Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Myron's Gift

by Brenda Meier

“Darling!” Myron held a dining room chair out for Frances. The table was set with her old damask cloth and the good dishes. He hummed.
“What’s the occasion?” Myron never fussed about or pulled out her chair. It was typically Frances’s job to throw together a meal every night, even though Myron was semi-retired.
Myron put his finger to his lips and grinned. “Back in a flash!” He disappeared into the kitchen.
He worked the champagne cork with a tea towel. Thok! Who knew Myron had such an expert wrist flick? He filled glasses and took a seat opposite Frances.
“Well, it’s done. I’ve killed him,” said Myron, leaning back in his chair looking like the cat who’d killed the canary.
Champagne spurted through Frances’s nostrils and sprayed her shirt. “What? Did you say killed, Myron?” Champagne slopped over the edges of Frances’s flute.
“Frances, Frances,” Myron cooed. “Don’t you remember saying you wished that old coot would f-off and die?” Myron-Weight-of-the-World Schepanski twirled the stem of the glass in his fingers. “That Journal review. What nerve! Slagging a home town gal.”
“Ohmygodohmygod,” Frances wailed, guzzling the remainder of her drink.
“Un momento!” Myron trilled and escaped again, strangely elated. Generally obsessed by his own concerns, Frances hadn’t realized Myron had registered the sting of that biting book review.
He appeared with a flourish and two plates of coq au vin. “Didn’t take much to discover where Percy Cavendish parked,” Myron mused and served her a leg. Frances refilled. “I hope you don’t mind I used your Jeep, Frannie. Crushed him against a brick wall in the alley.”
“You wouldn’t believe how many runs I had to take at the old fellow,” Myron said and clinked her glass. Frances regretted trying to save money by using public transit.

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