Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: GLUTTONY (overindulgence and overconsumption) (01/15/15)
- TITLE: Neighborhood Party
By Jeanette OHagan
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Several minutes later he jerked awake, his heart pounding. An ad for a slick red sports car flashed across the wide-screen on the wall, crowded with dancing long-legged models and a smirking windswept hero. He frowned. Surely it wasn't the cliched classical music blaring from the surround sound speakers that had disturbed him. His eyes narrowed as a deep beat seemed to vibrate the floorboards beneath the plush carpet. Throaty 90s lyrics drowned out the now dulcet tones of the weather presenter.
His neighbor; it had to be.
He stormed out of the den, ignoring the inquiring looks from Simone juggling steaming saucepans in the kitchen and the twins excited calls of “Daddy, daddy.’ Stalking through the living room, he slid open the glass doors and stood on the deck, arms akimbo. Beyond the outdoor entertaining area and gleaming water of their pool, on the other side of the high fence, Matt Dodger’s yard was lit up like a Christmas tree. Swaying colored lights zigzagged across the untidy backyard. Matt stood at the barbie turning plump sausages and hamburger patties sizzling on the hot plate. A boom box belted out popular tunes. Tammy in white bikini and skimpy sarong wrapped around her ample figure plunked down food on a long trestle table– large bowls of salad, bread rolls, heaped up plates of watermelon and two oversized pavlovas drowned in cream and fruit. A huge battered blue icebox overflowed with crushed ice and beer cans.
This had been a quiet neighborhood until the Dodgers had moved in last year. Rumor had it that that Matt was a cars salesman and Tammy ran a beauty parlor in their downstairs room. When they had first arrived, Simone had dropped in on them with home baked cookies and a brochure for their church, but Matt had made cutting remarks about hypocritical Christians and churches only interested in his money. It was a lost cause really.
Simone came to stand behind him. “I've put the twins to bed. I hope they settle with this noise.”
Joe nodded and continued to glare into his neighbors’ back yard. The sounds of cars pulling up at the curb and the excited calls of guests intermingled with the jocular greetings of Matt and Tammy. The kids ran around with the new arrivals in some wild game, adding to the general cacophony. Soon adults and children alike piled food on their plates and pulled open cans of drink. Knives, forks and table manners seemed the only scarcity. Laughter and rowdy music spilled out into the night.
Joe snorted. It was disgusting how some people stuffed their faces with so little self-restraint.
Simone’s sigh was like a feather on his cheek. “Will you come and say good night to your girls?”
Joe stiffened as a tall bearded figure strolled down the concrete pathway to be engulfed in a bear hug from Matt.
“Isn't that the new pastor up at New Kingdom? What’s his name? John, no…Joshua Davidson. Reverend Kaifas says he’s attracted huge crowds with his high powered trickery. He’s worse than that fire and brimstone preacher they used to have at the Jordan chapel.”
Joe allowed Simone to pull him inside. After kissing the sleepy twins good night, they sat down for dinner. Simone had outdone herself again – medallions of tender fillet mignon served on baby spinach, duchess potatoes and a creamy green pepper sauce. Followed by melt in your mouth macaroons with hand-made pistachio ice cream.
As the sounds of the party next door wound down, Joe and Simone moved out on the deck with mugs of pod coffee. The last guest called out a boisterous goodbye and the neighbors’ backyard plunged into darkness.
Joe savored the rich brewed flavor. “I wonder what Pastor Davidson wanted with Matt.” He chuckled. “If he expected a donation, he’s in for a disappointment. Who would have thought that New Kingdom’s pastor is a glutton and a drunkard.”
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