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The Final Straw

by Desormais 

Posted: 02 January 2012
Word Count: 499
Summary: For Oonah's 'Little Thing' challenge.

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“Dinner’s ready,” Stella shouted, extinguishing the light beneath the potatoes. Strictly speaking, it wasn’t ready, but knowing George, it would be by the time he finally reached the table.

The next move in this nightly chess game would be a repetition of the call, in another minute or so when he hadn’t appeared. A minute passed.

“Did you hear me?” she bellowed from the kitchen.

“Yes,” hissed a voice from the lounge. “I’m coming, woman.”

She heard the cloakroom door close. Another five minutes then, prostates being what they were. She drained the water out of the pan and placed it back on a low light with a knob of butter.

When she heard him flush, she began to mash. Time a plenty yet. Returning to the lounge he would now rummage amongst the remote controls littering the coffee table until he located the right one to turn off the television.

“Dinner’s on the table,” she called, even though she hadn’t yet drained the vegetables.

“I said, I’m coming,” he yelled.

She sighed, taking the plates from the oven where they’d been warming.

“Have you moved my slippers?” he demanded from the doorway.

She stared at his reflection in the kitchen window, close to boiling point now.

“You silly, silly man,” she mouthed silently at him before saying sweetly “upstairs where you left them.”

Why, having watched television for three hours in his shoes, did he now need to have his slippers on to eat his evening meal?

She heard him trudging heavily up the stairs and began to carve the lamb joint. Down the stairs he came, one at a time, and back into the lounge to check he’d turned the television off.

She dished out the meal and took both plates to the table.

She began eating, watching the steam rising from his plate opposite her.

“You didn’t get any wine out,” he said accusingly over her shoulder, before beginning to rummage in the fridge, and then opening cupboard doors searching for the one that held the wine glasses.

He finally returned with the wine glasses and sat down, surveying the table.

“No mint sauce?” he queried, half raising his ample posterior from the seat.

She sprang up, grabbed a jar of mint sauce from the fridge, and slammed it on the table.

He opened the jar, spooning some onto his plate.

“It’s very green,” he said accusingly.

“It’s mint sauce,” she said, “it’s supposed to be.”

He laid down his knife and fork and began to read the contents of the label.

“Hmmm,” he declared triumphantly, “artifical colouring. I thought as much.”


“Are you seriously saying a little thing like that motivated you to stab him with a carving knife?” said Detective Inspector James, laying down his notebook.

“Oh no,” she interjected, “not the artificial colouring, no.”

“Well what then?” he asked impatiently.

Stella stared at him. Were all men idiots? she wondered.

“He complained his dinner was cold,” she said patiently, “now d’you see?”

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Comments by other Members

tusker at 15:24 on 02 January 2012  Report this post
Loved this, Sandra.

I recognise some of those traits. Not all but..

I'd have tipped the lot on his head but understand that the daily ritual would get to her. Had to chucke at the last line.


beloscoli3 at 21:22 on 02 January 2012  Report this post
Oh my, rings some bells. I loved it, very funny. She must get a "not guilty" decision because she had cooked him such a wonderful dinner before she lost her patience.

Desormais at 13:24 on 03 January 2012  Report this post
Yes, I thought this might ring some bells. And I agree, 'not guilty m'lud, extenuating circumstances.'


V`yonne at 13:12 on 05 January 2012  Report this post
Oh you got that right!!! EDF

Gerry at 10:27 on 07 January 2012  Report this post

Yep. Not guilty. Nice one, Sandra.

Desormais at 10:59 on 07 January 2012  Report this post
Thanks Oonah and Gerry. Not sure about EDF, will think about that. And nobody's mentioned the 'dialogue tags'.


Gerry at 12:02 on 07 January 2012  Report this post

If I use tags at all I try to keep them down to 'he said/she said' as much as I can, but it doesn't bother me when I read something that uses them a lot and includes those naughty adverbs. If something reads well, sounds authentic, and entertains me, I don't worry about excessive tagging. Of course, I realize that many people frown on them, but I try not to let that get in the way of my enjoyment. Things only annoy you if you let them.

fiona_j at 12:30 on 08 January 2012  Report this post
Hi Sandra,

I really enjoyed this. As for your dialogue tags though... hehe

Anyway, sorry I didn't comment sooner. I did enjoy this and thought it so true to life in so many ways.

Good luck publishing this piece.


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