Breakfast for the Sun God
(C) 2013 by George Berger
Cover art by Pixel Dizajn Studio
There are few experiences in life that can compare with watching, appropriately awestruck, the first tentative rays of dawn break dramatically over a seemingly endless expanse of pristine snow-covered prairie. On a clear morning, when the temperature is twenty degrees below freezing and there's not a cloud in the brilliant azure sky, the sight can easily inspire poetry, or song lyrics, or landscape photographs, or, if one allows themselves to get a bit too distracted by the wonder and the majesty of it all, a rather embarrassing single-car crash.
Brian, sadly, was in no mood to appreciate the subtle wonders of the sunrise that morning. He was nervous, even anxious, because he was on the way to visit, for the very first time, his girlfriend's family, and worried without end that Susan's parents would find some reason to not like, not approve of, him. He was tired as well, because the other fourteen rooms in the quaint and rustic bed-and-breakfast he'd spent the night at were booked by members of a rather boisterous swingers' club, and their drink-fueled antics, combined with the thin walls, had kept him awake most of the night. And, last but not least, he was very, very hungry, as he'd left early, not wanting to have to suffer through a meal with more than two-dozen giggling and libidinous binge drinkers.
He was also, as a result of these various circumstances, several hours ahead of schedule, which was a cause for still further concern. In order to make a good impression on Susan's parents-not just a good impression, he hoped, but a wonderful, a perfect impression- he wanted to arrive on time, right when expected. Oh, how encouraging, he hoped they'd say, how reliable, he's here exactly when he said he would. Being slightly late wouldn't be too bad; a city boy in the country, the morning after a fresh snowfall, could surely be excused some slight tardiness on the unplowed gravel roads. But being early, well, that'd be a disaster and a half. Oh, you made wonderful time, he imagined Susan's mother saying, a steely glint in her eye adding the clear but unspoken you useless and inconsiderate little wretch. Susan had even thought to warn him about this. “Call me,” she'd told him, “if you think you're going to be early, or late. Actually, call me before you get there, either way. There might be something going on in the morning, and it'd be embarrassing if you showed up when nobody was home.”