The old man cranked the pepper once. The salt once. He raised his head. The old woman was busying herself in the kitchen. Paying no mind. He cranked the salt once more.
“Once is enough,” she said. The black coffee set in front of him.
“Tastes better with two.”
“You’ll be tasting nothing in the grave.”
Silence blanketed the time it took before the coffee was cool enough to drink. It was not unpleasant but welcome. It had been for many years. He consumed the eggs that had been his breakfast for just as many. She read the paper.
“Ollie Anderson passed.”
If they discussed anything it was triggered by a familiar name in the obituaries. Their stoic nature was a relief from the drama beyond the property lines of the farm. A drama that proved increasingly incapable of controlling itself. He neither anticipated nor feared any announcement of death. The farming lifestyle has moulded him from a seed. It was a necessary ‘Evil,’ he initially thought but changed his mind. ‘Cycle,’ he decided was the best word for it. ‘A necessary cycle.’ After all he didn’t consider the violent upheaval of vegetables he produced to be evil.