Many evenings the group spent at Ramsey’s house, but other times they would meet at Morgan and Tony’s apartment. The space there was very crowded, but no one seemed to mind.
One evening, around 7:00, Kelvin, Ramsey, Wagner, Jason, and Cade came to visit. Morgan and Tony offered Olde English 800 Malt Liquor to the guys along with various other beverages. Kelvin and Wagner decided to have a sword fight out in the yard with their machetes, just to set the mood. Tony, Ramsey, Jason, and Cade chose to take their turns with the blades as well. Morgan watched their antics with a mixture of amusement and fear. She knew one wrong move and someone could be seriously injured. The athletic males finally decided to go inside.
Everyone was hungry after the exertions, so Morgan decided to fry some chicken. It was something she had never done before, but she guessed it could not be too difficult. Her mother had prepared it at least once a week for years. She did wish she had paid a bit more attention to how it was done.
The guys sat around drinking and talking on the bunk beds, turned couches, in the tiny front room. When the perfectly browned chicken was finished, she served it up with corn on the cob and green beans.
When Kelvin took a bite, he sputtered and cursed, “Damn Morgan, this chicken is raw! What the hell do you think you are doing to us? Are you trying to kill us, as you do in your world? I thought we were safe outside of EverMost! Damn!”
The others returned their plates to the counter. Morgan began to tear up, but she refused to let them see her cry. Although she was mortified by the horrible mistake she made, she did not want to have anyone go hungry.
She turned to Tony and whispered, “Pizza?”
He nodded and answered, “Sure, I’ll order.”
Morgan dumped everything in the trashcan without another word. She was grateful Tony was willing to make the call for pizza and pay the bill. Another disaster averted by his kindness. Everyone except Kelvin seemed willing to let the situation go. He kept glancing at her and shaking his head.
He finally commented, “If you can cook no better than that, you should stay out of the kitchen.”
She sighed and said, “That was the first time I tried frying chicken, but I will take your advice into consideration.”
The pizza arrived and everyone ate happily, seemingly willing to forgive the mess Morgan had made. When the boxes were empty, the group appeared satisfied.
Ramsey asked, “Ambazzar or EverMost, Morgan?”
Tony answered, “She has been working on an adventure for days, staying up late, doing drawings, and studying the books. I think we should try her world tonight.”
Kelvin said, “I hope it works out better than the chicken!”
Everyone, except Morgan, laughed and began arranging their gear for play. She smiled, thinking perhaps a little payback was in order. The dice rolled in the adventurer’s favor and they had a very fortuitous foray into the dungeon. Only Ramsey’s character, Garrison, was injured in the melee with kobolds. The group traveled back to the Sleepy Eyes Inn and retired for the night.
Ramsey had introduced Tony and Morgan to the music of Neil Young and she put the album, Live Rust, on the stereo. Everyone was in a party mood, choosing to stay late since it was a Friday night. Tony was off for the weekend, as were the students, and Wagner was not likely to apply for work until Monday. After another hour or more, Ramsey, Cade, and Jason told them good night and went home.
Sometime later, Tony suggested they go for a ride. Kelvin and Wagner agreed and loaded into Katie. Morgan drove to a stretch of highway where she could let the 472 engine run wide open. She managed to hit 100 before she got to the end of the road. As she slowed, blue lights popped up behind the car. She heard metal clanging together as the machetes were pushed under the seat. At that moment, she wondered why they brought those in the first place.
The police officer came to the window and she rolled it down, “Good evening officer,” she said as politely as possible.
“Good morning ma’am. Can I see your license and insurance please?” He asked.
She took the cards out of her purse and handed them to him. He walked back to his vehicle.
After several minutes, in which the atmosphere in the Cadillac became increasingly tense, he returned to the window.
He asked, “What are you all doing out here at this time of morning?”
“We were just out enjoying a drive, listening to music, and taking in some fresh air,” Morgan answered.
He said, “Well, this is a dangerous neighborhood to travel in. You all be careful and stay out of trouble.”
Everyone in the car answered, “Yes sir!”
They drove back to the apartment at much reduced speed. Morgan was thankful he had not searched the car because of the weapons and the open beer all the guys had been drinking.
When they got back, Kelvin and Wagner gathered their gaming things and drove away.
Tony went to bed and Morgan stayed up to clean up the remaining mess. The night had not been a total loss, but it was bad enough she was sure she would never forget it. She had learned a valuable lesson about cooking. Never try something for the first time when the results were important and open to criticism. She considered that several moments and decided the wisdom could also be applied to other aspects of life. She thought of how close they had come to getting in serious trouble on their drive. She was grateful things had gone no worse.
© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan
Sunday, November 3, 2013