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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Beta Gal

Donald insisted. Taking two cars would be silly; he knew where the restaurant was. Candace thought of protesting, had protested on other occasions, but she knew it would be futile. She had acquired a docile sense of laissez-faire over the years, in stark contrast to the raving one-upmanship common to her blood relations. Acquired like a prison slouch or scars.
“Fine,” she said, hoping Donald’s third wife would offer to sit in back. (Another woman who didn’t drive. It was his first wife, though, who had insisted on never giving up the copilot spot. Until death did her part.) Candace’s stepson George -he of the full leg cast- had agreed to the lunch for practical, gastronomical reasons, although his apparent vote of silence did not bode well for the meal. Her teenaged daughter, well. A vote of silence would not be a bad thing.
“How the hell do I get out of here,” Donald said, pulling away from the curb and into stalled traffic. Candace, her daughter, and Donald’s third wife twitched at their hips, trying to fold into themselves.
“To the end of the road, turn right, then left at the light.” Candace had offered to drive, would have killed to be driving, but Donald would have none of it. Ever the alpha male, he reached the end of his patience and turned left around the right-turning car ahead of him, peeled rubber through the yellow light.
“What are you doing?” Donald’s third wife shrieked into Candace’s ear. “Why didn’t you turn right? Now you’ve done it. Now we’re going farther and farther away, aren’t we, Candie?”
“Whatever,” Candace said. “All roads lead to Rome.”
But there was not to be even a semblance of conviviality left now. Not in the endless detour Donald took to get back to their starting point, not in the overpriced, overabundant meal no one enjoyed, not in the belligerent passing of the fancy olive oil. Candace raised the blessed wine glass.
“Happy New Year!” she mouthed.


333 words for  , who want us to include this "new" word for the New Year:


38 comments:

  1. One of the rare times I skip the meal.Enjoyed.

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    1. Skip most of them, but I remember why. Glad you enjoyed it.
      Thanks, LaTonya!

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  2. There is so much I love about this piece, but this line sealed it for me: the belligerent passing of the fancy olive oil...that is a golden sentence right there, Kymm.

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    1. You are too kind, Momo. Thanks for the love!

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  3. I love the fancy olive oil too but is pass on this lunch! Donald has a lot on his hands presently and in 2014! Great story, Kymm!

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    1. Haha Don't you go worrying about Donald! He thought the meal was wonderful.
      Thanks so much for the love, Gina!

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  4. Oh that tension - What a great write. And this description is a gem: twitched at their hips, trying to fold into themselves.

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    1. I'm so pleased you liked that line, Kelly! Thanks so much.
      And I'm always happy to spread that kind of tension around...

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  5. What a road trip! What a meal! What a good story, Kymm! Well done. :)

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    1. Hahaha What a nice comment, Tom! Thank you.

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  6. Oh gosh, there's something to be said for staying home and watching Netflix... alone! (I like the olive oil line, too... sums up the tension from the whole evening.)

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    1. Haha There's a lot to be said for staying home and staring at the wall!
      Thanks, Janna!

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  7. I love all of the undercurrents here. It's as if it's an extra person in the car and at the table!

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    1. Hahaha The Evil One herself - lol
      Glad you like surfing it. Thanks for the love, Tina!

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    1. Well I'm glad someone enjoyed it, Aesop! lol
      Thank you : )

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  9. Beautifully done - what a nice carefree group...

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    1. lol I'm sure you'd be welcome to join the fun...
      Thank you kindly, Thomas!

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  10. well done - you managed to create such deep tension in such a little space, love it!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the love, Claudia!

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  11. The time is lost on all of them!

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    1. Oh, if only it were lost!!! lol
      Thank you for visiting, Sonia!

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  12. Bad start to a New Year - some families enjoy the tension...
    Anna :o]

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    1. Bad start to a new year, or same old, same old.
      Thanks for the visit, Anna!

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  13. I love the language you used to describe everything and everyone- it added a good flavor to the piece! It was quite a ride, I mean, read.

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    1. Haha Glad you came along for it. Thank you, Renada!

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  14. Great writing. You vividly brought us into this scene. I love slice of life pieces like this.

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    1. Hey, lumdog, glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the love!

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  15. I remember those kinds of trips. They were definitely as miserable as you made it out to be!

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    1. Sorry you remember them so well, Draug. They seem to follow me around...

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  16. Ah, the blessed wine glass! Your descriptions of this traveling road show were so vivid I found myself wishing for a drink too;) Prison slouch and scars is a brilliant line too. Spending time with some of my relatives can be a bit like mental bare knuckle fighting...More wine please?? Love this, Kymm! Great piece of writing!

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    1. I'm eternally grateful for the invention of wine: ) My work is done if this piece made you need a glass!
      Thanks so much for the love, Valerie!

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  17. What a carload of toxic chemistry. Whoooooo is all I could think of and yes wine would blur the reality.

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    1. Hahaha Indeed. Sorry to vent the fumes, Ann!

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  18. Alcohol is pretty much a given during family holidays, isn't it? This reminded me, for some reason, of the film The Ice Storm. Have you seen it? It's a favorite of mine. Thanks for linking up.

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    1. Haha, family celebrations were probably the catalyst for inventing alcohol.
      Seen The Ice Storm?? I was about the age of Cristina Ricci, in a very similar setting (decidedly less ritzy, but suburban NE). I lived The Ice Storm : )
      Thanks, Tri!

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  19. Interesting. I like the sense of atmosphere.

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