by Marian Allen
“Hawley and Latasha are bringing chicken wings and chips and salsa,” Dallas said, arms full, closing the kitchen door with his work boot. “Jim and his kid made cupcakes and they’re bringing those and some ice cream.”
“That’s so cute!”
Annette couldn’t stop fluttering. All Dallas had talked about for months was the annual grudge game between some high school in some other town and the high school Hawley, Latasha, Jim, and Dallas had attended together. As a transplant from another state, Annette felt like she was on probation. If she did anything to throw any kind of a shadow over their big day …. Well, Dallas wasn’t shallow enough to ditch her for it, but …. She just didn’t want to mess it up, that’s all.
Dallas put the beer in the fridge and two dozen eggs on the counter.
“I said you’d make deviled eggs. That’s no trouble is it?”
“Mom used to make ’em all the time. Is it a lot of trouble? I can help.”
“Don’t you know how?” He pulled out his phone. “I can look up the recipe.”
“Uh.” How to explain this to somebody whose idea of cooking was making a sandwich? “There isn’t a recipe. There’s, like, a million recipes. How do your friends like them?”
“You’re kidding, right? It’s just eggs and stuff.”
“Yeah, ‘and stuff’. Everybody likes ’em a certain way, and hates ’em another way. How do your friends like ’em? Did they like your Mom’s? How did she make ’em?”
“Hell, I don’t know! People shouldn’t be so damn picky! Just make ’em any way you want to, and they can take ’em or leave ’em! Everything you make is great! If they don’t like it they can lump it!”
Yeah, all she needed to do was stir up trouble in a cherished friendship. That would sure be a nice thing to do.
She opened the fridge and stared into it so long she started wondering about frostbite.
At least she could cook the eggs. At least all the recipes had that in common.
When Dallas told them about Annette’s claim, they all backed her up with vigor, proving it by – sure enough – each having iron-clad dos and don’ts for the perfect deviled egg. Jim’s son, Brad, outdid them all by not liking the deviled part, period, or any egg yolk unless it was runny.
So Annette’s DIY table was a major hit: a platter of halved hard-boiled eggs with the yolks removed; a bowl of the yolks, mashed; little bowls of mayonnaise, mustard, salad dressing, chopped onion, chopped dill pickle, chopped olives, and sweet pickle relish; and a stack of cups and spoons to mix and fill your own.
“This is one smart cookie,” Hawley said, pointing to her with his overstuffed egg. “You better keep this one.”
Brad, with a bowl of salted egg whites in one hand, popped into the kitchen and shouted, “Game’s on!”
Dallas helped her with the dishes.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character has to make something everyone is opinionated about.