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The Barbecue

April 10, 2019

From The Haunted Wordsmith is the Elemental Writing Challenge April 10.

For this challenge, we will explore one of the four elements: air, earth, water, fire.

This week’s focus is Fire

Today’s prompt and image: sizzling


Simply use the word and/or image provided and be inspired by the natural element. As usual, anything goes! Just have fun.


The Barbecue

The decision to go vegan was an easy one for me. It started back on a cool Saturday night in July. Earlier in the week this guy I work with – Rory – had invited me to a party that he and his wife were hosting. I’m not much of a party guy so I hesitated. He insisted, told me I didn’t have to stay long and said that it’d be fun to see me outside of work. I shrugged but he was persistent – telling me that it’s a monthly gathering with a bunch of interesting people eating interesting food. “Unique” was the word he used. A person can only refuse so much so I agreed. Just for a little while, I told him. He laughed and told me I was going to love it.

The party was outdoors in Rory’s backyard. There were maybe a dozen or so people milling around and Rory, decked out in a “King of the Grill” apron, was tending to a barbeque over a decent-sized fire pit. He was holding a beer in one hand and a grill basket with some sizzling meat in it in the other.

“Jeff, buddy, glad you could make it. Keg’s over off the side of the deck.” I looked around and spotted the keg, looked back and gave Rory a nod and went off to grab a cup.

A woman was filling a cup when I got there so I stood back and waited. I always feel uncomfortable standing by someone and not talking so I said, “Whatever Rory’s cooking over there sure smells good.”

The woman looked up and smiled. She handed me a cup and stood back from the keg holding her full cup. “That it does. Rory’s a great cook. First time at one of Rory and Laura’s parties?”

“Yeah,” I said. “We work together.”

“Oh, is that so? I’m surprised he hasn’t asked you over before tonight.”

“He sort of has.” I said. “I just was never able to make it before tonight.”

She smiled and ran a hand back through her dark hair. “I get it. Well, you’re in for a real treat. I can guarantee that you’ve never tasted anything like Rory’s cooking.”

“Judging by the smell of that barbecue I can’t wait!”

She nodded and looked me in the eye. “Dave.”

That took me by surprise but to each their own. I held out my hand, “Nice to meet you, Dave. I’m Jeff.”

She laughed and said, “No, I’m Carol. That, over there,” she said, avoiding my handshake and pointing off toward Rory. “Is Dave.”

I looked over but all I saw was Rory. “I don’t follow, that’s Rory.”

“In the grill basket. The sausages? That’s Dave. Or the leftover parts of him from last week’s brisket.”

I tasted a wash of sour saliva in my mouth and my stomach began to tighten. All I could think of were the work potlucks and the crockpot chili and the meatballs and the pulled chicken and the pork bites that Dave had brought in. “You OK?” Carol asked. “You look a little weird.”

I looked at her and shook my head. “I’m fine. I always look weird”.

I dropped my beer and turned and raced for the front of the house and the safety of my car. I heard Rory’s voice trailing behind me. “Hey, Jeff, where you going, aren’t you hungry? I’ll see you on Monday, buddy.”


7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 10, 2019 1:07 pm

    I sure wasn’t expecting that outcome lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Haunted Wordsmith permalink
    April 10, 2019 1:25 pm

    Ha ha ha ha great story!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hélène - Willow Poetry permalink
    April 10, 2019 5:59 pm

    Yuck, yuck…what a great ending, I love this story.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. April 11, 2019 3:55 am

    Great post 😁


  5. April 11, 2019 5:39 am

    Excellent twist! Invited for dinner or as dinner? that’s the question….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michael B. Fishman permalink*
    April 11, 2019 6:47 am

    That’s the re-write!


  7. April 11, 2019 10:06 pm

    My kids asked me, recently, how human would taste. I guess I’ll still never know.


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