Joseph and Jeremy Saltash, Undertakers

“Another blunder on your long list, Jeremy …”
He cringed, as usual. A pitiful picture – a sixty-something-year-old man with a look of utter despondence. And oh so incredibly incompetent.
I sighed.
“But, as you know, I will not let you go. You are the oldest son of my great-granduncle on my mother’s side and sole provider for a family of six. – But I digress.”
He hunched his slumped shoulders an inch or so.
“I just wish you’d get something right for once.”
He swallowed.
“Just one little task.”
He cleared his throat and croaked, “I’ll try.”
“Perhaps you can start right now.”
“Tell me, please, Jeremy, how exactly we are related. Can you do that for me?”
“Well, as you said, Joe, there was your great-granduncle –“
“What was his name?”
“Uh –“
“Can you at least tell me your children’s names, Jeremy?”
He licked his lips.
“Well, there’s Rosalie, the oldest, then there’s, uh –“
“Do you remember your wife’s name, Jeremy?”
“I’m glad you remember her. Because she’s not only your wife but also my sister. So, Jeremy, can you tell me again how we’re related?”
“Well, there’s your sister –“
“Molly, yes, I know. So that makes you my what?”
“Your what?”
For the first time during this conversation he raised his head and looked me in the eye.
“Your what,” he repeated and appeared to be quite satisfied with this solution.
“Go back to your embalming job, Jeremy.”

– James Steerforth (© 2013)

Written around blunder, cringe and digress for 3WW.

About James Steerforth

I am an author of poetry and fiction, translator and painter who loves to have fun with borrowed feathers.
This entry was posted in Creative writing, Enigma, Flash fiction, Life, Literature, Sweet dreams and nightmares, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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