I overheard a conversation at one of our recent Feasts that went into detail about how good the food is at funerals. It didn't take long before I thought about some characters who duplicitously attend funeral brunches and dinners, simply to sample the bounty of good cooking.
This is a bit out of this blog's context, but who doesn't enjoy a bit of summer fiction? Here's what I thought about today. If you'd like to contribute, please do. Give me some idea of where these two colorful women should head next; what they might experience and why.
As for today, this is what I came up with:
Stella brushed the crumbs off of Maisie's generous shelf of breasts as delicately, as indiscriminately as she could.
"That's your third piece of pie." Stella said it in a quiet, admonishing tone. They were in a church dining hall, for God's sake.
Just for a moment, Maisie composed herself. She knew exactly where she was, and she was reminded by Stella's hushed words that they weren't supposed to be there.
But Maisie was nothing if she wasn't composed.
"Yes, you're right, Mr. Johnson," she mumbled sincerely as she pushed a twirl of grey hair off her damp forehead. "Hank was such a strong man. I can't begin to believe he's gone."
Her eyes got a bit misty.
Maisie didn't miss a beat when it came to conversation.
Stella was just a shade jealous at how easily Maisie made friends, even in the most pitiful, sad situations.
Stella tried. She really did. Like using a hairbrush as a microphone in those private, adolescent bedroom moments, Stella practiced at trying to put on a face of affability and warmth. Because those skills come in handy, especially in the dead center of Wyoming.
"Tell Mr. Johnson goodbye, Maisie. We need pay our respects to Hank's family and we need to hit the road."
Stella added a tone to those last three words that she knew Maisie would understand.
Maisie was Abbott to Stella's Costello, and the straight man always knows when it's time to leave.
It wasn't until they got to the church parking lot, tucked neatly into their 1989 Dodge Dart, that Stella let loose.
"Why do you have to linger? Why do you have to draw attention to yourself? It's not about you. Today it was about Hank.
And apparently the pie."
Maisie was unapologetic, and she was full.
"I had no idea there'd be such good pie," she said proudly, adjusting her ample body into the well-worn seat.
"We've got ground to cover. No time to dawdle," Stella said.
She'd read earlier in the day that a Mrs. Clark Thompson had sadly fallen victim to heart disease in Burlington.
They had some ground to cover.
"Put on your seat belt, Maisie," Stella said as she put the Dart in first gear.
"I hear the Thompsons throw a hell of a party. And according to the paper, it starts at 6."