FRIDAY #FICTION with RONOVAN WRITES Prompt Challenge #25-A guest appearance.
This is twice as long as I wanted it to be. I actually wrote it on Friday, but didn’t get around to the edits until now.
It seems I was destined to write satire for Mother’s Day.
An unwanted guest appearance
“Children are needy little monsters that want, take, betray, lie, steal and eventually leave your house after all your hair has turned grey,” I told the unwanted guest who sat on my living room couch. “Mine insisted on visiting once a year. At first I was naïve, thinking they were trying to allay their guilt over leaving mom all alone.”
“Would you please put the shotgun down, Mrs. Grant,” he asked, as if he were in control. Typical male!
“This isn’t my first rodeo.” I advised him. “This gun stays in your face until help arrives.”
I recognized the indignant rat-like eyes of every man who felt superior to me, and expected the words that followed. “I’ll have you examined for a mental illness.”
“You intentionally ignored the No Trespassing signs and vaulted over a 5 foot electrified fence topped with barbed wire. Florida has a stand-your-ground law just for people like you.”
“Then why didn’t you shoot me in the yard?”
“I want you to tell my worthless children to stop! My lawyers have doctor’s reports and a list of people willing to testify. They’re not getting a penny of my money!”
“This county has nothing but animal shelters and an animal food factory. It’s where crazy dog people go to die,” he said, pointing to my companion. “Is that why you’re so stingy?”
“The last time I endured their yearly visits, my oldest son ransacked my house looking for proof that his name was on the will. I’ll never forget the sharp words that cut any ties to those greedy bastards.” I stopped talking when the shooting arm attached to my unwanted guest moved slightly, and tightened the grip on my shotgun.
“What were the words?” he sighed, relaxing his arm.
“My son said, ‘All of us kids have decided you need an evaluation for dementia’.”
“My records show you’re 67 years old. Who are you giving your money to?”
Like I was going to tell him?
“I married a week after high school ended in June 1950, and became Mrs. Earl Davis. Over the years my love for books, travel, and fun were crushed under the daily burdens of 4 children, housework, and everyone else’s idea of who I should be.”
“I hear the siren,” he said with a wry smile. “How is law enforcement going to get in without a rubberize ladder?”
“The sheriff has the key to my gate,” I said, matching his smile. “I’ll put your ladder in the shed with all the other ones.”
“You think you’re the first greedy detective to ignore the fence?” I asked, just as my front door opened.
“Hello Edna,” Sheriff Jacobs said. “Nice day isn’t it.”
“Better now that you’re here,” I replied, smiling at a man 5 years younger than me who was busy applying handcuffs. While yet another detective complained that I was the one who needed to be taken away, my thoughts turned to the reason why I was in this predicament in the first place.
Earl died of heart failure at 43 from too much fried food and an unhealthy avoidance of anything categorized as a fruit or vegetable. Fortunately, his life insurance listed me as the beneficiary and his will hadn’t been changed since 1953.
My first year of freedom, I sold the house, purchased a 2 bedroom condo with a view of the ocean, joined a gym, and ignored my children’s pleas for money every time they visited. Until the day my son searched my house. My stocks were doing well. CD interest was at 10%, so I sold my condo and moved into the beach house of my dreams.
My bank, my accountant, my investment advisor and my former doctors were told never to reveal my whereabouts. I reclaimed the name Edna Grant and lined 3 walls of bookshelves by religiously reading every night after walking barefoot along the beach each day.
In my 63rd year, during one of my walks, a tiny bark became a whine at the sound of a man’s voice ordering, “Don’t try to follow me. Stay!”
Dear God, he sounded so much like my son, and my husband!
I quickly moved on, walking toward my home. I followed my usual routine, unlocking the front gate, rinsing off my feet with a hose, walking up the white wood steps and…
I heard a whine from behind.
He looked down at the sand to avert my gaze. He didn’t try to push his way in or guilt me into taking him. Poor little guy! He was all alone, unwanted when his usefulness had ended.
I opened the door and said, “All right, dog. I’ll give it a week. Eat my couch and you’re out of here.”
I named the bouncing fluff of happiness Freedom. I loved the countless walks along the beach with Freedom by my side, swimming in the ocean, catching Frisbee’s and just feeling alive. Life was good until someone had the discourtesy to jump over the gate and knock on my door. I should’ve known it was my oldest son yelling, “Mother! I know you’re in there!”
Freedom barked with a fury I’d not witnessed before. If I did nothing, my son would find a way to kill my Freedom. I dialed 911 and yelled, “A man is trying to break in! Please help us!”
As usual, he invoked the D word.
“Her investment advisor gave me this address, fearing she suffered from dementia,” he told the officer. One phone call overturned his lie. A temp unfamiliar with my name had made the mistake of looking up the information in front of my son.
It was the first time I’d experienced the joy of watching scum dragged away in handcuffs.
Fearing the loss of my billion dollar account, the investment advisor asked if there was anything he could do to make it up to me. He agreed to distribute one letter to my children and use his return address. I instructed him to save every letter he received and send them all to me in 3 years.
My beach house sold quickly, furniture included, providing more than enough to buy 20 foot motor home. Freedom and I explored the sights and scents of backroads America until we rolled into a small, impoverished Florida county 3 years later. That’s where we met Sheriff Jacobs and his dog, Clyde. We knew we’d found home.
Inside a rustic country bungalow surrounded by 40 acres, Freedom slept with his head on my lap as I endured 47 letters with one redundant mantra: “You’re a bad mother. If you loved us, you’d leave your money to your family. We’ll hire a detective, prove you have dementia, and have you committed.”
“Edna?” Sheriff Jacobs asked. “You okay?”
“I’m so grateful our friends are looking out for us,” I said to the only man in this world I admired.
“Why would a sane person put up with a woman like this?” The detective asked.
“Love,” the Sheriff replied. “I live here with our dogs, Clyde and Freedom. Edna set up a trust fund so they can be cared for by someone they love if one of us dies. She funds our small animal food factory and she set up a trust fund for the local shelter, too.”
“Collusion? I’ll have your badge for this!”
“Are you taking him to the usual place?” I asked.
“Yep,” He said. “Our dog food factory always appreciates the fresh meat.”