[Throughout the day, hell-of-a-con/hell-of-a-hick and myself will be posting drabbles describing the Labor Day celebrations of Keith, Ellis, Nick, and Overalls.]
Ellis kept himself buzzing busily by stacking cold dishes from the fridge for Nick to bring out to the back yard, reheating and stirring warm foods for better serving; potato salad, macaroni, three bean casserole, steamed corn on the cob, garlic potatoes, coleslaw, pasta salad, a berry cobbler – Ellis withdrew the last, stowing it back in the fridge after a moment of consideration. Desert would be far later and the cobbler was only one among several dishes.
He stepped into the living room in search of Nick to hand off another stack of food when he nearly ran intoArden, the small boy tugging furiously at Nick’s shirt in an attempt to stop the man from stepping outside. “Jesus,” Ellis muttered, the conman’s side visible with how the boy yanked at the fabric of his button-down; bandaids were assembled over a gash, edges of the wound still visible, surrounded by a deep purpling flush. “Th’hell happened tuh yew?”
“Fell in the garage,” Nick said immediately, finally gettingArden’s hand loose with a wince. “It’s fine.”
“No it ain’t!”Ardeninsisted, bouncing at his father figure once more, “It wus ‘Valls.”
“Overalls?” Ellis echoed in surprise, staring at Nick.
“He doesn’t know what he’s –”
“It wus Valls last time!” Arden snarled indignantly, clearly fed up with his statements being ignored. Ellis paused for a long moment before eyeing Nick with a narrowed edging to his eyes.
“Ah got this,” said Ellis bluntly, taking the food out of Nick’s arms as the gambler attempted to protest, “There’s more bandages in th’bathroom, yer poppin’ outtuh them bandaids.”