Before she died Barb, Freddy Fits mother made her husband promise to carry on the tradition of cooking Freddy’s favorite meal on his birthday. It was a simple meal, spaghetti bolognese which she knew Baz was more than capable of cooking. Well she hoped he was. She also made a promise to Baz that if his bolognese sauce wasn’t up to scratch she would let him know, regardless of where she was in the universe.
Mrs Fit, who had been secretly looking forward to a birthday celebration without pasta and a bloated stomach afterward suggested they eat out instead. But both Freddy and Baz were aghast at the idea so once again she found herself, with Freddy and the children, squashed around Baz’s small kitchen table.
Pouring herself a generous glass of red Mrs Fit had to admit that Baz had, surprisingly, outdone himself. The bolognese sauce smelt delicious and the table looked very festive with its red and white cloth and matching plates, even if they were plastic. Plus Baz was being very attentive and made sure her wine glass was always full, just the way she liked it.
Baz was amazed with himself too. He wasn’t really into cooking and much preferred to eat down at the RSL. Although Gladys from next door kept inviting him to her house for dinner which was becoming increasingly annoying.
She made him rather nervous, especially that night when she spilt wine all down her front and started disrobing in front of him. So he was delighted to find he could actually cook and that it wasn’t as difficult as he had thought.
“Delicious Baz,” Mrs Fit said slurping her pasta, splashing sauce everywhere. “Just like Barb used to make.”
Baz beamed and took a bite. Crunch went his teeth. Puzzled Baz took another bite. Crunch went his teeth again. Then he almost choked on the bay leaf as it scratched it’s way down his throat.
Freddy had a peculiar look on this face too. As did the kids but it must have tasted okay because Mrs Fit, who would have been the first to complain, had already eaten half her bowl.
“Dad,” Freddy said eyeing a piece of meat suspiciously. “These white bits look like tiny bones.”
Baz took a closer inspection of the meat on his fork. Freddy was quite correct, there were bones in the meat. How strange.
“This actually looks like the meat I feed the dogs,” Freddy said thoughtfully. “Where did you get it from?”
“From the bottom of the freezer,” Baz replied nervously.
“Oh how funny,” Mrs Fit giggled. “I bet it’s left over dog food from when you minded Angel and Albert,” she snorted loudly as she laughed. “How hilarious! Best birthday dinner ever, dog food pasta” she screamed laughing. “Oh look, I have a tiny bone stuck in between my teeth,” but before she could show everyone there was a knock at the door. It was Gladys from next door.
“Don’t mind me,” she said simpering at Baz. Her overflowing, barley covered bosom jiggled suggestively at him “I saw the light on and thought you might like one of my homemade sponge cakes for desert?” The cake looked delicious, just like the one Baz had been eyeing off in the bakery earlier that day.
“Oh how lovely Gladys,” Mrs Fit said jumping up and taking the cake from her. “We’ve nearly finished our dog food so you just pop yourself next to Baz. No, not on top of him you funny thing but in the empty seat beside him.”
“Before we cut the cake,” Baz said hoarsely as he removed Gladys’ hand from his knee. “Could we please make a toast to Freddy and our beloved Barb.”
Freddy, who had been about to cut a slice of the delicious cake left the knife balancing in the thick icing.
“Wishing you a very happy birthday Freddy and sending all our love to Barb, wherever she may be,” Baz toasted glumly.
Suddenly, as they raised their glasses, the air grew chilly and they watched in shock as the knife slid perfectly down through the cake, just as though someone was forcing it do so. Baz knew exactly who was cutting the cake and she wasn’t happy, no not happy at all.