Thursday, February 12, 2015

Free Read: The Tragedy of Dinner

Apparently I'm not done with telling another little story in Oscar and Phillip's lives! I went to find a prompt for today's ficlet and it was a fill in the blank: "The greatest tragedy is______". So here's the story, with perhaps not the greatest tragedy, but an important one.

Title: The Tragedy of Dinner
Genre: m/m


Phillip stared down at the slimy mess on the floor with a sense of utter despair, and a flare of rage starting to burn at his own clumsy nature. Tomato sauce splattered out wide and the delicately made gnocchi scattered about in the swirl of juices. Just a moment ago, he'd been brandishing the platter so prominently, so proudly, and now it was nothing but a giant clump of mush on the floor.

Oscar pushed back his chair from the kitchen table. Phillip noticed that he'd already lit the two long tapered candles. They flickered merrily, catching the curve of the wine glasses filled with a treasured rosé. "Phil," Oscar said, "oh no, Phil. All your hard work."

Phillip backed up. "I'll get the trash can. I can clean it up. There's still salad and bread, and fresh fruit for dessert. We can eat that and…." He sucked in some air and turned to get supplies to clean up the mess. At least it had fallen on the linoleum and not on the carpet.

Phillip dropped the platter on the counter and it thudded, perilously close to cracking. He didn't care. It had betrayed him. He'd retrieved it from storage as a special item to use and a careless moment had tipped all the food over its too short sides. He hoped its creator knew it was a useless piece of junk.

He'd spent the evening in the kitchen, puttering about, making the meal, exquisitely happy that he could create a divine romantic dinner for Valentine's Day. It was fresh gnocchi, made by hand. He'd even purchased a gnocchi board so he could make it at home with the characteristic lines. He'd spent all day making the sauce!

Phillip startled when Oscar came up behind him. "The greatest tragedy isn't that dinner is on the floor," he said, "it's that you'd think I wouldn't appreciate your effort more than the food itself."

"Oscar," Phillip said, "thank you."

"Now, the only thing you need to decide, is if you want to go out for Italian, or seafood, or Chinese, or you name it, and we'll go out."

"It's Valentine's Day," Phillip pointed out. "Everyone's booked."

"Then we'll eat fried chicken." Oscar kissed Phillip and rubbed his thumbs over Phillips' cheekbones. "Next week, this'll be the best story ever."

"Right now, I'm just hungry. And maybe a little humiliated."

Oscar kissed him again. "Then, let's make sure the stove is turned off—"

"—and the candles blown out," Phillip added, thinking that after the food disaster, he didn't want to come back to his home burned down.

"—that too, and go find something." Oscar bumped his hips against Phillip's. "Maybe we'll go back to that little lover's lane we used to frequent and neck in the car like we were kids."

Phillip laughed. "Then, we should get pizza. We always got pizza when we did that."

"Mm, I like that idea. Let's go." Oscar checked the stove. "All off," he declared. He tugged on Phillip's arm and they detoured past the table to blow out the candles. Oscar retrieved their coats, and as they slid on their shoes, Phillip dialed up the pizzeria and placed an order for pickup.

"Technically," he said, "this means I still provided dinner."

"Absolutely," Oscar agreed, then added, "Let's go. Pepperoni and onions, here we come."

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