This is an amateur, non-commercial story, which is not produced, approved of, or in any way sponsored by the holders of the trademarks/copyrights from which this work is derived, nor is it intended to infringe on the rights of these holders. And so it goes.


an Emergency! tale by Jeff Morris

A sharp rapping at the front door stirred Joanne DeSoto from the depths of a wonderful dream. Instinctively she reached over to jostle her husband to get up and see who was there, but her arm found only empty air. Puzzled, she opened her eyes to confirm that Roy had already gotten up.

She scratched her head and tried to figure out just what Roy DeSoto was doing up on a Sunday morning. It didnít make any sense, none at all. Then she heard the voice, and things started falling into place:

"She awake yet, Roy?"

"Not yet, Junior. You get the stuff?"

"Yeah. Man, the price of bacon is outta sight these days!" She heard the door shut, followed by the footsteps of two men heading into the kitchen. Jenniferís delighted screech of "UNCLE JOHNNY!", subsequently shushed, confirmed her suspicions.

Motherís Day. The traditional "breakfast in bed". Roy was nothing if not predictable.

Joanne snuggled under the covers and closed her eyes again. No sense in spoiling the surprise, so far as she was concerned. She started running down a list of potential restaurants that featured "Mothers Day" brunches.

Pots and pans rattled. Royís voice: "All right, Chris, you can crack the eggs. Jenny, you can help Uncle Johnny with the bacon."

"Iíll get the frying pan!" More rattling. "Here it is...oops!"

Joanneís eyes snapped open as the unmistakable thunk of a cast iron skillet connecting with a foot and the floor shot through the house. Johnny got the beginnings of a scream out before Roy hissed, "Junior!" In the meantime, Jenny was crying and yelling "Iím sorry" over and over.

"Sit down and let me take a look," she heard Roy order. Johnny was trying to assure the little girl that it was no big deal, but the grunts and cries that kept popping up were giving Jennifer no comfort.

"I donít think anythingís broken," came the final verdict. "Why donít you get started on the bacon while I..." There was a long pause. "Chris, just how many eggs did you crack open?"

Joanne made a mental note--Ďeggsí on this weekís grocery list.

"Itís okay, itís okay, weíll just make a lot of scrambled eggs this time," Roy was saying. "Why donít you get the toaster out--oh, wait, Uncle Johnnyíll do it for you--then you can make the toast while Jenny butters it."

ĎBreadí. ĎButterí.

"Roy, you smell smoke?"

"Yeah...Chris, what...? The breadís stuck? Let me see...why are there two pieces in each slot? You know that...I donít care what Tommy McCormickís dad says, you should only put one in each slot. Jenny, get me a fork so I can pry this out."

"Roy, donít forget to..."

"I KNOW, John, okay?" A few seconds later Roy yelped. The kids screamed. Roy cussed. John told Chris to get the first aid kit.

"I told you to be careful, Roy."

"No, you didnít."

"Yes, I did. Now hold still."

"Uncle Johnny..."

"Just a second, Jen."

"Uncle Johnny..."

"Not right now, sweetie. Iíve got to put something on your daddyís boo-boo."

"Hey dad?"

"What, Chris?"

"The baconís on fire."

More screaming, more cursing, more running about. Joanne mentally went through the checklist: Johnny grabbed the skillet handle barehanded (more screaming, more cursing), Roy yelled at Chris to open a window and no, donít call 911, Uncle Sam didnít need to know about this, Johnny putting the skillet into the sink and turning on the cold water, more cursing, more hollering, more screaming...

Joanne opened her eyes slowly and smiled at the sight of Roy in the doorway. "Hmmm?"

"Morning, sweetheart. Happy Motherís Day."

"Thank you, honey." She smiled tenderly at him. "Everything okay? I heard some noises."

"Everythingís fine." She noticed Royís hands were behind him. "Thought you might want to get dressed. John came over and offered to take you to a brunch."

"Why, that would be lovely, dear." She gracefully slid out of the covers and headed for the closet. "Youíre sure everythingís okay?"

"Yeah. John even offered to clean up the kitchen while you got dressed."

"Really?" Joanne blinked innocently. "But the kitchen was fine last night, Roy."

"Oh, well..." She watched him search for a suitable explanation. "The kids, you know how they are, cereal and all that."

"Ah. Well, let me get fixed up, and Iíll be down in..." She made some quick calculations. "Twenty minutes," she finished.

"Sounds good." He came over, hands still hidden, and gave her a kiss on the cheek. "Love you."

"Love you too." And she really did, she mused as she watched him hurry out, hands now in front of him. There was something to be said for a man as dependable and predictable as Roy.

With any luck, sheíd get Motherís Day brunches for another seven years.