How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

#BlogBattle Week 48 – Prompt: Chasm

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To join us and / or to meet the wizard behind this challenge click below:

http://rachaelritchey.com/blogbattle/

Rules:  

  1. 1000 wordsmax
  2. fictionaltale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG(no more than PG-13Content– let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post(it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!

Each winner will receive the awesome #BlogBattle Winner Badge to display with their winning story on their webpage.

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Part 1 here

Part 2 here

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Image  from Pixabay. No attribution necessary.

Along Came Polly – Part 3

“What is that awful noise? ‘There birds in here?” Raising her bird’s nest bedhead, Grace unglued a puffy eye. “Wha…?“

Frrrrrr frrrrrr frrrrrr frrrrrr.

Blinding light suffused the room. She rolled over, face pushed into the pillow.

“Never known you to sleep this late. Everything okay, baby sister? Here. Brought you coffee.” She plunked a mug on the night table and dropped into the tub chair alongside, already fully dressed in Khaki pants and white blouse. “Polly, talk to me.” She sipped her coffee.

Her sister rolled over; grabbed her glasses. Squinting at Grace, her fingers fumbled for the coffee. “Why’s it so darn bright?” Grasping the pillows, she swooshed them against the headboard, and scooted back, leaned in and sighed. “Thanks for the coffee.”

“It’s past nine—you didn’t answer my question.” Grace lifted her mug. “You look like something the cat threw up.”

“Says you. Truth is I didn’t sleep well, at-all, at-all, at-all.” She slapped a hand to her mouth to stifle a yawn. I fell as if into a chasm at the first hint of day.

“Oh? Do tell.” Grace’s eyes wandered to the window as if she could care less, ever watchful from the corner of an eye.

“Tommy called last night. I didn’t pick up.” Polly turned her cup round and round studying its contents as if reading tea leaves. “Terrific coffee, sis. You’re looking perky. You had me worried last night.”

“Uh-huh. This is news? Boohoo for Tommy. What’s really eating you? Don’t bother fibbing ‘cause you can’t fool me, like you think you’re doing.”

“Duh.” Polly made a face. “Better get up if I want more coffee.”

“Cut the crap already, what did you get into when I went to bed?”

“Nothing.” Hazel eyes innocent and enormous, she bowed to her coffee.

“We’re sisters, but you are trying my patience.”

“You heard any rumours about family secrets—being the older first child—you know?”

Grace’s mouth dropped. “What are you talking about?” Forehead furrowed, she swung her head around like a puppet, blinking, scanning the files in her head. “This isn’t like you. What’s going on? Is Tommy blackmailing you into marrying him?”

Polly snorted, coffee splattered over the lily-white bedcoverings. “Sorry-sorry-sorry.” She bounced out of bed hauling off the stained candlewick bedspread and top sheet. “Forget Tommy. He’s not news.”

Grace grabbed the bottom of the heavy spread. “Laundry tub, downstairs, I think. I’ll start the soap and water. Bring the vinegar?”

“Here. What do you know about granddad and Uncle John?” Polly swished the soapy water while her sister added the vinegar.

“What an odd question. I have no idea what you mean.”

“Uncle John was not to be trusted. Dad worked his fingers to the bone in Grandpa’s business.”

“Oh yeah? What if you’re wrong? How about breakfast. I’m starving. ”

Polly watched her sister through lowered lashes. “Wrong? I don’t understand. Dad was the good son. Worked and slaved—he saved Granddad’s grocery store from ruin. Uncle John was the black sheep. Everyone said so.”

“Or scapegoat. Help me lift this in the tub.”

“What?”

“Let’s play what if. Coming?”

“What if what?”

“Both Dad and Uncle John worked for Grandad, right? What if Dad had a gambling problem?”

“What? No way.”

“What if he had sticky fingers and helped himself to the till and the store check book.”

“I don’t believe you. Is that why—?”

“Why, what? You want eggs or oatmeal? Why, what?”

“Nothing. Eggs. You too? Great. I’ll do the eggs.” Polly opened the fridge.

“Back in a shake. Have to rinse the bedspread.”

“I’ll do it. It was my fault.”

“Thought you’re doing the eggs? Get cracking. When I return, I’ll expect answers. Tut tut.”

* * *

“Grandma’s spread is good as new. It’s in the washing machine now. You still look like last week’s leftovers. Why couldn’t you sleep and why all the questions? Good. I’m starving. Let’s eat.”

“Coffee?” Polly grabbed the pot and poured two cups. “Going to the attic today?”

“Tut tut. Come on. Clean slate. What’s on your mind?”

Her mouth full, the younger woman chewed and chewed. And chewed. Eyes growing by the minute, she swallowed hard. “I found something in one of the boxes last night.”

Eyes narrowed, Grace clutched the mug to her chest, still as a statue. “What?” Her voice gruff, she cleared her throat.

“It’s better I show you. Be right back.”

Lost in thought, Grace jumped at her sister’s reappearance. Polly thrust the paper under her nose. Studying her sister’s impassive face, she dropped into her chair. Arms around her torso, she rocked in place. The air sizzled with tension. Grace fanned herself with the birth certificate. The women stared at each other.

“Anything else in the box you found this?”

