A Glimpse of Reality

Posted: May 13, 2011 in #fridayflash, Short stories

Aunt June had already planned out everything she needed for Uncle Bill’s funeral.  The only real detail missing was how she was going to kill him and when.

She frantically rushed about the room, grabbing her kitten calendar from the back of the door, a pen from the writing desk and a notepad from its drawer.

“I’ve worked out the best date would be the 27th,” she said looking at Molly, who was sat at the table with a fresh cup of English tea.  Molly made a concerted effort to visit her Aunt every Sunday afternoon.

“I was going to do the 26th but that’s the day I usually go into town with Dorothy.  And the 28th is a Friday.  People don’t want to be bothered with funerals on a Friday.  What a depressing start to their weekend.”

“You’re serious aren’t you? I thought you were joking,” Molly spluttered as she almost choked on her tea.  She placed the cup down on the table and watched as her Aunt glared at the calendar.

“Yes dear.  I did say this to you this morning.  You might want to get your hearing checked!”

Molly couldn’t help but smile, which she tried to hide from her aunt by rubbing her cheek.  Pot calling the kettle black sprang to mind, as her Aunt was partially deaf at the best of time, although Molly knew full well part of it was selective hearing.

“You can’t kill Uncle Bill.  Besides, what’s he actually done?  Has he forgotten your anniversary?”

“No dear.”

“Has he used your favourite mug?”

“He wouldn’t dare,” her aunt sniggered.

“Had a secret love child?”

“Don’t be silly Molly,” her aunt scolded.  The snigger coming to a halt and switching to aggravation quicker than a child’s expression on Christmas day, when they realise their parents had opted to buy them the cheaper option of toy, rather than the branded latest craze.

“Has he been seeing someone else?” Molly’s last possible guess.

“No dear.  Worse than that!”

Molly looked at her aunt, with a puzzled expression.  What could possibly be worse than any of that?

“Molly, I married your uncle nearly fifty years ago.  ‘til death us do part.”

Molly nodded.

“Well, ‘til death us do part, means putting up with me and looking after me until I am no longer on this earth.  That does not mean sticking me in this place, because I’m losing my marbles!”

Molly realised this was obviously one of Aunt June’s better days and unlike most days, she realised she was in a residential home.  She may be deteriorating with dementia, but some days she knew exactly what was going on.  That’s when the disease was at its meanest.  It gave its victim a small window to look out of, allowing them to realise what reality was, before firmly shutting the curtains again for days, sometimes weeks. 

“He has your best interest at heart, honestly.” Molly tried to sound reassuring but she knew it definitely fell on deaf ears this time.

“I might be losing my marbles,” Aunt June said beginning to write a list of buffet food for her husband’s wake, “But if I had them, I’d shove them down his throat.  That’d kill him!”

  1. Sam Adamson says:

    Love it! A pair of great characters, and the dialogue is spot-on. I really enjoyed the humour in this, and the way you slipped in the serious message as a counterpoint really made me stop and think. Bravo! 🙂

  2. TEC4 says:

    I really, really like this. You had me with your first paragraph! Poor Uncle Bill …

  3. FARfetched says:

    Aw, that’s a shame. Alzheimer’s sucks for everyone.

  4. johnwiswell says:

    Haha, good one-two punch of a lead-in paragraph. I’m with Janet.

  5. antisocialbutterflie says:

    I liked it. The dialogue was fun which counterpointed the sad message. I’m wondering if Uncle Bill is still alive though. Good job.

  6. Sonia says:

    Funny! And sad, too, poor, vengeful woman.

  7. Tony Noland says:

    I liked the set-up and you delivered the punch line masterfully. Well done.

  8. laradunning says:

    Nicely executed. The MC is a spitfire, even if she is losing her marbles. Her neice is a good counter balance. The subject can be a heavy one, but your added humor and story that goes will it makes this scene quite funny.

  9. Icy Sedgwick says:

    Dementia is rarely amusing, and it’s right that the sufferers do often have those days where everything is perfectly clear. I suppose it’s understandable that she would blame her husband for putting her somewhere, but it’s likely that the window will close and she’ll forget ever planning it. There’s a definite current of sadness in this.

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