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Flash story

Trio

Blue Pepper Literary Magazine published my flash play “Trio.”

Image Credit

***

ETHEL: You didn’t let me go last year. Now, I’m going.

#3: Look what she’s packing. Two bits of string – to wit, a bikini.

HANNAH: That’d look lovely on you, darling. It’s just your colour –

#3: That bulge-eyed Mr. Geil is ‘escorting’ these innocents!

HANNAH: …But if you’d just wait till April! I’ve almost saved enough for a new car. I’ll take you camping.

ETHEL: Why d’you need a new car? You’re only going to buy another thirdhand piece of shit. Mom, forget the car. Send me to camp. I’ve earned it.

HANNAH: True –

#3: She wants to go only because there’ll be boys. She’ll come home pregnant. As you did.

HANNAH: …No, darling. Once we’ve got the car –

ETHEL: Forget the car! You only want it so you can pick up a boyfriend. Aren’t you ashamed, at your age, gallivanting around with good-for-nothings?

#3: Doesn’t she realise you need a man around? She thinks living is free.

HANNAH: Ethel, that’s not fair. I slave all day, earning minimum wage. If I could save enough to go back to college –

ETHEL: And pick up a college-going good-for-nothing? Oh, you’d need a new car for that, for sure. So which is it, mom? Are you saving for a car, or for college?

HANNAH: Ethel, that’s not kind.

#3: Not kind! Belt the brat. As Dad belted you. And you turned out tough. Got me for your 12th birthday-present. This brat – you’ve spoiled. She’s 15, and still a child.

HANNAH: You’re lucky I don’t… You’re not going to camp. Go to your room.

ETHEL: No. I’m fifteen. I can’t even talk to you?

HANNAH: You’re always cursing at me, darling.

ETHEL: Because, you never understand me. Everyone’s going to camp!

HANNAH: Hmm… How much did you say it’d cost?

#3: You’re rewarding this idiocy?

HANNAH: …Whatever it costs, you’re not going. If you won’t go upstairs, I’m leaving.

ETHEL: Go! Run away. David’s coming over.

HANNAH: Hmm, David’s nice…

#3: I bet she thinks so, too! A boy coming over, this late – and Mrs. Kleinlich next door peering between her blinds writing her weekly report for Pastor Schafer!

HANNAH: …But it’s late.

ETHEL: He’s almost here. What’re you gonna do, turn him away?

#3: Yes. David’s nice, but he’s going nowhere. She’s fallen for a loser.

HANNAH: Who’s Jason dating now? Couldn’t you two make it up?

ETHEL: I like David. Fuck Jason. Fuck you, too.

HANNAH: Ethel, I understand you’re upset about camp –

#3: Don’t apologise. We made the right decision.

HANNAH: …You needn’t understand my decisions. You do need to respect them. I’m the adult.

ETHEL: You’re the adult? You don’t even know your own mind!

#3: She knows nothing. Don’t worry. I’ll teach your daughter. Soon, she, too, will start hearing me.

HANNAH: Ethel, someday you’ll –

ETHEL: I’ll never be like you. I’ll always do just what I want. (Storms out.)

HANNAH: I hope so, Ethel. I hope when you talk to someone, it’ll always be just you two.

END

By Amita Basu

I'm a writer based in Bangalore, India.

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