Flash Fiction Fridays: Comedy Month Continues
It has been a rough week with the issues in Wisconsin, more craziness in Washington, D.C., and now the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. My heart goes out to the Japanese people. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Here to provide a little comic relief is Friend of the Blog Karen Cantwell. Hope this starts your weekend off well.
By Karen Cantwell
Eight year-old Katelyn shoved peas around her plate with a fork. Her stomach churned while she pondered how to approach the subject that weighed on her mind. She glanced briefly at her mother, whose very large stomach prevented her from sitting too close to the kitchen table, then at her father who chewed on a large chunk of ham.
This time seemed better than any other she decided. “So,” she started out. “I had a fight with Josie today.”
Her mother seemed concerned. “Oh? What did you fight about?”
“It was stupid. She said that you and Daddy had . . .” she lowered her voice and spelled out the next word, “. . . S-E-X.”
Her dad stopped chewing. Her mother didn’t blink. She had their attention. So she continued. “Josie said that’s the only way you could be having a baby, but I told her she was wrong and there was more than one way that a mommy could get pregnant and she said ‘No, there’s only one way.’ Josie’s just stupid is all.” Actually, Katelyn only hoped Josie was stupid, but she wasn’t sure.
The silence at the table scared her. Little Katelyn watched as her mother and father locked eyes then turned slowly to look at her. She didn’t like that look.
There was no turning back if she asked the next question, but she asked it anyway. A girl had to know after all. “You mean there IS only one way?”
They did that whole eye-locking, grown-ups-know-everything look, then she took a deep breath when her mother finally said, “Yes, honey. There IS only one way.”
Oh boy. It was all just too miserable for words. How could her parents
do. . .THAT? What were they? Animals?
“Are you okay, sweetie?” asked her mother.
Katelyn nodded, trying to take in the horror. She pushed more peas around the plate and wondered how she could ever look them in the eyes again or even worse – how she could ever go out in public again? OBVIOUSLY, everyone knew what had happened if this was all true. People who smiled at her mother while they were walking down the street, weren’t smiling because she was having a cute little baby soon, they were smiling because they knew she done IT. People probably talked about them behind their backs regularly.
“It’s perfectly normal, you know,” her mother said again in soothing tones.
“Well, if by normal, you mean, GROSS,” she grimaced.
“Do you know what IT is?” asked her mother.
Katelyn rolled her eyes and whispered again. “It’s when you . . .” she took a deep breath. The rest was just so AWFUL. “It’s when you get naked in your bedroom together and eat spinach.”
She never saw her parents smiles – she was too busy staring at those peas, embarrassed to look up. “I know, ‘cuz Josie told me. She’s stupid, but she does know some things.”
Amazon bestselling author Karen Cantwell has been writing plays and short stories for many years, some of which were published in various college literary magazines. More recently, her short story, “The Recollections of Rosabelle Raines,” was published in the mystery anthology Chesapeake Crimes: They Had it Comin’. Her first novel, Take the Monkeys and Run, is a comedy-mystery, featuring soccer-mom/female sleuth Barbara Marr, who also appears in Cantwell’s second book, The Chronicles of Marr-nia, Short Stories Starring Barbara Marr. She is currently working on her third novel, Citizen Insane. Cantwell also is a frequent contributor to the comedy blog, A Moose Walked into a Bar.
To learn more about Karen, visit her website at www.karencantwell.com.