Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Drabble Wednesday: The Family

Today’s Drabble Wednesday brings another short fiction series, something I call The Family…

And any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. And if these characters resemble your family you have my sympathies.

Cry Havoc

Grandpa always asked the same question before he got into an argument with Grandma. He rolled out the words, “Should my havoc fly?” And that was the signal for the havoc to fly, but it was Grandma’s havoc, while Grandpa generally ended up apologising or sleeping in the doghouse with Goofy, their St. Bernard.
That’s why I made it a point to avoid any “havoc” in my personal relationships, lest I inherited Grandpa’s technique instead of Grandma’s. Until Bob. That man just asked for the havoc, so I gave it to him. With both barrels.
I hope he likes it out in the doghouse.

A Different Thanksgiving Tradition

We can't find Grandpa's teeth.
They went missing during Thanksgiving dinner, after we served the pumpkin pie.  Poor Grandpa, he should have known better than to get between Uncle Jim and Cousin Sam when they started fighting over that last piece of pie.
Before you could spit, the annual Thanksgiving free-for-all began and Grandpa was on the bottom of the pile.  When everyone came up for air, the teeth were missing.  We searched, but couldn't find a trace of his wooden choppers. 
I just hope the dog hasn't run off and buried them again.

Aunt Agatha’s Gift

I fling the offending package, silently cursing the postal system that brought me this abomination. My eyes still smart from the gaudy assault of crimson, gold and burnt orange hues that jumped out when I opened the box from its prison of paper.
Why must Aunt Agatha torment me so? Doesn't she understand I want no part of her crazy pastime?
But there it is, another hideous result sprawled over my floor, waiting to be stuffed in the closet with the others. I sigh and pick up the hand-knitted wool sweater.
Oh, no, there’s grinning kittens on the front.

Start the Game

A man in a stained trench coat delivered the strange message.
“You must find the Pork Pie.”
Then he handed me the clue and left me standing there, unhappy. I hoped I would never be pulled into Grandma’s crazy game, yet, here I was holding the bag, so to speak.
I open the clue.  It read: Find the Pork Pie where guests go to rest. To discover the name find Serenity’s creator. Seek the cold storage.
I sighed. “Grandma you got to get a better hobby.”
I pulled out my cell phone and called Jeremy; I would need some help.

Jeremy Wears a Hat

He arrived my doorstep wearing a pork pie hat. Sometimes my new boyfriend is an idiot.
“Jeremy, I’m not looking for a hat, take that silly thing off.”
“What? I’m just getting into the theme.” But he took off the hat.
“I figured out most of this silly clue.” I showed him the paper. “Guests go to rest at a hotel and I think the name thing is part of Granny’s sci-fi obsession. Cold storage we’ll figure out later.”  I pulled him back out the door. “It’s a ten minute drive, come on.”
“Where are we going?”
“The Whedon Hotel.”

The Whedon Hotel

“Let's throw her in the pond and see if she sinks.”
Before I could protest, two drunken fools tossed me into the ornamental pond. Well, I didn’t sink (mostly because I can swim), but I got wet, and those nuts each got a black eye. I sloshed back to the hotel and bummed a towel off a maid. While I was drying my hair Jeremy rushed over, excited.
“I found it, I found it! Hey, what happened to you?”
“Never mind. You found what?”
“The Holy Grail, of course!”
“What the Pork Pie? It’s here?”
“Yep. Seen it with my own eyes.”
“What are we waiting for, show me.”

The Picnic

There were enough pickles for everyone.
And potato salad, coleslaw, macaroni salad, grilled hot dogs, lemonade and strawberry shortcake waiting on the side table, and enough bread rolls to choke a horse. What a spread! Maybe the trouble my crazy Grandma put me through for this family picnic would be worth it. The last thing we put on the table was the main attraction, the two oversized pork pies Grandma stashed in the freezer at the Whedon Hotel.
“Let them in Jeremy, it’s ready.”
He threw open the doors and the annual family reunion started with a whoop from Grandma.

Beware of Old Sayings

Grandpa’s a wise man, ripe with the benefits of experience. Many times he’s said:  ‘Beware the armadillos of March’, ‘Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day’, ‘Teach him how to fish and he'll drown in the lake’, ‘Better to light a candle than to curse the priest’, and ‘Never send a Chihuahua to do a man's job’.
That may seem strange, but considering how Cousin Bud got trampled, that Uncle Winston died his first time fishing and that church incident, it makes sense to the family. Plus, the less said about Aunt Agatha’s Chihuahua the better.

Mom Knows Best

Mother always warned me.
So did Uncle Dan, Aunt Agatha and Grandpa.  But I kept wondering, every year.
I mused about it through the April rain, drinking Aunt Agatha’s special Sangria at the family barbeque, swimming at the lake.
I tried to put it out of my mind, but it lurked there, creeping back with the first touch of frost, with the initial snowflake falling down to touch my nose. Then, this December, there was “the cinnamon incident”.  It called to me and I had to lick it.
And Mother was right, your tongue will stick to icicles in winter.


Mark A Morris said...

These family snapshots are remarkable. You've a huge talent and such an enviably deft hand with a limited word count!

A. F. Stewart said...

Thanks. I love writing drabbles.

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