California Heat
by  Ruth

This is a drabble written for a Lancer Writers’ challenge to write something to “warm us up” in the middle of a cold winter.  It at least warms up one of the boys.  I hope you enjoy it.


“Buen provecho, hermano mio!” 

Johnny kept his voice low so as not to wake the family.  The brothers had gotten home very late from their poker game and, although liberally saturated with beer, neither had eaten.  Scott watched expectantly as his brother removed items from the pantry and set them on the table.

Scott raised his bean-laden tortilla amiably in Johnny’s direction.  “This,” he whispered, “is wonderful, truly wonderful.  I swear I think I could eat this every day!”

“Yeah, well, lots of folks do, Big Brother.”  Johnny placed pieces of pork from the roast on his tortilla, then spooned some green sauce onto it.

Scott looked on as though Johnny was holding out on him.  “Hey, let’s have some of that...sauce there.  I don’t want to miss any of this.”  He put two big spoonfuls onto his plate.

“Ya know, Scott, it’s good to take that salsa a little bit slow, ‘cause…”

Johnny glanced up and saw a truly philosophical look on his brother’s face, as if Scott had just received a transcendent revelation.  Indeed, tears streamed down his cheeks.  “Johnny.  Water.  Johnny!  Water!  Need…water!!”

Johnny sighed patiently.  “No, Scott, you need some milk.  Here, I’ll get it.”  And he placed a small glass in front of his brother. 

But Scott had risen to his feet, his eyes darting around the room as if to find an escape.  But, of course, there was none.

“Scott!  Will ya sit down and take some milk?  It’s gonna be okay in a minute.”

Scott’s breath came in little gasps.  “Never………okay!”  But slowly, so slowly, his face lost the bright red hue it had acquired, and his breathing slowed.  “I swear…I thought I was dying!  What IS that?”

Johnny smiled benignly.  “Just a little taste of heat, Big Brother.  California heat.”






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