Scene 6

Lonnie came back into the house through the front door.

“Well,” she said. “Joanie is headed back to the hospital to spend the night with Rock.” She sat down in the chair as though from a great height, and looked around. Jimmy was sitting playing a hand-held video game, Bernie was watching TV and Melody was nowhere to be seen.

“Why is the bedroom TV in here?” she asked.

“Because,” Bernie said. “The living room TV is at the shop.”

Lonnie raised an eyebrow at him. “The shop?”

He looked at Jimmy and then to his wife and gave her a wink. He whispered, “It's in the bedroom, being safe.”

“Oh,” she said. “I see.”

Softly out of the corner of his mouth, he added, “The boy was being a little too handsy when he came in. Sure he's quiet now, but he's too much of a loose cannon for my taste, if you know what I mean.”

Lonnie smirked at Bernie and turned to face the hallway. “Melody!” she shouted.

There was no response.

“I think I actually heard her grimace,” she said. Lonnie turned her head towards the hallway. “Jimmy wants to show you his game!”

Jimmy looked up at her with a blank look on his face. He shook his head and went back to staring at his screen.

“You don't think she chewed her way out through the back of the house, do you?” Lonnie smiled.

Bernie seemed annoyed. “Maybe since everyone's quiet for the moment, we leave things that way.”

Lonnie leaned forward and patted her husband on the knee. “You always did like your quiet.”

“You know,” he said. “I really really do.”

Jimmy suddenly threw his game on the ground and yelled, “When do we eat dinner around this place?”

Bernie sighed. “That snack wore off already, huh? Did your mother pack you any food?”

“Bernie,” Lonnie chided. “Stop it. I can make us some hamburgers and French fries,” she said, emphasizing the possibility of food to Jimmy by raising her eyebrows at him.

Jimmy seemed to like this idea very much. He smacked his lips at the air and then flapped his tongue around. “Yeah, yeah!” He then clapped his hands together and shouted, “Hangleburgers, hangleburgers...”

Bernie raised an eyebrow “It's like watching a train collide into a herd of sheep in slow motion,” he said. “I just can't avert my eyes.” He reached out blindly in an attempt to slap his wife on the knee. “Honey,” he said. “Make my eyes look away!”

Lonnie leaned over to Bernie and whispered. “I don't want to be there when he comes to that realization that the hangleburgers aren’t real meat.

“I don't think we're insured for that,” Bernie said.

“Oh, stop it,” Lonnie told her husband. “You can come help me make dinner.”

Bernie raised his other eyebrow, emphasizing his displeasure at leaving the comfort of his own chair..

“I know it's basically just opening a box and a bag and shoving a couple of trays into the oven. But maybe you can come in there and block the door for me, and keep our meat-free culture safe in obscurity.”

Bernie frowned. “I would,” he said. “But my heating pad just warmed up and my back is killing me. I promise to wash dishes later.”

Lonnie rolled her eyes. She kissed her husband on the forehead, and then punched him hard on the arm. She then turned and yelled for Melody to come and help her in the kitchen.

Melody yelled back. “I think dad should help. My presence would only serve to perpetuate the stereotype that a woman's place is in the kitchen!”

Lonnie groaned. She placed her hand on the swinging kitchen door, and stopped. She turned to Jimmy who was staring up at her hungrily. “Now don't come into the kitchen until I give you the thumbs up,” she told him.

Jimmy stared up at her with a hurt expression on his face.

Lonnie groaned. “Okay,” she said. “I guess you can help me make the food, but I will have a few caveats, young man.” Her eyes narrowed at him. “You coming?”

The boy stood up, and grunted as though he were an old man. His response was in the positive, though oddly spoke. His voice started high and drifted downward slowly. “Suuuuuree I wiiillll,” he said.

Lonnie hoped this was in imitation of some cartoon character, as the tone sent a shiver down her spine.

“Well, young man,” she said. “Let me just caution you to not read any of the labels. This is going to be a simple dump and shove mission. Do you like tomatoes on your burger?”

Jimmy began to wail as though Lonnie had hit him on the toe with a roofing hammer.

“Okay, okay,” she said. “No tomatoes. How about just for me, uncle Bernie and cousin Melody?”

Jimmy, who had stopped, began to wail once again.

“Okay, okay!” Lonnie stressed. “No tomatoes for anybody. How about I just toss all of them outside in the compost, eh?”

Jimmy said nothing as the swinging door came to a halt, but he smiled brightly at the idea of removing all of the tangy red fruit from the premises.

“You're in complete control of us now, aren't you?” Lonnie said under her breath.

It Happened on Lafayette Street

Season One: Episode One

Melody Jackson

vs. The Hound from Hell

by BMB Johnson

Scene 6

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