Grandmère Comes to Call

On the blogging calendar I established through my class, Saturday is designated as writing day with blogging relegated to maintenance only.  However, today my writing has been so inspired that I had to share.  It is not the work in progress to which I always refer, but instead a brand new short story.  Here is the opening:

I’ve never understood why fine Southern ladies always deliver bad news in a whisper.  If this well-mannered matron is your mother, and she leans in close to confide a secret of tremendous import, brace yourself for one of three things:  1. Someone who is of no particular significance to you has done something scandalous and is going to Hell; 2. Someone of great significance to you has done something really stupid and she expects you to fix it; or 3. (this one is my favorite) your great-grandmother has come back from the dead.

That last one is the one to watch out for.  Great-grandmothers who come back from the dead are never back because they are happy, and it is nearly always you she is not happy with. 

I have had so much fun with this today.  My motivation was how many people have told me in the last week that I needed to write down the stories about my family.  Just so you know, I am in fact haunted by my great-grandmother; I do have her portrait stored in my basement with a blanket over it; and she was so mean that said portrait survived two house fires.  Funny thing is, I don’t think she minds me telling you she was mean, so long as I also mention that she was rich and socially very well placed.

I’m 1200 words in, but I have to go and get my teenager out of bed (all this practice with raising the dead can be very helpful).  I have, however, achieved my new standard of performance as set by Ray Bradbury:

I alway say to my students, give me four pages a day, every day. That’s three or four hundred thousand words a year. Most of that will be bilge but the rest…? It will save your life!”

One thought on “Grandmère Comes to Call

  1. Your story opening has done it’s job, piqued my interest, made me chuckle, and had me nodding in recognition–I’d call that a set hook!

    Here’s to Moms! Mine is not a southern lady, she’s Chicago bred, she’s unlikely to lean and whisper. Her style is to command her daughter to lean closer with certain scowl–developed so she didn’t have to pull you by your hair when you grew up!

    But the content would be similar! LOL

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