Corn Maze Chapter Fourteen

Good afternoon. It is Thursday once again, and I am Gigi the parti poodle here to introduce Chapter Fourteen of Corn Maze. This week has been remarkably dull. I have done nothing of interest whatsoever. Except of course write. That is always of interest. The Maltese has also been dull, but then he always is. The one worrisome thing that occurred was my novelist procured a water gun. Perhaps I attack the Maltese too often, but I see no reason to squirt water in my direction. It is rather shocking if you must know. I’m merrily going along growling at that insipid beast and shwap! My hair is suddenly violated with water! I hardly like to take a bath and here she is shwapping me with water! I do not care for this use of militant punishment. I must strategize a way to cease it. Until then, here is chapter fourteen of Corn Maze. Enjoy!   

Corn Maze

by

Gigi the parti poodle

Chapter Fourteen

Farley pulled into the spacious Nile’s Steakhouse parking lot and killed the engine. Mallory was surprised at how opulent the restaurant looked for being in a small farming community. Farley disembarked the truck, jogged around to the passenger’s side, and held his hand out for Mallory who, delighted by this gentlemanly behavior, took it. His gesture did not go unnoticed by other nearby patrons who had come to dine at Nile’s that night. Mallory felt like the belle of the ball as she hooked her arm in Farley’s and they strode towards the large wooden doors. She noted the slightly askew capitol letter “N” carved into each of the vertical rectangular wooden handles. It gave the place a certain class.

Kelly, an attractive woman in her mid-thirties, saw them approach the hostess station and her eyes briefly widened before settling into a pleasant professional gaze.

“Hello, Kelly,” Farley said leaning on the desk and winking. “We have reservations.”

“Of course,” Kelly replied. She looked through the bookings on her monitor. “Here you are.” She grabbed two faux leather-bound menus from her desk and said, “Follow me.”

Although the booths in the restaurants were private alcoves, Farley felt the eyes of their patrons upon his controversial date and himself. Small towns are like that. Everyone is connected to everyone whether they want to be or not. Tonight, he wanted to be connected.

“Here we are,” Kelly said placing the menus on the table and stepping aside so they could slide into the booth. “Dawn will be your server this evening.”

“Fantastic,” Farley said.

“Enjoy your meal.”

Kelly left and Farley perused the menu. “What would you like to drink?” he asked Mallory.

“Champagne,” she said.

“They have an excellent whiskey selection.”

“I’m not a whiskey drinker…anymore.”

“Ah, but you were, huh?”

“Well, in my college days you know.”

“Which were yesterday.”

“I’d still prefer champagne.”

Dawn, a petite college age woman sporting a classic brunette bob hairstyle stopped at their booth. As she placed the two glasses of water balanced on her tray in front of them, she said, “How are you doing this evening?”

“Great, Dawn,” Farley said grinning. “How are you?”

“Fine, thank you. May I bring you something to drink?”

“We’ll each have a shot of Compass Box Hedonism,” Farley said.

“But I wanted…” Mallory started to say.

“Two shots of Hedonism,” Dawn said. “This evening we have a fillet mignon kabob made with local tomatoes and California green peppers served on a bed of wild rice. Our special appetizer tonight is bacon wrapped scallops and our dessert is a lovely French pumpkin cheesecake made with local pumpkins.”

“Sounds fantastic,” Farley said. “We’ll have the kabobs and house salads. And we’ll start off with the scallops and a breadbasket.”

“What kind of dressing on the salads?”

“Shallot vinaigrette.”

“Excellent. I’ll be right back with your whiskey.”

Dawn left and Mallory said to Farley, “I wanted champagne.”

“Need I remind you I won the bet. I got through your fiancé’s corn maze before he got through mine. So, being as I won a date with you, I decide what we eat and what we drink.”

Mallory narrowed her eyes then smiled. “Okay,” she said pleasantly.

Farley threw his arm around the back of the booth. “So, what made you decide to say yes to this bet?”

“What made you decide to propose it?”

Farley grinned. “I asked first.”

