“You tell that pretty lady, I’ll see what I can do later, when I go on break.”
She slipped out quietly, leaving him with his meal. Apparently the menu hadn’t been processed yet. They had given him black-eyed peas and cornbread. Not that he minded, but it took a very special touch to get that right.
The peas were bland and the cornbread so sweet, it was more like cake. Too much abuse for a Southern boy to take, he shoved it aside. He drank his ice tea and ate his pie, which was remarkably good, and opened the candy bar. It was a Baby Ruth, his favorite.
The day passed slowly, spent between lightly sleeping and drug induced slumber. Kacy appeared around six, just after the supper trays had been delivered, smuggling in a box of moo goo gai pan and packets of soy sauce. He hadn’t realized how hungry he was until he smelled that aroma. She brought a two liter of root beer, nice and cold, to wash it down.
The newest offering from Kacy’s co-conspirator was a fresh wedge of Southern cornbread wrapped in foil and a little note beside it. I had my daughter bake this and bring it over special. That stuff they serve here would set any Southern boy’s teeth on edge. Enjoy! Karmina.
Handing Kacy the note, Deacon laughed as he munched on his cornbread, slathered thickly with real butter. It was heavenly. The dinner tray yielded another decent piece of pie. The roast beef and mashed potatoes weren’t too bad, so he ate most of that too. The rest of the meal consisted of anemic broccoli and gray peas.
“You certainly managed to eat a lot!” Kacy was surprised at his capacity.
“I’ve been starving all day. I couldn’t eat anything from the lunch tray but the pie. Karmina only had time to get me a candy bar. It was good, but not too filling.”
“I promise to be here tomorrow with each meal. I can’t have you wasting away to nothing.” She kissed him, snuggling up beside him on the bed.
He put his unpunctured arm around her, holding her to him. “Doc says I can probably go home in a day or two. I wish I could go home tonight. I miss you like crazy.”
“I miss you too, Deacon.”
“I’m bored half out of my mind here! Tomorrow can you bring me something to draw with? I need to actually do something. I need to go over a color scheme so the set painters can get started.”
“Deacon, you’ll have time to do that, don’t worry. Dino’s got the men working on repairing your escape hatch as well as replacing all the locks to the outside doors and fixing the others so they’re accessible from the inside. He was horrified by what happened and feels so responsible. I can’t seem to convince him it was our own bloody fault we got stuck there.”
“Where were the security guys? It just occurred to me, they should have been around. They would have seen someone go in or out.”
“They were contacted earlier in the day. A man, who said he was Dino, called them up and told them not to come by, that he had hired another team. We only found out about it because Dino called this morning and asked where they’d been.”
“They didn’t get a phone number I suppose?”
She shook her head. “No, the caller ID said unknown number, so that was useless. They’re back on duty, and Dino told them that unless he comes by personally, not to take any more messages on the phone. He apologized for the misunderstanding, and gave them a bonus.”
A sound of muffled voices echoed in the tile hallway and a light tapping at the door announced the arrival of the entire cast of the play. Dr. and Mrs. Cooper headed the troupe carrying a large bouquet of flowers from the florist shop next to the theater.
“They sent it over for free,” Coop told Deacon. “Said they felt so badly about what happened. They were at their shop, but didn’t see or hear anything.”
“That young man was all torn up about it, he felt just terrible. He and his mother send their regards.” Mrs. Cooper went about arranging the bouquet in a vase they had brought with them.
“I believe that the gentlemen from the construction team will be stopping by later this evening,” said the man playing Mr. Hix.
He was a short, rotund fellow who looked well healed and well fed, the semi-retired lawyer, Stevens. As usual, he wore an ugly, garish tie that clashed horribly with his suit. This one was pink and blue swirls with a brown suit. It looked like someone had vomited in Technicolor, and made Deacon’s head ache.
Mrs. Cooper was disappointed to know that Deacon had already eaten, because she had brought him a care package. Included were specialty items of hers, and the other ladies of the cast. Deacon had to go through the basket and view the entire contents, before they were placated.
“Looks like I’ll eat well for breakfast,” he declared to their delight. They stayed a little longer and then Dr. Cooper made everyone leave.
“The patient needs his rest! Scoot, all of you!”
©2021 Dellani Oakes