Wednesday's 3WW

The words over at Three Word Wednesday are hinder, journey and rigid.

My father sits at the kitchenette, drinking strong black tea in a chipped China cup.
Next to the door is a steamer trunk, ancient and slightly moldy smelling; it’s massive brass latches dulled from abuse.
Before I can inquire, father tells me that he and my mother have a expedition ahead of them. He tells of a long, winding road, an odyssey of heartbreak and toil. And suffering. Lots and lots of suffering.
“I’m not going?”
“Too dangerous,” he says, fishing lemon seeds from the bitter tea.
Before I can protest, father puts up a rigid hand, wags a single digit, signaling that the conversation is over.
I slump over a small plate of soggy toast.
Father checks his watch, stands, takes a broom and begins tapping manically at the ceiling. Mother responds with her own Morse code, heavy stomps coming from someone so diminutive.
Thunderous footfalls echo down the stairwell.
She’s dressed in bush garb, gauzy tans and light browns. On her feet are old-style waffle-stomper boots, heavy black lug soles and acres of brown leather tied closed with jaunty red laces. On her head, a pith helmet with a built-in mini fan.
She wears no makeup, just a mask of singular resolve.
She assesses the scene, gauges the tension swirling around the table.
“Honey, the journey will be protracted, it will be treacherous and I’m afraid you’ll just be a hindrance.”
My upper lip begins to quiver.
Father takes the opportunity to cuff me across the scalp, throwing static cowlicks in the wake of his open fist.
“Boy, we’re protecting you from all manner of unknown dangers,” he says.
“Alas, yes,” mother says, smoothing my hair with tiny kisses. “You know how the mall can get around the holidays.”


Lilibeth said...

I like it. You have an excellent use of specific words here, and vivid images. My favorite is the image of cowlicks in the wake of his open fist.

Daily Panic said...

this is great. I am wondering how far away the mall is to require a steam trunk or what will be put in it.
the atmosphere in the kitchen is still cozy even with the gruffness of the dad and the emotions. I was able to imagine it all.

anthonynorth said...

Ah, those festive nightmares. A nicely done true account for many :-)

Dee Martin said...

I like it Thom. Maybe you are uncomfortable because it isn't your usual level of dark humor? Personally I think the malls at Christmas time are as dark as anyone needs to get.

Tumblewords: said...

The li'l dude doesn't know how lucky he is! Malls ~ begone, away with you! Nicely done. I haven't heard waffle-stomper for quite some time but enjoyed it as much as I did the first.

Tim Remp said...

I think this only highlighted the horrors of the holidays.

Merry Christmas...

Larry said...

OH yes I remember the mall around Christmas time so I don't blame them looking out for you.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment as usual.

Stan Ski said...

Christmas shopping - an exciting theory...but hardly practical. Brilliant post!

b said...

This is just too funny...but I love the dangers of a mall!

Merry Christmas Thomas...and thank you for all those wonderful prompts.


Jeeves said...

Well, christmas shopping and its dangers. Really nice one

lissa said...

unexpected ending, nice one, I really like "a mask of singular resolve" - great word combination

Americanising Desi said...


Rigid Stains

Anonymous said...

Your kraft at detailing is so good...i could imagine it all be it the shipped china cup, steamer trunck with brass latches dulled...good one.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

susan said...

I don't understand why you don't like the ending. It's so unexpected and funny. Well done.

maglomaniac said...

As always a picturesque interesting story.Enjoyed it.