(unnamed- flash fiction)

Sometimes I want to write but I either don’t feel like committing to a long story, or I don’t quite know what I want to write.  I got this idea on Yahoo! Answers:

Can you write an amusing story that includes 6 of these quotes?

1. I’m dumb, you’re shy……. whaddaya think, huh?
2. I want you outta here instamatically.
3. All your strength, all your power, all your love.
4. He’s in a baaad mood.
5. That’s very hard for a man of my intelligence to handle.
6. I pity the fool.
7. I don’t know, she’s got gaps, I got gaps…. together we fill gaps.
8. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it.
9. You know I couldn’t have done nothing without you.
10. Italian food made by Mexicans ain’t that special.
11. The last thing to age on somebody is their heart
12. The only kind of respect that matters is self-respect

My Answer:

“He’s in a baaad mood,” Lena whispered conspiratorially.

“I ain’t skeered,…on second thought, wish me luck, I’m going to need it.” I giggled back at her, but pulled a straight face right as we approached the dinner table.

Her father eyed me archly. “Who wants to say grace? William, since you’re new to our house, how about you?”

Eh…crap. “Sure, sir…um…” I clasped my hands together and pretended to be deep in prayer-mode. “All your strength, all your power, all your love…forever and ever…Amen”
The look he gave me was priceless, but he didn’t say anything. We began to eat, a mangled pasta dish that I choked down to the best of my abilities….Italian food made by Mexicans ain’t that special…and then the bomb drops…

“How’s the pasta, dear?” her mother asks. I’m choking down a bite of lasagna Bolognese, or whatever and I have no clue what to say. I know if I lie, this man at the head of the table will see right through me. So I do the only thing any self -respecting man would do (the only kind of respect that matters is self-respect), and I lie anyway, only with a mouthful of food so as to make my response incomprehensible.

“Mmmm….mmmm-uhhmmmm..” and nod my head.

But he surprises me. When his wife and daughter go to clear the table after dinner and bring desert, he leans towards me and whispers, in that same conspiratorial tone I heard from Lena not an hour before,”I know her cooking’s bad, son, but thanks for trying. And don’t worry so much…I remember what it was like to be your age. The last thing to age on somebody is their heart. Mine ain’t dead yet.”

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