I started to revisit the family from "Don't Go Near the Well" and "Flight from Mab's Castle" when I first saw this prompt, but I ultimately decided to go in a different direction. I hope you enjoy today's short trip to my neck of the woods.
The audio version is also available via YouTube.
He was older than she thought he’d be. With the way her mother talked about Uncle Joe, Daisy thought he couldn’t be more than twenty-five. But the man walking up the drive looked like a grandpa.
“What’s the matter, Daisy?” asked Mama.
“I thought Uncle Joe would be Danny’s age,” she answered.
Mama laughed. “Well he was, back when all those stories I told you happened. That was a long time ago, back when I was your age.”
“Oh.” Daisy pouted. She felt silly not having thought about that, and now Uncle Joe’s visit didn’t seem like as much fun as she’d been expecting.
Uncle Joe walked up to Mama and hugged her. “How’d ye do, Mable?” he said. “I’ll be. You haven’t aged a day!”
Daisy frowned up at them, and Mama pouted.
“It’s Sandy, and you know it. You old fart!” Mama answered.
Uncle Joe blinked and looked way more surprised than he ought to be. Didn’t he know people grew up? He certainly seemed to have done enough of it himself.
“Little Sandy?” he asked. Uncle Joe looked down at Daisy and then back to Mama. “I’ve been gone longer than I thought,” he mumbled.
He laughed, and it sounded funny. Daisy couldn’t remember hearing a laugh that sounded nervous and a little sad in her whole life, but this one did. He pulled a handkerchief out of his breast pocket and rubbed the back of his neck and face with it before stuffing it back into his pocket.
“My you’ve grown!” he said. “Look just like your ma.” Uncle Joe smiled down at Daisy. “Last I saw you, you weren’t much bigger than this young lady.”
“Yeah, we thought you fell off the face of the earth,” Mama answered.
Daisy flinched. She hated Mama’s disappointed and angry voice, and she’d never heard her use it on a grown up. Wasn’t she happy Uncle Joe was visiting?
“This is Daisy. Her brother Danny’s out working with my husband, Adam.”
“Anything I can help ‘em with once I get my stuff squared away?” asked Uncle Joe.
“You still remember how to mend equipment after all these years?” Mama asked.
“Of course,” Uncle Joe answered with a chuckle.
“Well, you must have forgot how to work a phone,” Mama snapped back. “I thought you might have forgot your way around a tractor at the same time.”
“I’m sorry, Sandy,” Uncle Joe muttered.
Mama sighed. “Tell it to Mama and Grandma’s graves.”
Her voice was quiet, but Daisy could tell her words hurt Uncle Joe. She didn’t understand exactly why Mama was so mad all of a sudden, but she felt bad for him. She took his hand and led him to the room Mama made up for him.
“Mama says you tell great stories,” she said as they walked down the hall.
He smiled and nodded. All that summer, he told her fantastic stories of spaceships, aliens, and strange worlds.
Each story in this series is 500 words or less and is prompted by a first line taken either from a random first line generator like this one or reader suggestions like "Don't Forget Me." I much prefer working from reader suggestions over generators, but to do that, I need to hear from you.
If you have a prompt you'd like to see done, comment below, send it to my Tumblr asks, Tweet it at me, or leave a comment on any of the audio stories from this series. I'll screen shot it, write it, and post it for you.
A. B. England is a small business owner, home-schooling mom, novelist, all around geek, and avid crafter. She loves fantasy, mythology, and all flavors of science fiction.
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