AMONG THE DUCKLINGS
© 2010 By Marsh Brooks
To Margie, for everything
“Charles, party of nine. Charles, party of nine,” kept repeating the young hostess, as she surveyed the crowd standing outside the Brazilian restaurant, as if she knew who Charles was. She wore a blue blouse over a long black skirt. The name tag on her blouse read “Cathy”, and on the top left of the blouse, embroidered, were small figures of women in bikinis with feathered masks dancing in a carnival.
“I think it's us,” a woman said, pointing to a large flat beeper with blue flashing lights that one of the men in her group was holding. She was the only woman in the group, and the only one standing while the men were sitting on the bench in front of the restaurant. A few minutes earlier, they had offered her a seat next to them, but she had declined. She preferred to stand.