>Red Writing Hood: Patience

>Red Writing Hood: Patience

February 4, 2011 Writing 24

>    “For he’s the jolly good fellow! That nobody can deny!! Woohoo!!” the singing and cheering over Arthur’s 85th birthday celebration drowned out the sound of the doorbell. When the singing stopped and the din quieted down to more of a whispered state, the sound was sharp and shrill, startling those within the house.

    “Hello?” inquired the well dressed woman who answered the door. Her smooth face wrinkled as her brow furrowed revealing that she did not recognize the person at the door. “How can I help you?”

     Hilary cleared her throat and began, “I am looking for a Mr. Thomas Beauchamp. Um…this is his last listed address. Is he here?” She noticed the affair that was carrying on in the background and her own brow creased down in concern.

     “Might I ask why you are looking for Thomas? Of course it would be Thomas.”

     “I’m afraid this is rather personal. I was told not to share it with anyone.” She looked at the paper in front of her. She really hated this part of the process, but it was a necessary one.

     The woman at the door releases a long sigh. “Very well. Please come in. Now wait right here, please.”

     The woman walked off hastily, and Hilary looked around the open space, noting the attire of those around her in the large immaculate home, and feeling quite under dressed, for once. She looked at her watch with impatience. It had already taken her far too long to find him, but she hoped she finally had.

     The woman returned quickly followed by a tall gentleman who looked to be an exact but younger, copy of her. She took one look at his eyes and knew that he was the man she had been looking for.

     “Mr. Beauchamp, my name is Hilary. I am an agent with the Carollton Heights Child Protective Services. Before I continue, I must ask you one question to verify your identity. What do you get if you cross an elephant with a rhino?” She watched in amusement as the woman’s face went from shock to confusion. She watched Thomas’s face as different emotions passed over it.

     He quickly answered, “El-if-i-no.” Confused he asks, “Miss…Hilary? What does that have to do with anything?”

     “Do you remember a woman named Patience Storm?” The toe of her shoe tapped on the hardwood floor in her impatience. She looked at her watch again, her worried brow inching ever further down her nose. This was not lost on either Thomas nor his mother.

     “I do! How could I ever forget her? She was the love of my life. That was her favorite joke. I haven’t seen her in a few years though.”

    “Oh that sordid woman!” His mother intervened. “She was awful to Thomas, just…awful. I was never so grateful as when she walked out on you! And with no explanation, too! She took everything, wiped him clean. Such an awful woman.”

     “Now, now, Mother. We agreed not to discuss her.” Thomas looked at Hilary. “Must we do this today? Now?”

    “Well, I’m here to inform you that she has disappeared, leaving behind one small child she claimed you are the father of. Would you like to meet your son?”

     Thomas looked at his mother who had grabbed his hand. Her breath caught in her throat and tears spilled down her face. “A son? Oh my sweet Thomas! Your dream at last comes true. Your grandfather will be so pleased. An heir to our legacy, finally.”

As always, critique is welcome and wanted. *I have already done a little editing based on the comments already received. Please keep them coming!*

This week’s prompt was to write a piece of flash fiction, 600 words or less, and have one character tell a joke, and one character start crying. GREAT CHALLENGE!!

–Stephanie, AKA The Drama Mama


24 Responses

  1. Carrie says:

    >Well…that was quite the quick turnaround for Mama! "Sordid woman" indeed…though I guess not so bad if you get a grandchild out of it hmmm?

  2. squidmom says:

    >Lol, the sorid woman part caught my attention as well. Very good job fitting the joke in with the tears, (I thought it was hard to find a way to do but challenging)www.squidmom.com

  3. From Tracie says:

    >oooh intrigue!I wonder what broke them up…and where she disappeared to.

  4. Jessica Anne says:

    >el-if-i-no, Ha! I was a bit confused myself why she would ask that and why he would know it. I'm guessing there's a bit I'm missing. 🙂 Can't wait to read more.

