Requiem in Leather, sequel to Hard Fall
“Food’s on!” Fred burbled from off in the kitchen.
My stomach kinda rumbled as I moved with the herd toward the table. Fred bustled about setting food out and such. Brian’s and my offers to help were shot down with a dismissive wave. Took us all a bit to settle into chairs. I ended up at one end of the table with Kabe on my right and Brian to my left. The other end we left open for Fred.
Fred hustled over with a platter of fish and set it on the table. The food smelled incredible and I realized I really was starving. As Fred eased into his own chair he clapped his hands together. “Let’s eat.”
Dishes started going round, family style. Once I managed to get a couple of helpings of fish and vegetables I asked what seemed the most natural question to me, “Who’s gonna say blessing?”
I swear, to a man, they all swung to stare at me.
I mean, Matt’s got his fork halfway to his face already and he just stopped. Kabe and Dale both rolled their eyes – I sure for totally different reasons. I knew it seemed odd, but you gotta give the Lord his due. He don’t ask much of us.>Still, I felt like Daniel among the lions right then.
“Well,” Dale broke the ice by sneering, “I’m pagan, you know.”
Wasn’t about to take him on with something like that. “Okay, well then we can keep it simple.” I grinned and tried to keep my tone even. “Cause you know my grandma always said you can thank the Lord, or you can thank the cook, but you better darn well thank someone.
Fred took a deep breath, “Why don’t you say grace, Joe.”
I didn’t correct Fred. Grace is what God had…blessings is what we ask for. “Lord, thank you for this food we are about to eat, good friends, old and new. Thank you for your love and your acceptance. We know you love all your children even of those who don’t understand.” I could have gone on, ‘cause you can never thank God enough, but I cut it short for the company I kept. “We ask that you love us and keep us in the name of your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.” Kabe, Brian and Fred answered me. Matt came along in a whisper a little bit later.
Dale glared. “You put up with that every night?”
“Sometimes,” Kabe reached for the bread, “it’s a little shorter.”
“Like what, only a third of a sermon?”