Chapter Six Hundred and Sixty-five - Stick a fork in it
Chapter Six Hundred and Sixty-six - The Devil is in the details (part one)

Chapter Six Hundred and Sixty-five - Stick a fork in it (part six)


(part six)

“I’m so freakin’ tired,” Valerie moaned.

“We have weeks of cooking to come!” Sandy said.

“But not tonight,” Jacob said.

“Or tomorrow,” Valerie said. “I’m sleeping all day.”

Everyone laughed at the idea of Valerie sleeping all day.

“Hey, it could happen,” Valerie said, taking a sip of the wine from Ares’ wine cellar. “This is amazing. Oh wow.”

She held out the wine to Mike, who took an actual drink.

“That’s delicious,” Mike said.

“Greek wine made traditionally,” Heather said. “I think we can still get this brand, but . . .”

“He did say that we should drink his wine cellar,” Tanesha said.

“He did,” Heather said. “Where are Ivan and Sissy?”

“In bed,” Sandy said. “Sissy danced at City Park last night. With everything, she’s pretty worn out. How’s Ivan, Blane?”

“Better than he should be,” Blane said.

“What does that mean?” Mike asked.

“It means that he’s very sick, but somehow, his body seems to rebound against the cancer,” Blane said. “I’ve never read about anything like this. He has an incredible ability to heal. I mean, he’s been a professional dancer all of his life, so it’s not too shocking. Still, it’s weird.”

“So there’s hope?” Jill asked.

“Lots of hope,” Blane said. “I’m glad they’re here. We can help Ivan while Sissy goes back to dance.”

“Do you think they will marry this week?” Heather asked. The only one not completely exhausted, she gave a happy clap. “Won’t that be fun? We haven’t had a wedding in a while!”

In near unison, everyone in the room turned to look at Heather. Their exhausted faces made Heather laugh.

“Oh my God,” Sandy said with a groan. “I can’t even think about it.”

“Did you take your meds?” Aden asked. “Or Ibuprofen? Tylenol?”

“Not until I’ve had my fill of this wine,” Sandy said with a shake of her head. She gestured to the glass. “Medicine.”

Aden grinned at her.

“I have something to say,” Delphie said.

Everyone turned their eyes on Delphie.

“I wanted to thank each of you for all of your hard work,” Delphie said. “That goes for everyone who’s not here, too, like Alex and John.”

“Those Afghan people were amazing,” Tanesha said. “They made the most wonderful food. Perfect.”

“They were amazing with our kids, too,” Jill said. “I ran out of diapers. A woman — I guess Joey and Maire’s aunt? I don’t really know — gave me extra diapers and even managed to get a twin changed.”

“What a weird and wonderful series of days,” Tres said. “I feel honored to have been able to attend and participate.”

“Me, too,” Nelson said. “Thank you for including us.”

“Absolutely,” Delphie said. Raising her glass, she continued, “To a successful Harvest Day!”

“Harvest Day!” Everyone said in return and took a drink of their beverages.

“Here! Here!” Jacob said.

They raised their glassed and clinked their own glass against everyone else’s glass. They were silent while everyone’s focused turned to their beverages.

“You know what I liked?” Delphie asked.

With that, everyone laughed and shared stories about Harvest Day well into the wee hours of the night.

Denver Cereal continues on Monday...


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