Word count 1,695
Usual Disclaimers Apply
Summary: A day like none other.
~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~ JML ~
Sprawled diagonally across his bed, on his belly, legs elevated over the edge of one side, covers twisted about his torso, exposing the curve of one suntanned bare buttock Johnny turned his head, sniffing the air with appreciation. He grinned with mischievously glee similar to the look he had seen on Andy Johnson’s face just before the ten-year-old hellion deliberately spilt the jar of marbles at Valdemerros’ General Store a second time, so he could pilfer candy while Victor and Elena’s backs were turned cleaning up the mess. It had been a sneaky idea and Johnny smirked at the outcome, a pulled ear lobe as Andy’s diminutive white-haired great aunt, Hester yanked him outside, swatting at his behind with her umbrella, fussing that the devil had better let go of him before she plum wore his tail feathers out.
“Hmmmm, yummm,” he said, lifting his head more for another sniff.
Climbing out from the twisted disarray, Johnny opened his bedroom door. Sticking his head out, he tilted his nose towards the ceiling, like a coyote out for his evening hunt sniffing the air for scents, Johnny deeply inhaled the rich full aromas filling the air. He was indeed pleased as his nostrils were rewarded by more mouth-watering scents working their way up the back stairs from the kitchen, where the faint sounds of Maria’s humming could be heard above the clanking of kitchenware.
The telltale creaking of Scott’s door open, as the blonde’s tousled head appeared. Like Johnny, he too had slept scans nightclothes, finding the cool mountain breezes coming in his room at night an invigorating experience, one that Johnny had highly recommended.
“Johnny? What’s that smell? What’s going on?”
“I dunno Boston, just tryin’ ta wrap my brain around it. Smells like what I want heaven ta smell like if I get there. I’m gettin’ dressed and headin’ down ta see what’s goin’ on down there.”
“Me too, be out in a minute, wait for me.”
Doors closed as both brothers, hurriedly splashed water on their faces, scrapped off the previous night’s stubble and don their clothes, Johnny’s from the floor, Scott’s from his chest of drawers. The brothers yanked open their doors simultaneously, tugging in shirt bottoms, notching belts around slim hips, running fingers through hair as they stepped lively to the back stairs. Step by step the smells only got more salivating, more profound, richer, and sweeter than either brother had though possible.
Johnny’s mouth was watering by the time he reached the bottom stair and stopped in his tracks to stare at the sights before him.
“Pinch me. Scott, I think I’ve died and gone ta heaven. I ain’t dreamin’ am I?”
“Noooo, Johnny, cause if you are then I am too. And little brother, this is one dream I don’t want to interrupt,” said Scott still standing on the last step, eyes taking in the landscape.
The brothers continued gazing at the scene before them. Johnny finally said, “It’s not my birthday, it’s not your birthday and not Murdoch’s either, Teresa’s off helping Sam deliver a baby, so it’s not her birthday either.”
“What’s going on, Maria?” Scott finally said as he and Johnny looked around in awe at the kitchen table groaning under the weight and every available nook and cranny in the Lancer kitchen was filled.
She giggled like a young bride at the two brothers, who to her were so much alike, yet so different at the same time, one like the sun rising in the morning, the other like the moon rising at night. “Senor Scott, Juanito, you no touch anything!” Pointing her wooden spoon at them, ready to swat if necessary, hands, fingers, butts.
“WHAT? NO TOUCH?” chimed the brothers as they looked around in awe at what Maria told them they couldn’t have.
Este es para más tarde; vaya se sientan en el comedor formal. Tengo su desayuno en un minuto. ¡Ahora vaya! ¡Deje mi cocina este minuto! (“This is for later; go sit in the formal dining room. I have your breakfast in a minute. Now go! Leave my kitchen this minute!”). She pointed towards the doorway with her spoon at the brothers who stood still with their mouths opened ready to protest such poor treatment.
Just then Murdoch walked into the kitchen from the courtyard doorway. He saw the crestfallen looks upon his sons’ faces, especially Johnny who looked frustrated beyond belief at the sights and smells before him that he couldn’t touch.
“Son, didn’t I hear Maria tell you and your brother to get out of here?”
“But Murdoch, Mierda Santa! (Holy Shit!)…” he sputtered; pointing around the room, Murdoch quickly grabbed the outstretched limb.
“Yes, John, I am well aware of what’s going on in this room. Scott, take your brother’s other arm, let’s get out of here before we make Maria mad at us all.”
“Yes Sir,” said Scott as he took the other side and they prodded Johnny out of the kitchen. “Here we are,” he said as they deposited him in his usual position at the formal dining table. Johnny sat down with a loud thud along with a dejected, hound-dog look upon his face.
