This little tale is using two of the May Challenge topics:
Carrots and Cauliflower Month (Scott)
Salsa Month (Johnny)
Scott knew his little brother didn’t like what he called ‘Scott’s gringo food’, but things were going to change. Scott wasn’t going to take no for an answer this time, and it helped that Murdoch and Maria were all-in for the plan.
When Johnny walked in from the garden he heard Boston, Murdoch, and Maria whispering. Johnny suspected that something bad was up when Maria threatened him with her spoon and told him to get out of her kitchen. He didn’t like it that Murdoch and Scott were smiling...that was never a good sign.
At 6:00 PM that evening the Lancers were seated at the dining table in the great room. Johnny squirmed in his seat, Scott and Murdoch smiled at each other, and Teresa looked confused as to what was up. Finally Maria carried in a large tray that she placed in front of Murdoch, as she turned to leave she smiled and patted Johnny on his shoulder.
Everyone at the table was smiling except Johnny, he was sporting his world class pout. On the tray was the usual roast beef but instead of potatoes and gravy was the hated vegetables. Murdoch held his hand out for Johnny’s plate and the expression on the man’s face indicated he wasn’t going to take any arguments. Johnny, now totally dejected, handed his father the plate and knew it was useless to hope it would come back with only the beef on it. His fate was sealed as the plate returned with roast but also a heaping serving of carrots and cauliflower.
While the rest of the family enjoyed their meal the younger son picked at the vegetables with the vain hope they would just disappear.
Murdoch cleared his throat, “John, if you don’t eat them while they are hot I can guarantee you won’t like them cold.” He pointed his fork at the vegetables, “Eat.”
Dios, thought Johnny, head bowed, he picked up the fork and choked down the now cooling carrots and cauliflower. This had to be the supper from hell and payback for his past as Madrid.
L * A * N * C * E * R
Two days later Johnny found Maria in the garden, he needed her help for his plan of revenge on Scott. Madrid knew he had to tread carefully so Maria wouldn’t suspect his real reason.
“Hey Maria, need your help, I want to make some salsa for the chicken you’re cooking for supper.” Johnny used his best ‘I can get her to do anything’ smile.
Then he moved closer to the woman and put his arm around her shoulder, “Aw mamacita, you know I like more spice than Murdoch and Scott.” As an added touch he leaned over and planted a kiss on her cheek. Yep there would be salsa tonight. He controlled the urge grin and rub his hands together.
At 6:00 PM that evening the Lancers were again seated at the dining table in the great room waiting for Maria to serve the chicken. When she placed the tray before Murdoch he noticed the bowl of salsa and looked at Johnny.
“Hey, y’all like it too tame for me so Maria and I made some salsa.” Johnny held out his hand, “Pass it over, I’m starving.”
Not suspecting anything Murdoch passed the bowl to Johnny.
Curious, Scott leaned across the table to see what was in the bowl, “What is salsa?”
Johnny pulled the bowl closer to himself further tempting his brother. “I don’t know Boston, it may be too hot for your gringo tummy.” Johnny knew he was baiting Scott but what the hell, time for payback.
Murdoch was beginning to suspect his younger son’s motives, “Scott, salsa can be very spicy I think you may want to wait till Maria can make a milder version for you to try.”
Johnny smirked at Scott, “Yeah brother, Maria made this extra spicy for me, wouldn’t advise ya to try it.”
The bait was set.
Scott was tired of constantly being told ‘food in the West may not be suited to his Eastern stomach’. “I think I can handle it, I’ve had spicy food before,” he responded sarcastically.
Murdoch shook his head, leaned over and whispered to Teresa, “Please get some milk.”
She nodded, slipped from her chair and headed for the kitchen.
Johnny shrugged his shoulders and handed Scott the bowl. He waited for his unsuspecting brother to put the salsa on his chicken.
Too late, Murdoch and Johnny realized Scott was adding way too much salsa. They waited for the…
Suddenly Scott’s face turned a bright red, sweat broke out on his forehead, his hand fanned his mouth, and his eyes seemed to bug-out. He couldn’t speak but made choking sounds.
Murdoch rushed to Scott’s side and rubbed his back as Teresa ran into the room with the glass of milk and handed it off to her struggling brother.
After gulping the milk down, Scott took a deep breath. When he was finally able to talk, “What the hell was that?” Suddenly embarrassed that he cussed at the table he cleared his throat, “Please excuse the outburst, I meant, what was in that concoction?” He dabbed at his forehead with the napkin and took another gulp of milk.
Johnny who had been laughing wiped the tears from his eyes. “It’s tomatoes, onion, peppers, spices I tried to warn you it was too spicy for you.”
Murdoch and Teresa returned to their seats now that Scott seemed to have recovered from his salsa attack. Murdoch spoke first but he wasn’t angry, “I think this little stunt is revenge for the vegetables. Now don’t you think you should apologize to your brother?”
Scott had gained composure and relieved that Murdoch didn’t seem angry at Johnny. In fact his father was trying to hide a small smile behind his wine glass. “No, please, it’s not Johnny’s fault, you both tried to warn me.”
Secretly, Murdoch thought it was amusing that Scott had been so adamant that he could handle spicy foods. His older son wasn’t hurt just embarrassed, he had been warned by both of them, and well the reaction to the salsa - was priceless. Sometimes the serious ex-gunfighter could turn into a fun-loving kid, Murdoch wished he could see it more often.
Scott and Johnny exchanged glances across the table. Each knew it had been payback, even if a bit humiliating, but this was a game they often played. It was between them and it would always be that way…
A brother thing. (After all May 24th is Brother’s Day)