Time for Dessert

Time for Dessert

The couple sits on their front porch every summer night. Although the view remains the same, they never tire of it.

He says, “Feels warmer this evening.”

She nods, pulls the sleeves down on her sweater. She can never get warm enough. “Look at the size of that ship.” She points.

“Gosh, I didn’t think they let ships that large on the St. Lawrence.” It’s the primary reason why they moved to such a remote location. He loved boats, water, and all the outdoor activities associated with them. Well, he’d also burned through most of their friends by retirement age.

They sit and watch activity on the river. A bee buzzes at the screened door.

“Are you ready for dessert?” she asks. “Fresh peach pie.”


She goes inside and he stares at her rocker’s motion, hypnotized. He sets it to an old favorite melody. From the kitchen he hears the familiar sound of plates clinking, the microwave beeps. He sees a fancy motorboat toting a teenaged skier.

Tomorrow, he thinks, I’m going to get up early and go fishing. All by myself.


About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, Robert leads week long National writing retreats at sites like Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Synergia Ranch, and EarthRise IONS. His poems and fiction are published in over 500 print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Los Angeles Weekly, Literary Orphans and Smokelong Quarterly. He is Editor-in-Chief at (b)OINK magazine and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing in Milwaukee. He is six times a Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His books are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps); Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms); RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press), and FUNHOUSE (Unknown Press).
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9 Responses to Time for Dessert

  1. Angela says:

    Oooo…what’d he do? What’d he do? OX@

  2. Andrea says:

    Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Nicely visual and sad.

  3. Rontuaru says:

    “Oooo…what’d he do? What’d he do?”

    Oh! Oh! Can I? Huh? huh? (Raises hand) 🙂

    He got up early in the morning and went fishing. Alone. When he left, she was rinsing the last greasy remnants of his coffee from the kitchen sink and mumbling something about setting steaks out to thaw. She had asked what he wanted for desert and rattled off a lengthy list of options, but he ignored her question. His mind was focused on his own list of necessities.

    She was still talking as he pushed his way down the long dark narrow hall. The back door slammed hard, nearly clipping him in the butt. “I’ll have to fix that,” he thought as he trudged across the dewy yard toward the waiting skiff.
    “Good luck!”
    “Have fun!”
    “See you at cocktail time!” she called after him.
    Without turning he wrestled an arm free and waved a backward hand in the air.

    The sun was just starting to break over the horizon. He struggled to pick up his pace, but seventy years of hard living slowed him down and he was forced to pause and catch his breath. Finally he reached the dock, loaded the skiff and shoved off, thinking how glad he was to be free and on his way. As he trolled slowly down the inlet and past the house he saw her sitting in the rocking chair, staring intensely at something in her lap. The radio was on and her soft alto mingled with the thin morning fog. For a moment he wondered if he should have asked her to join him, then he looked away, pointed the bow of the skiff toward open water and gunned the motor.

  4. david says:

    across the north and south to Key Largo Love for sale..

    That read like a cool breeze on a Summer’s Eve….

  5. tomfroehlich says:

    You set a very nice comfortable scene. Makes me want to be there. You might want to drop “The couple” and go with “They”? You typically don’t give those details and we find out as we read the story. I like that. Keeps me moving. “Peach pie” would be stronger I think with out the “fresh”. Just has more punch and I don’t think we think of pies as fresh. Nice job though. You really put me in that scene.

  6. Don says:

    Peaceful setting, with just enough tension to set the scene. I wondered with the line about ‘burning through their friends’ if that might want something more in the present scene? Not sure, just thought it could work nicely.

  7. Shari says:

    I want some warmed peach pie! Where’s my piece? LOL Just the warmth of the summer scene made me miss the season so thanks for that. And I liked the continuation of Rontuaru’s section. Seems like you and she might have something in common?

  8. Dez says:

    These are my parents to a T. Well done.

  9. G says:

    u capture me w/ the first line.

    i think i remember what it was like to see a view that i never tired of from the front porch of my parents house.
    I am not sure how to take the statement of him burning through all their friendships, seems like that statement needs explanation or deletion.

    keep the love coming

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