This week is a post rewind. I am working on a few other projects and prepping for a long-awaited and well-earned vacation with my family. So this week, enjoy a story I wrote for a project called Flash Fiction Friday that my friend Krisann sponsored a couple of years back. And speaking of Krisann, I am pleased to announce that she will be Sword & Quill’s first guest blogger. Look for her post on March 16.
It sat before him, like an idol in some long ago temple. The din of conversation and music was the buzzing of flies, and the sound of firecrackers no more than far off gunshots.
It was Independence Day, the middle of the hot summer. And here he was. While everyone else thought they were at a family bar-b-que, to him it was training for some war, not yet started; ice buckets, hot embers blown up into the air, dogs, sisters and squirt guns. And this. It was Agent Orange, Napalm, the Weapon of Mass Destruction they had never found: Aunt Clarice’s Egg Salad.
The red plaid table-cloth fluttered innocently in the slight breeze caused by two cousins chasing each other. He just kept staring at it with an unblinking gaze, as if afraid that if he took his eyes off it for a second it would leap down his throat. The picnic table was the tower built for the Trinity Bomb, and it was almost time for detonation.
He looked up to the sun. 97 degrees. He shook his head. Poor bastards, they’re not even going to know what hit them. He could see them preparing plates; tri-tip, beans, salad, potatoes, fruit. The laughter and joy mingled in his mind with thoughts of what that Egg Salad would do to these people.
Suddenly, he saw the first spoonful dip into the creamy top layer, and something snapped. He exploded from his prone position, running full speed, as fast as his legs would take him. He zeroed in on the target, a bullseye over the glass bowl. He hit it with the force of a rocket, and watched in fascination as it blew apart upon the ground.
He breathed a sigh of relief, a dollop of egg salad on his nose. The threat was neutralized. He knew there would be yelling, but he didn’t do it for the recognition. He looked around and, for the first time, noticed that the conversation had stopped. Everyone was looking at him. He looked at his parents for the first time. They looked at each other.
“There’s something not quite right with that dog…”