I love Mom’s Pizza.

“I’m home!” Dan announced as he opened the door. He sniffed the air lovingly. “Damn, is that what I think I smell?”
“Yup,” Spud said as he pulled the pan out of the oven. “Mom’s Pizza.”
“God damn, I can’t remember the last time I had that. Smells so awesome, just like back in the day.”
“Yeah,” Spud chuckled, “It took me a few years to get it down right, but now even Mom can’t tell the difference.” He placed the large sheet of pizza on the cutting board. He noticed as he started cutting that his brother sure had some nice kitchen tools, but they seemed very unused.
“Mmmmm, Mom’s Pizza,” Dan rocked back in his chair and sighed in anticipation, “So how is Mom? You’ve probably seen her more than I have lately.”
Spud laid the pizza on the table. “She and Dad are doing well, still in that same old house, but still managing to fill up the extra space with plenty of stuff.”
“We’re a family of packrats,” Dan smiled.
“Tell that to He-Man, still standing heroically atop Castle Greyskull in my old room.” Spud grinned back.
The pizza proved just as satisfying and filling as the old memories the two brothers discussed. The topic seemed to continue returning to one subject: Mom and Dad.
“Yeah, Mom and Dad offered to hold me up for a while right at the beginning…but I was too much of a hassle, really. Plus with the economy in the toilet I felt like I was being too much of a strain on ’em.”
Dan put down his pizza. “Still having trouble finding a job?”
“Yeah” Spud sighed, “you’d be surprised how tough it is to find a job with a felony on your record. But it’s okay for you, people still gotta hear the news.”
Dan caught himself glancing at his brother’s right foot at the mention of the word “felony.” Immediately uncomfortable, he tried to change the subject.
“Yeah, um, well…I could probably get you a job at the station, or something, and–”
“Hey,” Spud interrupted, “it’s OK. I got it from the whole family. You wanna see?”
Dan was at a loss for words. Spud smiled, swelling with a little bit of pride.
“I consider it a war wound now, really. I think it was pretty damn worth it. C’mon…you know you wanna see it…” he prodded in a wheedling tone.
“Okay fine, whatever.”
Spud giggled as he pulled off his right boot. “You know, you’re the last member of the family who’s seen this.”
“Well, I’m kinda busy, I don’t get the chance to get around the…family…often…”
Dan stood in shock as Spud lifted his right foot high above the dining room table. To be frank, it looked like someone had tried to cleave the foot in half with a rather dull cleaver. About halfway down the arch the foot simply stopped, ending in a patched up, but oddly uneven, blunt stub.
“Oh Jesus Christ,” Dan said in shock, “Mom never told me it was that bad…”
“Mom doesn’t always like to tell you exactly what’s going on, does she?”
“Yeah, she ain’t as tough as she seems,” Dan shook his head, “All I remember hearing was ‘Bill’s hurt, he’s in the hospital.’ She never told me it was something like…this…”
“Yeah, well, now you know why I have trouble even getting grunt work jobs. The guys in the offices at the factories or the janitorial lounges were always telling me that I should just give it a rest and go on disability, but these days disability is gonna get you nothing but disa-broke. The damn country’s almost broke, they can’t afford to pay a clubfooter like me enough to stayh alive…” Spud looked at his half-foot, “Still, I can’t say it wasn’t worth it.”
“Yeah, I heard about that,” Dan said, “what was that all about?”
“Well, Spud said, “it’s a long story. First, I’m gonna get another Coke, then I’ll tell ya.”
“Sounds good, kid brother. Oh…”
Spud turned around.
“The pizza was great.”
Spud smiled as he put his boot, fake foot-half and all, back on. The extra piece of plastic allowed for better balance while walking, and simulated the piece of his foot that has been gone for over three years. He laughed nervously.
“Ha ha. Thanks.”

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