William's Beans and Ham
Written by Robin Pixie Pass
Catherine wasn't feeling very well. Vincent had invited her for a special roast beef dinner below in the tunnels, but the meal turned out to be William's beans and ham. William had changed his mind about the roast beef at the last minute. Catherine and everyone else, with the exception of Vincent and William had eaten William's offering with relish. She had to admit that these were the best beans and ham she had ever eaten. William also served hot corn bread drenched with butter and his famous raspberry iced tea.
Now two hours later she was experiencing a stomach ache. Urgh, This was so embarrassing. Vincent was reading Jane Eyre to her and she hadn't heard a word he had spoken for the last half hour.
* * * *
'Catherine, I'll be right back,' Vincent said.
As soon as he left the room she collapsed on his bed moaning and groaning. Good golly miss Molly, she didn't have a clue how William prepared his beans and ham, but this was the worst case of gas she could ever remember enduring. 'Just let me die without pain,' she thought.
Vincent knew Catherine was suffering from the vapors and also what he was experiencing through the bond was extremely painful. He never ate William's bean and ham because they never seem to agree with him.
Quietly raiding William's larder, he found the baking soda he was searching for. Pouring a teaspoon of baking soda into two glasses and filling them water, he hastily made his way back to his chamber.
* * * *
'Drink this Catherine it should ease your pain,' Vincent offered.
Catherine sat up on his bed and gaped at him.
'Don't tell me you can feel this through the bond?' she asked.
'Yes, I feel everything you feel Catherine, always;' he acknowledged.
'Well it seems to me, I should be able to have some form of privacy, and how bad is the pain for you Vincent?' she inquired.
'I feel your pain Catherine, however; I can block some of it. I should have kept you from eating the beans Catherine; William usually remembers to add the baking soda and no one usually suffers any side effects. He must have forgotten the baking soda this time. It won't be long and the entire tunnel community will be visiting Father's chamber. I'm going to leave you for a few minutes Catherine. I've also prepared a remedy for Father as well and I think I better get it to him immediately.
'Yuk, this tastes nasty Vincent,' she complained.
'Yes I know, but it will ease your discomfort, he replied. ' I'll return soon,' he promised.
* * * *
'Vincent, I believe I'm going to kill William. I've been suffering for a half hour. I'm out of anti-acid tablets and I know everyone will be converging on me anytime.' Father grumbled.
'I brought you a home remedy Father.' Vincent replied.
'Baking soda, excellent Vincent; I may make a doctor of you after all.' 'How's Catherine feeling,' Father asked.
'Her vapors are extremely painful and she's being very brave, but I can feel her pain, humiliation and embarrassment. I know if the situation was reversed, I would be embarrassed as well.' Vincent replied.
* * * *
'Oh no, oh no Mouse cried, this hurts bad. Real bad. Father Mouse is in bad pain. okay ouch, okay bad,' Just then Mouse farted.
'Mouse, have you no decency.' Father reprimanded.
'Oops, didn't mean too,' Mouse defended.
Seconds later Father himself expelled an elastic fluid of hot air that had Vincent and Mouse cringing. The pungent smell was so over whelming that Vincent's sensitive eyes started tearing. Minutes later, Mary and all the children had congregated in Father's chamber. His entire room was starting to smell quite offensive and Father made haste to remove everyone from his private chamber.
'If the smell gets any worse,' he thought; he'd be sleeping in the guest chamber.
'Everyone to the kitchen immediately,' Father demanded. 'I'm out of anti-acid tablets.'
The children and the adults all groaned in pain.
'Let me assure you, I have everything under control.' Father reassured them.
Once again Father expelled another loud elastic fluid of hot stinky air.
Everyone stopped to stare at his or her patriarch to witness his reaction.
'Well almost everything,' Father replied.
Children, being children broke into peals of laughter. Their dignified Father didn't seem to have any control at all.
* * * *
Upon arriving in William's kitchen, Father asked Vincent to administer a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to everyone.
'This should do the trick, Father thought.
Vincent stopped to listen closely on the pipes.
'What is it Vincent,' Father asked.
'Pascal and the sentry's are suffering the same malady. They're leaving their post to come ease their suffering,' Vincent answered.
'Send them a message Vincent to come to the kitchen.' Father requested.
* * * *
'I believe everyone has been treated Father, I'd like to check on Catherine,' Vincent decided.
'Well be lucky if Catherine ever decides to join us for a meal again. I would have serious second thoughts myself, If I were her. Run along Vincent and check on Catherine.' Father replied.
* * * *
Entering his chamber, Vincent wasn't surprised to see his beloved Catherine asleep on his bed. He knew her pain had eased some time ago. Sitting quietly in his chair, he observed her in her peaceful rest. She was so beautiful and innocent. Her closed light brown eyelashes kissed her face and her hair was laying spread upon his pillow. Clutched in her arms was the very same pillow he held close to him every night in his sleep. His heart expanded with love for her and he wanted so much to hold her close to him in his bed. So lost in thought, he didn't notice right away the gray green eyes starring back at him in loving admiration.
It's getting late Catherine,' Vincent regretfully replied.
For a few minutes she didn't say anything, however; Vincent could sense her question.
Leaning slightly towards her he whispered,' Tell me.
Hesitating she told him, 'I wish to stay with you tonight Vincent, here in your bed and in your arms.'
'This too is what I wish for Catherine,' he replied.
* * * *
After removing his sock, shoes, belt buckle and vest he crawled in beside Catherine and gathered her in his arms. Resting his head above hers, he breathed in the sweet floral scent that always surrounded her. Spooned together they fell into a peaceful and restful sleep.
* * * *
Waking up together was new to Catherine and Vincent. Vincent had awakened a few minutes before Catherine. Unnoticed, he absorbed her quite natural beauty.
'Good morning my love he whispered.'
Facing him and smiling Catherine opened her eyes to a dream she thought, would never come true. Waking up next to Vincent in his bed. She had dreamed of this so many times that she had lost count.
* * * *
'I'm starving, what do you think William is serving for breakfast?' she asked.
'He could be serving leftover beans and ham,' Vincent teased. Shall we find out?' he offered.
After dressing they set out for the dining hall. William had out done himself. He served crispy bacon, poached eggs, country fried steak, hash browns, biscuits and gravy, along with blueberry bran muffins, fresh peaches and yogurt for the health conscious. Everyone had filled their plates and was waiting for Father to give thanks.
* * * *
Each and all was enjoying their bounty when William appeared with and additional bowl he offered of leftover beans and ham.
'These beans smelled so good last night and I was feeling a little left out, so I decided to have some for breakfast this morning. I've already eaten mine, and I thought someone else would like to eat the rest.' William generously offered.
William's announcement left everyone speechless, seconds later everyone joined in gales of laughter, each exchanging glances with the other.
'No thank you William,' Father laughingly replied, 'and you be sure to come see me if you have any medical needs later,' he offered.