Naomi's Bread

Villa of Secrets


Naomi cooked a rabbit casserole and baked a crusty loaf. The cottage filled with the aroma of fresh bread and of the cinnamon, orange, and savoury herbs in the stew. She took a substantial bowl of it and a chunk off the warm brown loaf across the road.

The priest’s eyes lit up. ‘My absolute favourite meal. Thank you, Naomi.’

Bubba, who made a slight improvement each day, also enjoyed the food. Propped by a few

cushions, the old lady sat at the table for the first time since her stroke. She managed to feed herself, flashing her crooked smile at Naomi.

‘This is delicious, child.’

‘It should be. I used your recipe.’ Naomi nodded at the bookshelf over the sink.

Naomi had just finished eating when a knock sounded on the door and Marina stuck her head in. ‘Hi. I’ve brought your dishes back, Naomi,’ she said. ‘Grandpa really enjoyed the food. He said you cook every bit as well as Bubba.’

The old lady grinned and dribbled stew down her chin.

Marina was clearly embarrassed, not having seen Bubba since the stroke.

Naomi mopped her grandmother’s face.

‘You look nice,’ Bubba slurred, taking in Marina’s skimpy black shorts and red crop-top. ‘But you forgot to put your dress on.’

‘Bubba!’ Naomi exclaimed. ‘She looks absolutely lovely. That’s what young people wear to party these days,’ she said. She turned to the priest’s granddaughter. ‘Take no notice. You’re as perfect as a top model. Where are you off to?’

Marina grinned and wiggled her hips. ‘Jason and I are going to DJ at an 80’s disco in town.’

‘An 80’s disco sounds like fun,’ Bubba said. ‘I wouldn’t mind attending that myself. You’d never catch me dancing in my underwear though.’

Naomi had a quick flash of Bubba cavorting in her big pants, knee-highs, and cross-your-heart bra, and she giggled.

Marina’s eyes widened and she took a step towards the door.

Bubba continued. ‘Do many eighty-year-olds go to these discos then? Are there any men there? Would you two give me a lift?’

Marina, clearly horrified, glanced at Naomi. ‘Ah, sorry! It’s booked up, Bubba. Oh, listen, Grandpa’s calling.’ She spun around and flew out of the cottage.

Greek Rabbit Stew