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“Do I need a jacket?”

I don’t think so her husband of 41 years thought from the patio, knowing she would answer her own question.

“I’ll be right out. Gonna get a jacket.”

The steaks had been medium rare, peppered, and delicious. Fresh bread and a salad—freshly picked lettuce, cukes, and heirloom tomatoes drizzled with olive oil—had rounded out the meal. They considered dessert but opted for a second bottle of cab, smooth as silk on glass, an explosion of boysenberry with tobacco and chocolate ephemeral on the palate.

The soothing, muffled noise of treetop leaves revealed the invisible wind. Hummingbirds flitted about, crows squawked, chipmunks scurried, and the early summer evening’s beauty invited lounging, sipping, and wide-ranging, convivial conversation.

He fired up the Bluetooth speaker and it held court. John Denver’s “Country Roads” demanded accompaniment, and so they sang. Kenny Loggins’s “Celebrate Me Home” brought a tear to one eye and a lump to the other’s throat—“their” song. The music of their youth poured forth and it was Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” that forced them from their butts to their feet and they danced. They parroted the repetitive “do doo do” chorus in perfect rhythm with their movement and the pair of brown eyes gazed with love at the pair of blue eyes. The edibles’ THC and the wine’s alcohol considered making noise about artifice, but their quibble was immaterial.

Happy was happy and none could deny the couple was enjoying a quite serviceable definition of happiness and contentment.

Lou Reed yielded to Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls,” and they lost themselves in the song’s beat and humor. Neither noticed the shadowy figure with the black NRA t-shirt and camo baseball hat peering at them from behind the sugar maples and red oaks. A bullet rocketed through one brain and a second neatly severed the aorta of the still-standing member of the couple. Two days later the coroner had attempted to comfort the family with an impotent, “They never knew what hit them.”

The estate settled and a year later, their daughter sat on the same patio wondering if she should keep or sell the home. As the couple danced toward her, she felt a shiver and reached for her jacket.


Dan Farkas

Dr. Daniel H. Farkas is a molecular pathologist who has published extensively and spoken on the topic internationally. Dan Farkas, on the other hand, is an itinerant New Yorker living just outside The D. His joys in life come from creative writing, photography, the music of his youth, his wife and kids, and sometimes the NY Rangers. #LGM

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