Scarlet and Ellis' Picnic



Ellis takes his pregnant wife to their favorite park in Oregon.

She asks, “A picnic?”

I give her a nod, “Absolutely, we haven’t been on one in ages, just the two of us.”

Scarlet responds with, “Well if you haven’t noticed I’ve been a bit busy being pregnant and whatnot.  Not to mention I’ve been trying not to worry about the business.”

I give her a smile, “It’s a bakery.  The people under you know what to do.  Your only worry should be, that everyone gets high and goes to your bakery and somehow you guys magically run out of sweets.”

“I can’t not think about MY business Ellis, I’ve spent a lot of my time trying to make it what it is.”

“I’m not trying to take that from you my love, I’m just saying that perhaps you should enjoy this time before you give birth.”

She puffs her cheeks and side-eyes me, “Fine.  But I’m not making anything!”

“That’s fine, just put on some comfy clothes, I’ll get everything ready.”


I’ve got our lunch packed up, and a few other things in the car.  Scarlet wobbles over and we drive off.  She takes over the radio and puts on some of her music while I drive to our favorite park.  Where we’re going is just a little east of our home.  It’s got a beautiful view of Mt. Hood close to Lost Lake.  During the winters, Scarlet loves driving by just to see the snow and frozen water.  The white view puts a huge smile on her face.  It’s always funny watching her revert back to a child during those trips.  

Luckily, we’re in spring, and the snow has melted, so has the ice.  So we get to the park and I grab all of our things.  Scarlet insists to help me, but I shoo her away.  She knows where our favorite spot is, so I tell her to go on ahead.  That fresh breath of air always gives me a warm feeling.  I follow after my pregnant wife with a grin.  She reaches our spot and leans against a large red-tree that’s been standing there for years.  I hustle over and place all the things down gently.  First our thick picnic blanket that we always use, then the pillows—a few extra ones for Scarlet this time around.  

She slides off her flats and tries to position the pillows how she likes.  However her belly won’t allow her to do much of anything.  Scarlet sighs, “I just want to be comfy!”

“Stop being so tough, let me help you.”

I grab both of her hands as she gently descends onto her butt.  I then grab all the pillows and toss them to her.  Scarlet begins building herself a pillow fort whilst I set down the cooler.  Then I lay down next to her.  The breeze picks up just as Scarlet puts on some music from her phone.  Warren Zevon’s voice fills the silent void.  “Mohammed’s Radio,” plays gently.  Scarlet sings along quietly.  The breeze dies down slowly and the clouds move to cover the sun.  The glistening waters dims down and Mt. Hood stands quietly in the east.  Another beautiful day in Oregon, huh?  With my arms behind my head, I close my eyes gently and smile.  

Midway through the song Scarlet asks, “Would you like a pillow?”

With a shrug, “Nah, I’m good.  Are you good?”

“No.  I’m hungry.”

I can’t help but laugh.  “Hungry?  Well you know where the food is!”

“Me?  I can’t do anything, remember?  I’m pregnant.”

She makes that obnoxious sound people make when they stick out their tongue.  So I sit up and reach for the cooler.  I grab a bottle of apple juice and half of a sandwich and hand it to Scarlet.  She looks at the food items suspiciously.  I watch as she takes a skeptical bite of her sandwich.  She swallows then asks, “What’s in the sandwich?”

“You don’t like it?”

She shakes her head, “No, it’s not that.”

As I’m reaching for a bottle of apple juice for myself I ask, “Then?”

“It’s deceptively good.”

“Thanks babe, glad you like my culinary skills.”

She takes another bite and says with her mouth full, “Hey!  You’re the writer, I’m the chef, we don’t switch jobs often!”

