Friday, June 7, 2019

Flash Fiction Friday, Week 23 - A Family Affair

The prompt this week was to write a wedding story, and include the traditional ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue’. Genre, gender, and species were our choice, and I took those choices quite literally. I strayed from tradition a bit, but the basics are still there. Come join Ralph and Charlena on their happy day.

A Family Affair

“I’m worried, Marceline. Ralph is a smart boy, but I wonder if he’s thought this through.”

“Gerald, our Ralph may be young, but he’s not a boy anymore. He’s a young man, and a smart one at that. I agree this seems like a risky decision on his part, but he loves the girl, and Charlena is lovely. You remember, don’t you, we took a risk too, and our parents were concerned, but haven’t we been perfectly happy all these years?”

“Of course, my pet. But ours was a different situation. Our parents were hesitant to give us their blessing just because we were young. But our Ralph and this girl? She is so different from every other young lady he’s been involved with. And her parents? We have absolutely nothing in common with them, and yet, we’re all going to be in the same family.”

“Gerald, I can’t believe what I’m hearing. I never in my entire life thought that you were that kind.”

“What kind?”

“You know what I mean. The kind that looks down on others. Yes, they’re different from us, and they come from a different part of the world and a completely different culture, but that doesn’t mean they’re beneath us socially.”

“Oh my goodness, Marceline. You know me better than that. Of course, they’re not beneath us socially. It’s just that their ways are different from ours, and I’m wondering how we will all adjust to each other.”

“Things have a way of working themselves out, Gerald. The children love each other, and we love our son and they love their daughter. If those two can adjust to each other, so can all of us. Now, Grandpa Roman, he’s a whole other issue. He’s having a hard time with this wedding, and that’s why I included him in it. He seems a bit more open to the idea now.”

“That was a good idea, Marceline. You know my grandfather. He always feels left out of things, and when he feels that way, he’s against whatever the event is. But being directly in the wedding, he’ll be the first one to toast the couple.”

“I’m glad my other idea worked so well too. Charlena’s mom, Rachelle, was beside herself with all the planning, and my volunteering to help lessened the tension between us.”

“I hope they know what a good man our Ralph is.”

“They know, Gerald. It’s just they also look at us and see a different culture, but they’re making an effort and we should too. Oh, look at the time. We’ve got to go. We can’t be late for our son’s wedding. I just need to gather up the somethings I promised to bring. Rachelle really appreciated my taking that over.”

“Marceline, you decided not to follow tradition?”

“I thought I’d be different. I discussed it with Rachelle, and she loved what I planned.”

“Great. Let’s head over to the hall. Why are you crying?”

“My baby’s getting married today.”

“I know, dear. He’s my baby too.”


“Hi, Rachelle and Jack. Ready for a wedding?”

“Hi, Marceline and Gerald. I can’t believe our kids are all grown up and going on their own. You two have been so gracious about this whole situation., I know how hard it’s been for you to get used to us.”

“Rachelle, we’ve all had to adjust. We’ll find a way to get along, as long as we remember that we’re all one family now.”

“True. We need to take care of each other. So, tell me about your somethings. Tradition is the bride wears the somethings, but I like your take on it much more. We’ll make this our family’s new tradition.”

“Excellent idea, Rachelle. I thought my somethings would go nicely up front: two next to your daughter and two next to our son. First, we have something old, and that’s Grandpa Roman. He’s Gerald’s grandfather, and no one knows how old he really is. He’s literally been around forever. Next, we have something new. She’s a young hitchhiker Gerald picked up this morning, so she’s quite fresh. We’ve kept her bound and gagged so our neighbors wouldn’t be bothered. We can all share her at the reception as part of our meal.”

“Yummy. Who’s next?”

“We have something borrowed. That was a challenge, but I think I made the perfect choice. My Uncle Frederick keeps a young man that he uses as a midnight snack. Uncle Freddy said we could borrow him for a couple of hours, but I need to bring him right home after the ceremony.”

“I understand completely. And the last something?”

“Something blue. We’ll have to get photos quickly of that one. Gerald snatched him from the city morgue’s freezer, and his cheeks and hands are a lovely aquamarine. We’ve kept him in our home deep freeze, but it’s warm in here so he probably will thaw soon and lose his color.”

“Does he have to be returned too?”

“No, but we have no use for the dead, so you and yours are welcome to him.”

“You’re a peach, Marceline. Let’s start the music and get this wedding going.”

“Your daughter is so lovely, Rachelle. When she turns, I’ll bet she keeps that delicate look.”

“She does, Marceline. Even her fangs are long and slender. Your son, Ralph, is so handsome. Does he spend much of the day in his coffin?”

“Not much. We’re weaker in the daylight, but the sun does no damage.”

“Wonderful. All is in place, and here comes Charlena with her dad. I’m going to cry, Marceline.”

“Me too, Rachelle.”


“We are gathered here this evening to join together these two young people in marriage. It warms my cold heart to see a vamp and a lycan begin their lives together. After the reception, we should all go on a hunt. Half the town is in the square tonight for a concert, and that should make for quite a nice dessert buffet…”


  1. A lovely twist. It's a back and forth dialogue discussing an upcoming wedding, all natural, with many of the typical fussing about. Very calming and comfortable to read. Then the phrase "We’ve kept her bound and gagged" and the reader sits up, reflects back on the previous text, and reluctantly carries on. And realizes these still are 'normal' people. LOL
    Sometimes your stories are all dialogue, sometimes a mix, sometimes none. All seem to work, but I was wondering how you decide.

    1. Thanks, Mike. I'm glad you enjoyed my romp through the macabre. How do I decide all dialogue, a mix, etc.? That's a tough question. You know, it's not really something that I technically decide. Once I get my basic idea, I sit down and write. If it seems to flow smoothly in its form, I continue until it doesn't. I have deleted half a story only to change from third person to first, or from 100% narrative style to a conversation between characters, and let them describe. Some stories flow well in one form or another and then I just go with it. If not, I find the one that feels comfortable. That's not much of an answer, but you know as well as I do how a story feels when you're writing it, and we go with what feels right.