Mrs. Deity

Iced tea poured from the glass pitcher, raising the golden brown line in each glass painted with peaches below the rim. Mrs. Deity took a sip of her own. “So,” she said slowly, “y’all want my fried chicken recipe?”

“Yes, ma’am, Mrs. Deity,” the couple in front of her said in stereo.

“It’s the best fried chicken, ma’am,” the man added, turning his hat in his hands.

“It’s got that certain –” the woman gestured, searching for the word. “That fire flavor.”

Mrs. Deity tucked a strand of hair back into her bun. “Y’all came all this way to ask me for a recipe?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Do y’all know how much work stars take?!”

The woman stood abashed. The man stammered, “No, ma’am.”

Mrs. Deity shook her head and set her iced tea glass down. “Ms. Barbara,” she called.

Ms. Barbara poked her curly head into the office.

“Please give these folks a copy of the fried chicken recipe.”

“Yes, Mrs. Deity.”