“Being engaged doesn’t mean you’re married.”

“You have an open engagement?”

Mallory furrowed her brow and chuckled. “No.”

“Yet here we are.”

“The deal was to go on a date. Sex was never implied.”

“The night is young.”

“Here’s your whiskey,” Dawn said returning to the table. She set a shot in front of Mallory and one in front of Farley. “And your wholegrain breadbasket.”

“Thank you,” Mallory said as Dawn set the basket in the middle of the table.  

“You’re welcome. Enjoy.”

“Your turn,” Mallory said when Dawn left.

“Try a sip of the whiskey,” Farley said.

Mallory took a sip. “Wow! That’s smooth!”

“Isn’t it though?”

“You have excellent taste.”

Farley smirked. “I do, don’t I.”

“Your turn.”

Farley knocked back his whiskey. “Harley and I were best friends in high school.”

“Best friends don’t usually make bets to date each other’s girlfriends.”

“Not usually.”

“So, you’re not friends.”

“No, we’re friends. We’re friends who disagree.”

“Disagree about what?”

“Details.”

“Details?”

“You haven’t even tasted this breadbasket,” he said reaching over, taking a roll, and nudging it towards her. “It’s the best I’ve ever had.”

Mallory looked at the bread then back at Farley. She removed a slice and buttered it. “Details is a vague word.”

“You’re a smart girl. You know what details are.”

“Of course, I know what details are. I just don’t know what you and Farley’s details are.”

“So, you met Farley in college.”

“We lived in the same dorm.”

“What did you study when you weren’t studying Farley?”

“Public Relations.”

“What’s a girl with a Public Relations degree doing on a farm?”

“What’s a smart boy like you doing as a farmer?”

Dawn returned and placed the appetizer on the table. “Here are your bacon wrapped scallops.”

“Those look tasty,” Mallory said.

“We’ll have another round of Hedonism,” Farley told Dawn.

“But I’ve barely touched my…”

“I’ll be right back with your whiskey,” Dawn said and left.

MY BOOKS

You can check out my books Chicane and the five installments in my Musicology book series Musicology: Volume One, Baby!Musicology: Volume Two, Kid!Musicology: Volume Three, Twist!Musicology: Volume Four, Sweetie! and Musicology: The Epiquad on Amazon in Kindle and Paperback editions. You can also check out Musicology’s web site at www.musicologyrocks.com and vote for who you think will win Musicology!!!

STREAM OF THE WEEK: A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951)-HBO Max

Throughout the fifties and sixties Tennessee William’s plays were beautifully brought to the screen, often, though not always, in glorious black and white. This film is the gold standard. Rich with metaphor, poetry, and symbolism it would be difficult to find many writers today who could write a play or film at William’s level. Most modern screenwriters are just not that deeply connected to their stories. And even in the best of today’s work there are glaring flaws. Not here.

Blanche Dubois (brilliantly played by Oscar winner Vivian Leigh) is not just a character. She is the representation of the dying southern aristocracy as well as William’s sister Rose Isabel Williams. I will not tell you more or it will ruin the story. After losing both her affluent estate and her job as a schoolteacher, the fragile but intelligent Blanche desperately takes sanctuary in the lowly world of the French Quarter of New Orleans. Her sister Stella (also well played by Kim Hunter) is sturdier than Blanche but not nearly as intuitive. She has managed to marry Stanley Kowalski (brilliantly and terrifyingly played by Marlon Brando), a low-rent psychopath who is more of an animal than a human and the representation of the new American industrial world. Like all psychopaths, Stanley is keenly focused on money and constantly goes on about the Napoleonic Code which basically says that what belongs to the wife belongs to the husband. He sees what is left of the sisters’ fortune in the form of Blanche’s clothes and jewelry and aims to own it all…and more. Mitch (Karl Malden in a fantastic performance), Stanley’s friend, is more refined than Stanley or his other coworkers. He becomes smitten with Blanche who takes a shine to him as well, but outside pressures threaten to drive a wedge between them.  

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