A House, A Home (pt15)

The next morning was the first morning that Salma felt like sleeping in. The bed was comfortable, no cool morning draft assault her toes. She took comfort in the laziness for a half and hour before getting dressed. She made her way to the kitchen and, first things first, put the rest of the bread out on a tray on the windowsill for the birds.

After that, she made her own breakfast. More complex than her dinner, Salma enjoyed it more than any meal she had had in a long time. She opened up her luggage and put things back where she had wanted them. Her laundry had to be done again, but that was all right. More laundry detergent would be on her grocery list. This afternoon she would go into town. The cottage would let her, right?

Nothing stopped Salma from hanging her clothes to dry again, fairly certain nothing would get in her way. Nothing had happened at all this morning to upset her. She began to pin up her pants when the line hit the ground. Irritation welled up within her once more. Reaching for the line, birdsong caught her attention. Salma looked in that direction, not seeing the specific birds who chirped along in the sunlight caught branches, but definitely the sunlight which began to shine brightly at the other corner of the house.

An option, certainly. Salma moved her set up to that corner of the house, putting her wash upon the line once more. There was no problem and in a few hours it was dry.

Not the best way of letting her know, but Salma decided they both had a ways to go.


“I always eat my vegetables first.”

Her friend looked at her with a disgusted face. “Ew, why would you do that?”

“Because it leaves so much room for improvement.” The girl opened her lunch box and took out her carrots. “Anything I eat next is the best. Even if my mother didn’t use the best jelly after. Apricot is okay after carrots.”

“I don’t think apricot and carrots work together at all.”

Her friend could say whatever she wanted, but the seven year old knew she was right. She ate her carrots.

Time for dinner

Because his boyfriend was an artist, he had become used to a few different things. Like paint, ending up somehow on the table. Calling out into a house he knew wasn’t empty, for no answer. Deciding to clean up the paint this time, then go check and make sure the artist was not lost in thought, not passed out on the floor.

“When did you last eat?”

This room was a disaster, but this room was allowed. Even if the artist needed the occasional reminder to clean up.

Being this close grabbed the other man’s attention. He sat back, looking over his shoulder. “Once after the last time you asked!”

Well, that was better than yesterday. The artist was very absorbed. With a smile and a shake of his head, he went to get dinner.

Dusky pionus

“Her name is Haven.”

“Haven?” While he had agreed to hear Raz out, Zamir had the distinct impression he was going to be paying for Raz’s food as well. Just as well he had let Raz pick the place to eat. Zamir might have picked a place more classy, but he would have paid for it with Raz’s large order.

“She’s lived here for the last couple of years, but the people she lived with have split up. Leaving her torn between the two of them unless I do something.”

“Were they her caregivers?”

Raz nodded, wiping his face with a napkin. “They treat her right, I know that. But the fact they both like her makes this all a bit more complicated, y’know?”

Zamir frowned, leaning back in his seat. “What did you come here for?”

“I’m taking her.”

He should have expected that. “Would there be something keeping her from leaving herself?”

“Probably the cage.”

Zamir paused. He paused for a few moments. “What species is she?” he finally asked.

“Dusky pionus.”

A parrot. That made some more sense. He supposed.


It was all he talked about. She took him to the restaurant, hoping having the limited time only dish would keep him from talking about it so much.

“Thanks, you have no idea how badly I’ve wanted to come here.”

“I’ve had a bit of an idea,” she replied as they walked up front. “I know how much you love strawberries.” She also knew they weren’t particularly hard to come by, but that was besides the point.

He stopped in front of the doors, eyes wide at a the advertisement there. “Raspberries.”

She had never actually facepalmed in real life, but had heard that each day brought new things.

Another magazine

“Look at this one, Jay. Doesn’t that make you hungry?”

Jay entertained the thought of not looking at all, but in the end glanced over the magazine Robin had been pouring through. “For goodness’ sake. Stop looking at food magazines. You’re insufferable.” Partly because Jay could have cared less. Normally. Partly because he was afraid one day all of Robin’s metabolism might leave him a completely round human being if he continued.

Partly because this was actually making him hungry.

Serious sportsmanship

It was the finals and there were only a handful of them left. He didn’t know where his teammates were, or even who were still in play. That was a dangerous position to be in. If he struck one of them instead of the opposing team, he would be at fault for them losing the championship.

He took stock of his weaponry. Mashed potatoes. Barbecue sauce slathered steak. Both good for leaving a mark, though the pieces of steak would be easier to aim. The potato would splatter though, he could get someone on the rebound. As long as no one else was nearby.

Then he was hit in the back of the head with a pie, sending him out to watch the rest of his team get one shotted by the single remaining member of the opposing team.

She liked using pie.

It was an embarrassing defeat for them in the Food Fight Nationals.


“I can’t believe you’ve never had fondue before.”

Jay sighed. “If I had a case for every time you’ve said that.”

Robin frowned. “I’ve never said that before.”

“Not fondue specifically, no, but you say that about many other foods.”

Jay didn’t have the heart (or the energy) to tell Robin he simply wasn’t as interested in food as he was. It should have been obvious, but Robin didn’t seem to notice that others lacked the same intense interest. Jay lacked a general interest these days in food. As long as it was edible, it was fine.

“Well, once again, we’re going to fix this.” Robin watched as the pot was placed before them with a look Jay could only compare with his feelings for his paycheck. He held enough restraint to offer Jay the first dip.

Jay speared a bread with his proffered fork. “I submit to your wisdom on this.”

He was only partially sardonic. That in mind, he submerged the bread in cheese.