Stay together

Written by: Ken Burns

Harry loves the idea of being five and taking on the world.   Coping with a bite on the wrist from bucktoothed Sybil at the kindergarten end of year party is something he’ll never forget. It will be a scar to show forever. Sybil said yes about coming to his party.

The bouncy castle takes up most of the grassy backyard.  The diesel powered air blower chugs away making it big and firm.

Phil, Harry’s occasionally lazy dad, is trying to place drinks in the red chilly bin partially filled with ice.  The chilly bin is on the edge of the step when Phil clumsily kicks it.  The ice falls into a melting pile on the lawn.

“That’s the idiot I married to get me this far in life!” Mary candidly smirks to her part time best friend Beryl while finishing the bottom half of a beer.

”Your Mum and Dad are due in an hour.  Will you be ready by then?”

Phil gets riled by the embarrassment and kicks the chilly bin which skids across the lawn and hits their dog lying under the in-bloom apple tree.

The dog yelps and runs to Mary who can only give the dog affection and attention because she knows its love is unconditionally returned.

The decision to take over the parent at home role for Phil has shattered his social confidence. Mary’s has skyrocketed. Phil gets nervous in the late afternoon after a busy day doing everyday tasks.  He is conscious about Mary’s arrival home and his regular barrage of demeaning comments about his day relating to doing nothing and sitting on his butt reading magazines.

He knows that is the event the majority of parents succumb to when the main breadwinner comes home.  The closeness they had has evaporated in to a tiny pool.

“I love this dog more than love you!” Mary says in a sarcastic way to Phil’s big red face.

Phil stumbles over to pat the dog but Mary pushes him away.

“I’d get on with my stuff if you weren’t such a bee-arch to me in front of friends!” Phil whispers in Mary’s ear.

“You’ve got no friends!” Mary triumphantly retorts.

“That is why when Harry starts school you need to find somewhere else to live.  I’m divorcing you!”

Harry is not surprised at the verbal between his mum and dad.  He takes it with a grain of salt.  Some of his friends’ parents, including Sybil’s have split in the first 3 years after they were born.  Kindy has 23 single parents but that means nothing to him. He just wants a sausage and drink.

The phone rings in the kitchen. Mary leaves the dog and strides up the steps to answer it, leaving with the phrase, “That will be one of my friends!”

“Mary speaking,” she says with a smile on her face clearly listening with intent.

She hangs up the phone, turns to Phil and says, “That was your brother Mike.  Your mother is dead!”       

   Writing Order: Joe Labrum(USA), Gabrielle Burt(NZ) Roseyn(Aust) Griffin(Aust) Ray Stone(Cyprus) Kalli Deschamps(USA) DonnaMcT(NZ) Jasmine Groves(NZ) Suraya Dewing(NZ) LindaAlley(USA)

Comments

Ken writes another serial starter as only he can. This one is very interesting as a slice of life. I especially like the way he describes the scene and mixes characters with surroundings. This could be the start of a TV soap. It has all the ingredients for one. Nice work Ken.
I love the first sentence, Ken. It's really unique and the rest follows beautifully. Love to see where the story goes. Great stuff
A very believable life situation that is destined to leave the poor little one drawing the short straw. You write it so well I can feel the tension in the air. I like the way you take a universal relation killing scenario in life and reversed the genders. Great work.