn aka Cognitive Script and Spatulas On Parade

    ReplyDelete
  3. Super story...no need to hold the onions for me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wait!! Why did he have to sign for it? Who are the ones who will need to see his signature? Why put onions on there if he asked for none? How does he keep his blotter spotless?? There are more questions than answers today!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us.

    หนังออนไลน์

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hopefully he can't taste those hidden onions, or perhaps he is severely allergic and this is a revenge feast?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ha, ha, never mess with the work of an artist!

    ReplyDelete

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