  5. >I liked how you kept suspense about why the woman was there, it kept my attention.

  6. Mandyland says:

    >I'm thinking the joke was a "password" to verify that Thomas was the father? Maybe an inside joke?I wonder what happened to the mother…

  7. tsonodablog says:

    >Intriguing. Will there be more? Got my interest!

  8. Yuliya says:

    >I'm embarrassed at how long it took me to get the joke…I really had to sound it out…

  9. Ratz says:

    >Elfino! Oh my God. I liked the way you used the joke to decode that Thomas was the father… That's cool and smart. This piece was full of excitement.

  10. Jessica says:

    >Okay, had to read comments then go back to get the joke, love it, apparently l need them to be blinking right in front of my face. Great piece.

  11. Ericka Clay says:

    >Elifino – I have to use that joke now lol! I was wondering how this piece would turn out and I loved the surprise!

  12. >I think the plot line you chose is an interesting one. This feels like a cliffhanger… More to come?

  13. Andrea (ace1028) says:

    >I don't know if this was an edit, but I love how it was her favorite joke and that was how the woman confirmed he was who he was. I'm hoping, guessing, that she left a note with that on it, or something along those lines. The end left me a little bit empty with mom's turnaround (as someone else mentioned) but I loved the build up and the anticipation. I kind of wanted mom to go away and Thomas to talk to her by himself.

  14. Amy says:

    >This story left me wanting to know more! I did think Thomas seemed a little…nonchalant…about finding out he had a son, but maybe that was because his mother reacted so quickly.

  15. Nichole says:

    >Interesting story!I like the way you didn't show his reaction to learning he had a son, but shifted the focus to his mother…it confirmed my image of her being controlling. The only part that reads strange to me is this, "…Hilary looked around the open space, noting the attire of those around her, and feeling quite under dressed in the large, immaculate home for once." It makes it sound like the house was clean for once…but I'm sure that's not what you meant. :)Great job!

  16. whispatory says:

    >I love the idea of the joke as a password, it did feel a little forced and I was wondering why a state worker would go through this much trouble. What would have helped smooth that transition for me was Thomas remembering something or some moment which made that joke significant between him and Patience, or Hilary remembering the story that Patience told her. I love the 180 that the Grandma does, what a present for her, a grandchild with no mother.

  17. Christy says:

    >I do like how you left Thomas's reaction a mystery, but I was definately not expecting his mom to be so happy about it. Maybe there's another part to the story that explains why she's glad, because you would think the norm would be to be pissed off.Enjoyed reading your story!

  18. Sue says:

    >Twists and turns abound! I wonder how Thomas felt about the news?

  19. >I really liked the way the mother went from "that sordid woman" to overjoyed at learning of a grandson. Really good turn.I was just a little bit confused about who Arthur is. I'm guessing that's Thomas's father? I just felt a little confused since he was listed in such a personal way and then didn't figure into the rest of the story.But I really liked the story!

  20. >I liked how the focus moved around to the various characters. 2 things: "intervened" Seemed a kind verb for the overbearing mother. And I realized we had word count constraints but her 180 was SO FAST. It didn't jive with the venom she spewed about Patience. (BTW, I do that too…always w/ the quick ending. I may be a male.)

  21. >I really liked the ending of this. My favorite was how the reader saw the mom's response before the man's…like Nichole said, this solidifies her as controlling.I felt like the joke was a password too…and then it wasn't. So that was a little awkward for me, but the joke itself? One of my favorites 🙂

  22. MultitaskMumma says:

    >Oh. That was soo good! I wish there was more!

  23. >I did not see THAT coming. I mean, I figured out why she was there, but the mom's reaction was unexpected…

  24. Ash says:

    >Love how she is happy to have an "heir" not an actual grandson. What a piece of work that one.Your words brought out a strong reaction in me, great job. One of my all-time favorite jokes too. I hope these characters reappear in another TRDC prompt. There's more to this story for sure.

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