I Hope I Can Make You Laugh
The first thing Flint noticed was he felt warm.
The warmth wasn’t coming from a Company approved space heater or a thermal blanket. It was kind of, all over and gentle, like a hug.
The second thing he noticed was whatever he was lying on felt soft and cool and there was a breeze bringing a soft, pleasant smell. It made him feel relaxed and peaceful, like his last HartLife approved furlough where he and Roman spent the whole time on the couch cuddling and kissing.
The third thing he noticed was something was tickling his nose.
Flint opened his eyes and saw Roman flicking a strange yellow thing at him.
His husband smiled and leaned back, revealing a gap where a suspect once knocked out a tooth. “Up and at ‘em, Tiger.”
“Mmmm. Hey, Teddy Bear.” Flint struggled his way into a sitting position and looked at his partner. “Whatcha doin’?”
Roman held something in his meaty hand. It was a long algae colored stem with a colorful yellow ruffle on top. “You see this, Flint? This is called a ‘flower’. They grow in dirt and they’re pretty and smell nice. You see that bright thing?” He pointed to a round golden disc above their heads. “That is called the Sun. It helps things grow.”
Flint looked around them. There was a huge expanse of the yellow “flowers” all around them. The slight breeze made them sway gently. It was the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen in his life besides Roman.
Roman nudged him. “Look at this.”
“This” turned out to be a long chain of flowers trailing over Flint’s legs. It made the smaller man smile. “Well, aren’t you artistic?”
Roman shrugged modestly but Flint noticed his cheeks were just a touch pink. Flint wished more people could see the sensitive person beneath his husband’s huge bulk but just him and sweet little Cassie Wilkins ever did. Eh, their loss.
Flint flopped back on the ground and looked up at the blue vastness over his head. “Are we dead, Roman?”
His partner in all things paused, then twisted another flower on the chain he was making. “I think so, Flint.”
“Hmmm.” Flint closed his eyes and enjoyed the comfort of knowing the person he cared about most was beside him. “The last thing I remember was the ants.”
They were quiet for a long moment and then the smaller of the two said, “I wonder where we are?”
Roman dropped the flower chain and lay back next to his husband, drawing him close. “It’s nice here and we’re together. That’s what matters.”
Flint smiled. “I love you, Conrad Roman.”
“Aw, Nigel Flint,” Roman gently kissed his husband. “Me too.”
The happy pair weren’t aware they had a watcher. Their observer didn’t wish to disturb them and he was sure they would appreciate his courtesy. They had all of eternity to become friends after all.
The man sighed wistfully. “Them fellas sure look happy, don’t they, Betsy?” he addressed the sparkling clean shovel on his back. He wondered how Allison and Dora were doing and smiled to himself. They were feisty gals and he was sure they were just dandy. Meanwhile, he had a job to do.
“Now how about you and me go see how that little Miss Wilkins is doin’?” Neal Henderson stretched, spread his wings, and took to the air in search of his new friend.