Meanwhile, at Ralphie’s…

Ralphie had known better than to rely on Max showing up on time, that just didn’t happen. Ever. It was about 10 minutes to kickoff and the gang was milling about in the living room, mostly, chatting, drinking, some standing, some sitting. Mumford & Son’s played quietly in the background from the stereo in the corner. Increasingly, folks were drifting towards the kitchen. The bar splitting the two spaces was covered with chips and dips, and those awesomely soft pretzels from the hawker down on the corner. There was food to eat, but he had promised the crowd Lucky’s amazing sandwiches, and while nobody was grumbling too loudly, yet, he knew it was only a matter of time. And time was running out.

“I’ve got to come up with something to stall them,” Ralphie said to himself, almost out loud.

“Everyone, hey, listen up!” Ralphie stood up on a chair, his hands up in the air. “I forgot to bust out the scoring bracket! A dollar a square, who’s in? Somebody come over here and help me with this whiteboard.’

As two of the fellas moved to help, there was a smattering of mutters from the living room.

“Hey man, Ralphie, you said there’d be Lucky’s man, I didn’t eat before I came over ’cause of that, what’s the deal?

“Where the Hell is Max? I thought you said he was right down the street?”

“When’s he gettin’ here with Lucky’s? Hope that chump didn’t stop to eat ’em on the way!”

Their friends laughed, if a bit uncomfortably. This was a big deal with this crew, and the idea of there being no sandwiches was not a pleasant thought.

“Uh, yeah, he said he was… I mean, I’m sure he’s right around… Max is totally almost here, I just got a text from him, yeah. He said, “b rt thr, half blk.”

With the white board set up and a trio of his pals busying themselves drawing up the grid for the scoring bracket, Ralphie went over and pulled the blinds aside from the huge window in the dining room. Had the sky been so grey and threatening earlier? A sudden, fixture rattling, rumble of thunder growled, seemingly from the very foundations of the building. Ralphie groaned, “Oh no…”

In a short, quick motion Ralphie yanked the shade up, revealing the entire floor to ceiling window.

The whole party had stopped in the tracks and turned as one to look out.

The sky erupted in a downpour.


This was written in response to the Weekly Writing Prompt over at Studio30+

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