I watch as a piece of chewed bolus flies out of her mouth.  Scarlet follows it with her gaze as it lands on the grass away from us.  Our eyes meet soon after.  She pouts and bows her head.  I can’t help but chuckle.  Mat Kerekes’ “The Clubs/The People’s Attention,” begins playing off of Scarlet’s phone.  His voice echoes out around us much like how the song is produced.  The steady two note strumming following the kick drum gives the song a sort of strange heartbeat to it.  Mat’s vocals give it soul.  

Scarlet finishes up her sandwich and gulps down her drink, I take a sip of mine and place the bottle back in the cooler.  Then I lean towards Scarlet and ask, “Hey babe, is it okay if I rest my head on your thigh?”


I shuffle over and rest my head on her right thigh.  Scarlet begins playing with my hair gently as the song comes to an end.  The Front Bottom’s “Flashlight,” plays next.  Scarlet says casually, “We have to pick a name for our child.”

Her eyes are focused on me, they remind of the sky on an overcast day.  The blue trying so hard to not be hidden in the gray of rain clouds.  “What do you think we should name our child if it’s a boy?”

I lull it over in my head and say, “Well if we have a son, we gotta name him after me.”

Scarlet scoffs, “We gotta?”

I shrug, “Yeah, we gotta.”

“Fine, if it’s a boy we can name him Ellis Jacques Morales.”

I give her a grin, “And if it’s a girl?”

With a smile, “Ophelia.”

I say, “You need to stop reading Shakespeare.” 

Scarlet makes a face, “You’re a writer and you don’t read Shakespeare.”  

“Fuck him, he’s overrated and sounds better in American english.”

She chuckles and blows me a kiss.  I blow one back.  From her phone I can hear, “When I am sad, oh God, I’m sad, but when I’m happy, I am happy.”  Well God, right now I’m happy.  I’m so fucking happy.

I smile at my wife and say, “Ophelia is a great name, what about a middle name?”

“Ophelia Belle Morales.”

With a nod, “I like that.”

“When I am sad, oh God, I'm sad, but when I'm happy, I am happy.”


I jerk my head and realize I must’ve fallen asleep at some point.  Scarlet’s still playing with my hair, “Good morning sleepy bear.”

I sit up and say, “I didn’t even realize I fell asleep.”

“That’s okay.”

I notice there’s drool on the corner of my mouth and wipe it off on my wrist.  Scarlet has a big smile on her face.  I ask, “Was I snoring loudly again?  I’m sorry.”

She shakes her head, “No, nothing like that.  It’s just, you kept whispering you were happy.”

She reaches for my hand and holds it close, “I’m just glad that you’re happy.”

The sun is setting behind her, and all I can see is her beautiful face despite the blinding light.  I lean in and give her a kiss on the lips and say, “I love you Scarlet Magnolia.”

She kisses back, “I know Ellis.”

I get to my feet and help Scarlet to hers.  While she slides on her flats I start picking everything up and moving it back to our car.  Scarlet wobbles inside just as I close the trunk.  I get in the driver’s seat, hold down the clutch and turn on my car.  I lower all of the windows and open the sunroof.  Scarlet turns on the A/C and it hits us in the chest with a gust of hot air.  She then works the radio and connects her phone.  Live’s “The Beauty of Gray,” begins playing.  I put the car in reverse and drive off.  Midway through the song Scarlet asks, “Hey, can we stop at a Seven-Eleven?”

“Sure?  What are you craving stuff?”

She says, “Yeah, but I also gotta pee.  Our child is squishing my bladder.”

“Alright, we’ll stop by Seven-Eleven.”

“Can we get slurpees?”

I look over at her, she’s got her adorably childish grin on her face.  “Fine.”

“And chips?  And other snacks?”

I laugh as my eyes go back to the road, “Why don’t we also stop by your bakery and get some cupcakes?”

“For what?  I can make them silly goose.”

Without looking at her I respond with, “You’re pregnant remember?  You shouldn’t be doing anything.”

Scarlet grins, “Now you’re starting to get it.”

The Story So Far’s “High Regard,” plays right after.

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