Perfect Family Tales And Other Trivia

The art of the short-story writer is that of the cartoonist. It is the magical craft of creating entire worlds with a few simple strokes of a pen. Tales told by an idiot? Maybe! But my tales are also a mix of reality and fantasy; truth and lies; some based on my own family; others, not. Readers must guess which characters are real; who are inventions - and who are an amalgam of both. Please draw the boundaries for yourself.

Friday, 15 June 2012

‘Jubilee Cake’

Denise pushed herself off the sofa to switch channels. The TV remote was long past repair but her husband would not replace it.

“Kenny, if you don’t mind, I’ll watch the BBC for a while. Alastair Bruce is too posh for me.”

“No, it’s not O.K. Sky News is a far better service. Anyway, I like Bruce. He’s giving the Jubilee some ‘gravitas’. And while you’re up, you’d better put the kettle on.”

Jubilee.CakeDenise Fletcher had spent a fortnight preparing a splendid Royal Jubilee afternoon tea with a five-tiered iced cake as its triumphal centre-piece.

But her husband had derided her  plan for everyone to eat as they watched the Royal Family on their river cruise.

“Now it’s too late,” she crooned to herself in the kitchen. “Even with my children and baby grandson around me, I’m not to be queen of my  household. Not once on a diamond day.”

So as their single daughter, Nancy raced into the house to yell that Jack and family were pulling up outside,  she heard a thud and then a crash. Her father was glued to the seat of his greasy old wing-chair, slap-bang in-front of the television. And Mum?

Denise was  on the kitchen floor,  floating in a wreck of   cake crumbs, broken china and tears.

“I’ve had enough,”  she announced  most regally. “I’ll stay with you to-night, Nancy – and your Dad can tidy up himself.”

Natalie Wood

(Copyright, Natalie Irene Wood – 15 June 2012)

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