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November 28, 2022

Dinner With Henry 72: Z

By Bruce Memblatt

Shakespeare tried to run, but he could hear her fast approach, and the sound of the knife she had to be carrying slash through the air. He'd always known sooner or later someone in the kitchen would crack. Being short, sightless and obnoxious would make him an easy target.

"There is no way you are going to make it out of this kitchen alive, maricon!"

He felt the knife graze past his skin, and he shook.

"What did I do?" Shakespeare cried out.

"You were born, poco uno ciego!"

He heard the knife come down again and again, and then Shakspeare heard Andre laughing.

"You are finally getting your just desserts, Shakespeare."

Shakespeare heard his cackles multiply like a hundred Andres were simultaneously laughing. He covered his ears. Still, the sound of Andre's mad laughter wouldn't diminish. He tried to run faster, but the knife seemed to take on a life of its own, swirling, chopping, flying around him like lightning.

"Now you are gonna get it," he heard Maria cry.

Then came Diego's whisper, "What did I tell you, little one? What did I always tell you?"


"Yes! Beware of the karma truck. Ooooh, I think it's carrying Simpson's body and it's going to drop it on you." She began to cackle, and then her cackles joined Andre's cackles.

Shakespeare shivered. He turned in the direction of Diego's voice and pled, "I didn't kill him. The dummy went behind the door."

"Is this just that kind of careless thinking that will get you in trouble, little one. What did you say about him only moments after he was gone?"

Then there came a sound like thunder and Shakespeare heard Simpson's voice echo with fury, as if it originated from the gates of hell, "You said I was just a bourgeois mouthpiece for the big and powerful. That's how you summed up my life, you slug!"

Shakespeare's heart began to race. He ran through the darkness clutching his chest. His mother's face assembled before him, just as he remembered it, and she cried, "WHERE DID I GO WRONG?"

At once he felt cold clammy hands reaching, clutching him from all sides. Then he heard shouting. "Wake up, Shakespeare, Wake up, Shakespeare!"

He stretched his arms and yawned

The sun shone brightly in the kitchen.

Andre cried, "Oh my goodness, Shakespeare, your hands were thrashing, your feet were flailing! You must have had a terrible nightmare."

"A doozie. That's what I get for nodding off at the dessert counter."

"Tell me about your dream, Shakespeare."

"I was running away from Maria, she had a knife. She was going to kill me. Then Simpson came back from the dead; he was mad at me because of the things I said about him. Then Diego said the karma truck was going to dump his body on me!"

"Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! Oh my!" Andre said, shaking his head, "You had a guilt dream. You feel guilty about Simpson's death, even though you had nothing to do with it. You must have liked him more than you let on, or maybe you have a conscience, but that is an unlikely possibility."

Shakespeare began to stand, "What are you, a comedian?"

"That is not a good question to pose around here."

Shakespeare sighed.

Andre looked over at the empty pots on the stove and the burners that weren't burning. "I don't know what we're going to do, Shakespeare. We haven't cooked anything for days with all that has been going on. And everyone seems so lethargic. Clarissa hasn't even said anything about it. All we seem to do is sleep lately."

Shakespeare kicked the cabinet door below the dessert counter and said, but what about my nightmare?"

It was then that Diego came through the kitchen pushing Winifred's stroller. She turned and gazed at Andre and Shakespeare and breathed," What is it now? There is always something going on with the little one, always something unseemly."

Shakespeare snapped back, "Look who's talking -- what's new, Sibyl?"

Diego sighed, and said, "Who is Sibyl?" She pushed the stroller back and forth, eyeing Winifred, who was fast asleep.

Andre, who had begun pacing back and forth after finding out what Shakespeare's nightmare was about, suddenly shouted "WE ARE ALL GOING TO PAY FOR THIS! WE ARE ALL GOING TO PAY FOR SIMPSON'S DEATH!"

Then out of nowhere it seemed Maria Conchita Chiquita Carmelita appeared and assembled in front of the stove.

"Oh my god!" Andre cried, "She can do it too! Just like Simpson!"

"That's right, I can, gringo," Maria said and then she smiled broadly and shook the bracelets on her wrists. "I am a witch!"

"I knew it. I knew it. I knew it. I knew it," Shakespeare muttered, shaking his hands at Maria.

"You don't know anything, maricon! Diego is right, but there is more, with the exception of the lovely Diego," (Diego smiled,) "you all had a hand in Simpson's unfortunate departure, because you and Andre and Henry too, did nothing to stop him from carrying out his stupid plan! IN FACT you encouraged that idiot with the dynamite! You are all to blame!" She said and she began to cackle.

"Oh shit, she's cackling just like in the dream," Shakespeare snapped.


Maria shook her bracelets again, "Now now, you're not going to die, but you will be miserable for a very long time."

"That's okay, Shakespeare said, "we're used to being miserable." Then Andre laughed, "It's true, Shakespeare. Okay, well, let's begin our work now and see if we can get something done," Andre said and then he proceeded to walk towards the stove.

Shakespeare reached into the cabinet below the dessert counter for a parfait glass.

Diego wheeled Winifred down the hallway whistling a strange tune.

And Maria stood staring at Shakespeare with a grin on her face. Then she pulled a knife out of her shirt, dangled it in a chopping motion in Shakespeare's direction, and whispered, "All in due time, all in due time, Shakespeare, sweet dreams."

Article © Bruce Memblatt. All rights reserved.
Published on 2012-08-06
Image(s) © Sand Pilarski. All rights reserved.
1 Reader Comments
04:14:19 AM
I am so addicted to this series. Henry is so innocent, and there is so much love -- and yet I never know what to expect, and I'm still cackling at Simpson having blown himself up (or has he?) and Clarissa having had Maria in the wings to take over in his place.
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