Thursday, April 26, 2012

Crab Feast

The waiter emerged from the kitchen’s swinging double doors with a platter of crabs held high above his head. He weaved through the tables and came to a stop in front of the Arnsworth family. Mr. Arnsworth  sat up taller in his chair and adjusted the waistband of his pants. He grabbed a roll from the basket on the table and cleared his throat. He was ready to eat.
Mrs. Arnsworth smoothed the linen napkin in her lap. She folded her hands in her lap and smiled at the waiter as he presented their seafood feast. She mentally calculated the astronomical amount of calories contained in the small bowls of melted butter. She shouldn’t indulge, but she did love butter. She licked her lips and breathed in the aroma of seafood and salt air. This was her vacation! A little butter wouldn’t kill her.
Robby sat still in his seat, staring at the mound of red shells. Just that afternoon he’d played with hermit crabs scuttling across the sand. His mother didn’t even know that he’d kept one of the crabs in a bucket. He was going to take it home and keep it as a pet.
The waiter set the tray down with a flourish. He straightened up and smiled brightly at the Arnsworth family. “Who’d like a bib?” he asked. No one took him up on his offer. Instead, they wished him away and turned their attention back to the delectable bounty before them. All but Robby, who frowned as his family began transferring crabs to their plates. His plate remained empty as his family began passing the butter. It came to him, but he kept his arms at his side.
“I want grilled cheese.”

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