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A conversation

A conversation starter

Unable to interrupt the tantrum the person was throwing on the other end of the call, Gail held her phone out at arm’s length. With the other hand, she folded down three fingers, forefinger to her temple, thumb cocked, then pulled the imaginary trigger. Making the most grotesque face she could, she fell to her couch in an emotive death scene worthy of an Oscar. She was grateful she was only talking to her mother and not Skyping.

She heard the other woman take a breath and jumped at the opening.

“Where on earth have you been getting your information? No, I have not quit my job. I have also not emptied my bank account, and I’m not planning to beg on the street in rags.”

Sitting on the edge of her couch, Gail covered her face with her gun hand, listening with growing frustration. Mouthing a silent, “Oh. My. God,” she attempted another pre-emptive strike.

“Mother, it’s only a Religious Studies discussion group. He’s the discussion leader, not some doddering old fool sitting in the corner drooling on himself.”

Flinging herself into the back cushions, Gail shook the phone in both hands, trying to strangle it in effigy.

“No, Mother we are not being forced to read subversive, anti-Christian text. We are reading the NIV Bible, the very one you gave me when I graduated high school. We take the Parables of Jesus and discuss how they would apply to contemporary situations.”

She was now thrusting a pretend knife into the phone’s screen, while eeking the theme music from “Psycho.”

“You do realize I am a grown woman, right? Living on my own, paying my own bills, making my own decisions. Yes, Mother even making my own wrong decisions.

“Tell you what, you get your Esther Circle to pray for us, then your conscious will be clear when we’re all damned to hell.”

Gail listened intently to her mother’s final words.

“I love you too, Mom.”

Rule of thirds

Trifecta, a weekly one-word prompt, challenges writers to use that word in its third definition form, using no less than 33 words or no more than 333. The week’s prompt is: Fool [noun \ˈfül\ 3  a : a harmlessly deranged person or one lacking in common powers of understanding]

14 replies »

  1. Thanks for linking up again, Tara. Like the others, I love the one-sided conversation. This is a great snapshot of two generations and their different approaches to the ‘right’ way to live. It sounds as if the mother thinks that the pastor from Barbara’s story is leading the bible study! Nice job, as always. Hope to see you over the weekend as well.


  2. Love this. I have done all of the above on the phone. I love the ending. She let so much go in one ear and out the other, as we do, but listened to the part that really mattered, the I love you part. At least that’s the way I read it. Very nice.


  3. I liked the dialogue, but I loved the foolish miming Gail was doing between talking. I think the spoken accustations Gail makes that call her mother out as a fool were tempered nicely by the silly, foolish pantomime Gail was conduction on her couch.

    I agree with jesterqueen, that was my favorite line.

    Fun piece. Well done!


  4. perfectly passively aggressive!!

    “I love you, too, Mom.” My girls tell me that at the end of each conv. I wonder how many times I have been shot, hung, and stabbed before those little words

    :) Perfecto!


  5. My favorite line is “trying to strangle it in effigy”. I can just imagine the mother’s shrieks throughout the conversation. And I love the line about the Esther circle praying for her.


  6. Ok, my mom’s name is Gail. Same spelling. I had to change her name in my head to get through this. So to me, your character is named Audrey. ha!

    Carrie’s critique is spot on. Having the conversation be one sided evoked all the right emotions. I like this a lot.



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