Polly blew out a breath. Her body sagged. The words spilled out in a tumble. “Know anything about this?” She gripped her fingers till the knuckles turned white.

Grandpa handed over the business banking to Uncle John when dad’s bad habits surfaced. The checks to cash were for his gambling debts. He paid them off in person, in cash. Uncle John didn’t want a paper trail.

“And the birth certificate? Why was brother Frank a secret?” Her voice, though a whisper, cracked.

Grace exhaled loud and long. “Mom couldn’t kick dad out, but she’d had it with him. He up and disappeared one day. Frankie was born a year before you, but he wasn’t right…died. You came seven years later.

“Before dad left—“

“No. Grandpa lived to see Frankie. Not grandma. It would have broken her heart. Everybody’s gone now. I’m glad I’m moving into a gated retirement community. Too many ghosts here. You should come.”

Polly shook her head, hand up open-palmed. “I don’t understand, then who…? Not Uncle John, of course, because he was…

“I guess he wasn’t.”

“He’s my fa…?”

The End

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

62 thoughts on “#BlogBattle Week 48 – Prompt: Chasm

  1. Good writing, Tess. I really liked the blackmail into marrying you line. Sure did make me want to know what’s going on.

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  2. Nice conclusion. I giggled at this line: “Cut the crap already”, because you worked the name of your blog into the story. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. whaaaat? This is the first time I haven’t been able to follow the dots in one of your stories. I missed something – and I’m so confused!!

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  4. Another winner. You have some great line in here.

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  5. So Tess like Joanne I think I got a bit lost in the end. Was Uncle John the father of the younger sister? Am I completely off?

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  6. I thought I was almost too obvious. Did you get Uncle John was thought to be gay but he fathered two children with his sister-in-law?I guess I was too subtle. Crap!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally got the gay reference… I totally understood the implication that he fathered… somebody… but I couldn’t get WHO he fathered… thought it might be Polly, but wasn’t sure… surely not Grace, she came along a lot earlier… right?

      Excellent dialog by the way, and the breakfast, and the sheets being washed, I don’t know, it just gave me nostalgia. It reminded me of the sort of stuff I grew up with. Nice!

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      • Bless you, Grace. I was afraid of being a little vague but hoped for the best. Have made a tiny addition at the end. I hope that clears up further confusion. o_O
        I’m pleased you enjoyed the dialogue. I didn’t want to story to get too maudlin. ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: #BlogBattle 48 “Chasm” Entries & Voting – Chronicles of the Twelve Realms

  8. Well, being a little confused didn’t really bother me. Is that wrong? I just love your writing style and you have a great way with dialogue They say people who talk a lot are usually brilliant with dialogue , so … is this you,Tess? Lol Jx

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    • Thank you, Judith. Coming from you that means the moon to me. In the hope of clearing up further confusion, I did add something at the end. ❤ ❤ ❤
      No, I do not talk a lot–only in my head. I enjoy quiet. I force myself to get out with friends but prefer to putter at home alone with my kitties.

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  9. I confess to a little confusion about who was fathered by Uncle John. I got that Polly and Grace thought he was gay. I enjoyed it regardless and agree about the dialogue, it’s great 🙂

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  10. I was a little confused, but it left me wanting more. I did not get the gay reference. The fathering part I did. But it still didn’t answer all of my questions. Great writing when the readers want more!

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  11. Suspenseful to the end. Marvelous story, Tess. 😀 ❤

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  12. You had me guessing to the end. Is he gay or not……it seems not. A shame the girls had to find out their father was a rogue ( well, only one of them as it happens). Well written Tess.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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  13. Great story Tess. I never saw the “white sheep” coming. 🙂

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  14. Great build up to a perfect ending. Love the interaction between the two sisters.

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  15. What a tangled web you weave!

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  16. Wow, what a bombshell! And you dropped it so well. Good job. 🙂

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  17. Loved the story, especially that ending.

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  18. Wow, I loved all the interruptions and avoidance and the last line!!! 🙂

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  19. Thanks, Debby. I’m tickled if you enjoyed.
    How’s the weather been up your way? 😎

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  20. I read it by the time you’d made the fix although I was already thinking the uncle was a bit more than an uncle. Great story! (Actually, the story of the older generation would make a great novel)

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    • Ha ha. I suppose there are always secret in most families if you look deep enough. Must be the human condition. Human nature doesn’t change much. 😀

      Glad you got the ‘picture.’ Thanks so much for reading and commenting as you do. I’m more appreciative of your support than you know. ❤ ❤ ❤

      Like

  21. Complicated family! Amazing what digging into the past can turn up. The question is, would they have been better off not knowing? I like the dialogue-based writing, and the interaction between the two sisters. And I like how you lef that last line hanging. Brilliant stuff. 🙂

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  22. I think subtlety is not a bad thing in a story like this. It makes the reader work a bit and use her imagination. Good job!

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  23. Oh my Tess, what a story! What a conclusion. Loved it all the way through. Do tell, what a family secret.

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  24. Loved the sister interaction. Loved it! Great 3rd part

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  25. I like the last trailed-off sentence! Great story, love the writing style you used for it. It’s surprising what secrets can be dug up. 🙂

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  26. Shocker! haha I enjoyed seeing this unfold. Sordid family affairs! 😛

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Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

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