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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Crime and Punishment (not about the book) (07/21/11)

TITLE: Hooligan Stew
By Linda Germain


Jimmy Mac and Doobie, fairly dimwitted brothers of a certain age, had never exerted extra energy to learn more than they thought useful. As soon as they could count money, petty theft was a breeze. Like most on-purpose sins, there comes a time when familiarity begs for a promotion.

“Listen, Doobie,” Jimmy Mac crooned in that oily voice he used for brotherly debates, “we need some bigger income. Flora-Dora Monet says she’ll leave me if I can’t increase my profits. We need to plan something bodacious.”

Doobie looked up from his favorite show on the cooking channel, still trying to figure out how to braise a chicken. It took a few seconds for his focus to switch from food to money.

“Huh? You mean like a bank robbery, Jimmy Mac?”

“Nah...bigger. That’s too risky. I seen where they got new technology that’ll mess up a perfectly good heist these days. It’s gotta be somethin’ simple, yet time tested.”

The two paced back and forth across the squeaky floor in the old log cabin in the backwoods of nowhere. It had belonged to Grandpa. Nobody actually believed he fished since it didn’t stink and there wasn’t any bait or hooks or poles lying around, but it was pretty sturdy and a good place to stay low after a new haul of ill-gotten gains.

After a few minutes of dedicated pondering, Jimmy Mac stopped and snapped his fingers.

“Hey! We’ll grab some rich swank and demand a ransom. How hard could it be?”

Doobie was already back on the lumpy couch, entranced by a charming character who was making sweet potato pie with a secret ingredient. He was crazy for Darla Jean’s calories: love ‘em and eat ‘em southern cooking. That’s when the really big idea about knocked him over.

“Hey! Let’s get HER.”

Jimmy Mac was not as big a fan of the woman’s obvious culinary magic and effervescent personality as his brother. After staring at her for a few seconds, he sat down to embrace the light bulb moment.

“You know, Doobie-doo, the dame must be loaded. She’s written lots of books and done plenty of commercials.”

He grabbed the newspaper to find something he remembered seeing.

“Here it is! She’s in town this week, signing over at Books-R-Everybody.”

With very little forethought, they hatched a simple-minded plan. When Darla Jean’s body-guard went to the limo, Jimmy Mac hustled her out the side door and into their waiting RV where she thought she was going to see why poor Doobie had ruined his first Hollandaise sauce and was depressed and in tears.

As soon as Darla saw the lumpy mess Doobie was stirring on the little galley stove in the motor home, Jimmy Mac slipped behind the wheel and began to roll. Before she could scream cherries flambé he was on the interstate and pushing the speed limit. When she realized they were moving, she surprised them both by sitting down on the sofa/dining table place.

“Well, well, well,” she drawled in her totally charming accent. Surely y’all aren’t kidnapping little Darla Jean, are ya’?”

For some unfathomable reason, Doobie wanted to reply, “Yes Ma’am,” but in keeping with the purpose of such a crime, he kept his mouth shut and tried to look menacing; which was a little difficult while holding a wooden spoon and with cheese stuck to his nose.

When they got to the cabin, she hopped down the steps, took a deep breath, and oohed over the lake view. Once inside, Jimmy Mac told her she needed to call her family and say she’d been abducted and the kidnappers wanted a million dollars to give her back.

“You silly guys,” Darla laughed in her confident and blasé way as she opened and closed cabinets in the well stocked kitchen, “I don’t have any family. This was my last book signing for a month, and my big ol’ chauffeur, Moose, thinks I was leaving by taxi to go to the airport for a vacation.”

When she turned around and winked in their direction, they both jumped as if a gun had been fired.

“Now, gentlemen, what’ll we fix for supper?”

They stared at her as if hypnotic gas had seeped in through a hole in their limited atmosphere of understanding and handcuffed them and read them their rights.

“First, wash your hands, fellas…and then one of you chop up some onion. The other one can caramalize some sugar. Hey! This is gonna be fun, y’all.”

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This article has been read 457 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst07/28/11
Your "Hooligan Stew" was delish! If I may alter a phrase, it puts the ransom money where the mouth is. Excellent writing.
Virgil Youngblood 07/28/11
What a hoot! Mental gymnastics with a cooking maven. Fun, fun.
Edward Mrkvicka07/28/11
Smiles from start to finish. Excellent!
Juliette Chamberlain-Bond08/02/11
I'd gladly share that 'punishment!'
Like how you depicted these two 'not too bright' kidnappers.