CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED AND NINETY-EIGHT
“Hey!” Valerie yelled. “Keep it down out there! Some people are trying to sleep.”
This caused Delphie to laugh. As if they’d heard the funniest joke, Delphie and Mike stood on the grass laughing.
Wearing only her dressing gown, Valerie appeared at the kitchen door. She ran across the deck and down the stairs.
“Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow,” Valerie said as her feet touched the frost hardened grass. Still laughing, Mike took a few steps and picked her up in his arms. He carried her back to Delphie.
“What are we doing?” Valerie asked.
“I was just asking Delphie that,” Mike said.
Valerie and Mike looked at Delphie. She grinned.
“I want to take out this stretch of grass,” Delphie said.
“I knew you would complain!” Delphie said. She raised her eyebrows. “I’ll just wait until Jake comes home.”
Mike shook his head at Delphie’s manipulation.
“Jake will do any thing for me,” Delphie said.
Mike gave her a firm look.
“Why exactly do you want to get rid of this lovely grass?” Mike asked. “Grass, I might add, that I’ve spent years busting my ass to grow and nurture. For you.”
“Oooh the big man and his grass,” Delphie said.
“Did you miss the ‘for you’ part?” Mike asked with mock indignation.
“Are you going to plant it here?” Valerie asked from her perch in Mike’s arms.
“I think so,” Delphie said to Valerie.
“No,” Mike said. “No. You cannot plant your pot plants here. No. I won’t take care of them. Jake will freak out. For heaven’s sake, the Castle is full of little kids! You elderly stoners are going to have to grow your plants somewhere else.”
Valerie and Delphie laughed.
“What?” Mike asked. “Why are you laughing?”
“She wants to plant a grain here,” Valerie said. “What’s it called?”
“Kernza,” Delphie said. “It creates deep roots. It’s perennial so we don’t have to replant every year. Captures carbon. Good for the climate and…”
“What does it taste like?” Mike asked.
“It’s great,” Valerie said at the same time that Delphie said, “It’s okay.”
“You have to mix Kernza flour with wheat flour,” Delphie said with a shrug. “I think it’s a good idea. And we have the space.”
“The kids like playing on the grass!” Mike said.
“We have plenty of grass,” Delphie gestured to the patches around the garden. “But the kids can’t play on them now because no one’s picked up after the dogs.”
“Jake!” Mike said. He raised a fist and shook it at the sky.
The women laughed. He gave Delphie a nod and turned in place. Still carrying Valerie, he walked across the yard. He’d just reached the door when Delphie yelled, “You’re going to help me, right?”
“Let’s wait for Jake,” Mike said, wrenching open the kitchen door. “I have something else to take care of this morning.”
Delphie grinned at them and began pacing off the space again. Valerie laughed. He carried her up the stairs and back to bed.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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