Bus Stop Stories: Margaret and Martin-A Man’s Stomach. She wins? or He Loses?

“I don’t care, I’m not going to like it.” Martin’s arms were firmly crossed in combat formation.

“I know, dear.”

He lifted his hands, shoulders up around his ears. The first crack in his battle formation. “Then why are we going?”

“Because we must. If we don’t, you know what they will say.” Margaret’s head bobbed with every other word.

Martin’s hand slapped down on his gray slacks. He shook his head and stared at the sidewalk. The shaking stopped, and he looked at me. “I will trade with you.”

I held my hands up in defense.

He nodded. “I thought so.” He turned to Margaret. “See, I told you. I doubt I could pay for someone to take my place.” His shoulders sagged, his eyes focused on the reliable cracks in the pavement.

“No one you ask will know what you’re talking about. Besides, if we don’t go then we won’t be able to stop off at Strom’s Deli on the way back.” She leaned forward, as if she were looking for the bus.

The shoulders straightened. Martin’s eyes lifted from the sidewalk. “Well, I guess it would look bad if we were the only ones not there. It’s not like I have any problems with it, it’s just that it’s so far away. But if it will make you happy, then okay.”

Martin stood up as he heard the whine of the bus, that sound only a bus makes. Margaret stood and looked down at me. She winked and put her arm in through the crook of her husband’s.

He helped her up onto the first step of the bus and then followed. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. But so is his weakness.

 

 

© 2014-2020 Ronovan Hester Copyright reserved. The author asserts his moral and legal rights over this work.

Man of few Words

Man of few Words

 

A man named Ego

Stood before the Queen

His arrogance of self

Bordered on the obscene

 

“You wish to be spared,

But what use are you to me?

What can be had from you

That all these others cannot be”

 

“I am a great man,

A man for all seasons

Name any one

I will give you the reasons”

 

“It is now Spring

What will you do now?”

“I will plant your fields richly

Without even using a plow.”

 

“What then of Summer

When the Spring will turn?”

“I will use my broad shoulders

To protect your tender skin from the sun’s burn.”

 

“And of the Fall?

When the sun is no more to do?”

“I will pick the rose petals

To accent the glow of your hue.”

 

“Then Winter will come

With no planting, sun nor rose,

That is when I will show you

This man Ego can melt . . . whatever is froze”

 

She saw the look in Ego’s eye and looked around.

Surrounded by the court each her subject,

Except for one who was visiting among them,

A man whose gaze upon her was never in neglect

 

He was a visiting Prince,

Who had come from a distance.

She looked at him,

His appreciative smile was of consistence.

 

“Prince I ask you,

What do you say to this,

These words of advice,

From this man Ego came hence?”

 

The Prince stood up,

And approached the queen.

“A lot of words spoken,

But very little to be seen.”

 

“You speak with a confidence,

Quite deep from the thoughts in your head.

What would you propose

If not his words instead?”

 

The Prince did not hesitate.

He embraced the Queen.

His lips pressed hers.

Their bodies with nothing between.

 

He leaned back and looked into her eyes

“Will that do my Queen . . .  instead?”

She pointed to Ego without a glance

Then said, “Off with that blathering fools head.”

 

 

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