Thursday, May 09, 2019

Off To MARcon!

We're off  this weekend to see our friends at MARcon. It's been two years since we've attended the convention, so we're excited to visit and catch up.

For a "gift" for those attending the con (and anyone else who happens across this page), I thought I'd share a short short story I penned just today. I wrote it alongside some students at an after-school program where I tutored this past semester. See if you can guess what was in the photo I had for the 15 minute writing prompt. 

Belly Flop

How could I say no? To say no would have hurt Aunt Maribelle's feelings and she had already been through so much this summer what with the chemo treatment and all. So, I said yes--yes, I'd go with Uncle Jeff to that fancy pool club that his boss had given him a couple of summer passes to in reward for all of his hard work. 

Don't get me wrong. Uncle Jeff is a great guy. He's a good employee and a great husband to my mom's sister. This past year had been tough for both of them after my aunt received her cancer diagnosis. If anyone deserved a break from the stress, it was my favorite Uncle Jeff.

The thought that I might run into some of the snooty rich kids from school didn't occur to me until  we arrived at the gates to the pool club. Oh no! That cute guy who 'd been in my science class was there--and so were half the cheerleading squad and the football team. Suddenly, I felt inadequate in my hand-me-down bathing suit with my faded and ragged beach towel on my arm.

But my embarrassment over my outfit was nothing compared to the sheer horror I felt when Uncle Jeff decided he couldn't wait to get into that cool water. I forgot to tell you that Uncle Jeff is more than a great guy--hes a great big guy. He's huge with a capital H.

Also, once Uncle Jeff gets an idea into his head, there's no turning him back. He will carry through with his plan no matter what. 

"Race you to the middle," Uncle Jeff yelled above the roar of the crowd. And then he took off.  For a large person, he's surprisingly fast on his feet.

"No, wait! It's too crowded. Don't go there yet. It's full of people, Uncle Jeff! Nooo!!"

It was too late. He'd already dove into the shallow end of the pool and displaced more than half the water and terrorized more than half the pool-goers in a split second of belly flopping. My face turned redder  than a third degree sunburn.

I thought I'd never live this stunt down.

But the rest of our swim turned out better than expected. The traumatized moms and dads and kids seemed to take belly flop in stride. Soon I relaxed and enjoyed myself and forgot my embarrassment over Uncle Jeff 's enthusiastic splash.

You know, even your craziest relatives love you. They invite you to the pool. We gotta cut them some slack now and then and let them be their crazy selves. Uncle Jeff taught me that.

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