Johnny placed his elbows on the table, holding his head in his hands, frowning, “What’s goin’ on ol’ man?”
One of Murdoch’s eyebrow rose as he scowled at Johnny, “Son, I do not care for that tone, or impolite behavior. Young man if you expect to be included in today’s festivities change that tone with me…less I have Maria toss everything to the hogs and use that spoon she was flaying about in there.”
Johnny sat up straighter, removed his elbows from the table and nodded towards his father, “Dios! Lo siento, pa. I mean ta wake somebody up with all those smells and not give ‘em anything…boy that just ain’t fair!”
Then it dawned on Johnny what his father had just said, “Festivities? Just what festivities are ya talkin’ about, ool..pa?”
“Who said you weren’t going to have anything?” chuckled Murdoch as Maria walked in with a platter.
“I just wanted to see how long you could wait until you pouted like the two-year-old little scalawag I remember when you didn’t get your way. Just like old times, eh Johnny my boy! Under one minute! Ahhh, here’s Maria now to start the festivities!”
“Juanito, sólo para usted y Senor Scott, tortitas de chocolate, cubrió de la salsa de frambuesa de chocolate. ¡Disfrute!” (Johnny, just for you and Mr. Scott, chocolate pancakes, covered with chocolate raspberry sauce. Enjoy!)
“Juanito posterior, si su estómago puede sostener más usted puede tener algún pastel de chile de chocolate, chocolate chimichangas, galletas de mantequilla de chocolate, budín de chocolate, el chocolate bañó macarrones, chocolate eluden niñas exploradoras, molletes de chocolate, pepitas de chocolate, paraíso de chocolate, pastel de libra de chocolate, galletas de cordón de praliné de chocolate, trufa de chocolate, pastel de ron de chocolate, pastel de pecado de chocolate, pan de calabacín de chocolate y chocolate tamal,” smiled the matronly woman who adored spoiling her Juanito.
(Later Juanito, if your stomach can hold more you may have some chocolate chili cake, chocolate chimichangas, chocolate butter cookies, chocolate pudding, chocolate dipped macaroons, chocolate fudge brownies, chocolate muffins, chocolate nuggets, chocolate paradise, chocolate pound cake, chocolate praline lace cookies, chocolate truffle, chocolate rum cake, chocolate sin cake, chocolate zucchini bread and chocolate tamale.)
Johnny smiled sheepishly at Maria, “Gracias, mamacita, siguen adelante y hacen mi día y tiempo que usted quiere. ¡Muy bueno!” (Thank you, mamacita, go ahead and make my day any time you want. Very good!)
“Maria, debería nosotros decir a Johnny y Scott por qué tomamos a sus maravillosas golosinas hoy” “Maria should we tell Johnny and Scott why we are partaking of your wonderful goodies today?” asked Murdoch as he helped himself to another chocolate muffin, spreading some fresh raspberry sauce on it.
“Oh, si, Senor Murdoch, si,” agreed the smiling woman as she gave Johnny a quick smile and pinched his cheek. “Este será pronto el día favorito de Juanito del año!” (“This will soon be Juanito’s favorite day of the year.”
“Boys, when I was in San Francisco for the Cattlemen’s Association meeting, we made a stop at a bakery. The owner was talking about this new holiday called National Chocolate Day, which just happens to be today. And I immediately thought about you, my boy and how this would be the perfect opportunity to eat all your favorite chocolates in ample portions! Maria went a little overboard with her baking, knowing how much you loved your chocolate. Now just don’t get a stomach ache,” laughed Murdoch as he popped a chocolate tamal into his mouth.
“National Chocolate Day?” asked Johnny, slowly chewing his pancakes with a thoughtful look upon his face. “Only one day out of the year?”
Patti H. – July 6, 2009
In honor of “National Chocolate Day” which is always on July 7th. Who knew Johnny Madrid Lancer had enough pull to have a day in honor of his “favorite” treat! Posting on the eve before in the U.S. for our friends already enjoying another unique holiday!
Chocolate is America’s favorite flavor. It’s the flavor of choice in candies, ice cream, cakes, breakfast cereal, toppings, and a whole host of desserts. Unequaled in popularity, it certainly deserves a day in its honor.
Origin of Chocolate Day: Research on this day did not uncover a specific date when this holiday began, nor, specifically who created it. But, without a doubt, you and I can guess who created this day…… the chocolate confectioners or perhaps Johnny Madrid Lancer!
Did you know? Chocolate is a vegetable. It comes from the Cacao tree found in rainforests.
My Advice: I don’t need to tell you what to do to celebrate this day, do I? Eat Chocolate! Be like Johnny and go ahead, make your day have a chocolate bar or two!
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