Hamlet was right

Another solo effort this month to complete April’s complement. This is my effort. You’ll find Eden Baylee’s take on the same prompt here.

Prompt: Dad gave me a wink, like we were pals or something.

Story by BK.


Hamlet was right

Whether we’re religious or not, we all seem to stick to the ‘Honour thy father and thy mother’ commandment. It’s natural, isn’t it? Although I have to admit, my dad sometimes made it hard. Not in any nasty way but more by sort of redefining relationships – not just him and me, but him and Mum. Most of all, I remember the day he did the sex talk. I was 12. He started by making it pretty clear that birds and bees had nothing to do with it, then went into disgusting detail about dogs and people and ended up with what he did to Mum in Liverpool. (Something I didn’t understand or want to hear.)

It all came back to me many years later at my wedding. There was a moment when… well, Marjorie and I had just made our vows, and were parading slowly back down the aisle, past all the grinning friends and eye-dabbing aunties and, of course, Mum and Dad. And Dad gave me a wink, like we were pals or something. A huge wink, not just an ‘I’m proud of you, son’ wink, but one which seemed to welcome me into some sleazy club. It made me think of the Liverpool revelation. And now that I’ve got to know Marjorie so much better, I’m pretty sure I know what else that wink might have been about.

I was baffled at how she changed in just a couple of weeks. At first, I thought maybe it was just because her friend, Deirdre, the photocopying girl from marketing, showed her that magazine article about how exotic stuff made marriage more bearable. That was fair enough, but I didn’t understand why, on our first night, I had to wear all that ridiculous gear – the doormat taped to my chest, that fur hat of hers with real cherries on it, the shoelaces tied around my arms – I had no idea what they all meant. And why she made me go out to the shed to fetch that antique sword which she’d found in Mrs Robinson’s junk shop on Acacia Avenue. It was difficult enough carrying the bloody thing without my laceless shoes slopping loosely as I walked. And then all she did was make me stick it into the overhead beam in our bedroom and superglue my hands to the hilt. What was that all about? It was as if she’d been possessed by some sort of inner beast. And it hurt like hell when she took that drawing pin from the corkboard in the kitchen and stuck it through my earlobe. I put up with it because… well, I just wanted to humour her, I suppose. I’d always done that, right from the start of our relationship, but this was new.

And then nothing. Until this afternoon, and I’m just sitting there, watching her chop carrots on the kitchen table, singing that Country song she likes so much. The one about the blind orphan who’s been savaged by the stepfamily’s wolfhound. Nothing makes sense. Where’s the love? Where’s the sweet little virgin I married? She knows I’m supposed to be playing golf with Gerald today so why’s she just calmly chopping carrots?

‘Listen Sweetie,’ I say. ‘I really need to get my clubs organised. I’m supposed to be teeing off at 3.30.’

She looks up, her eyes cold, strange.

‘There’s not going to be any golf,’ she says. ‘I have other plans.’

‘But, Gerald… I mean, he’ll be expecting me…’

‘Shut it,’ she says. ‘If this knife slips and I cut my finger, its next target will be your genitalia.’

That’s scary. Whenever she starts using posh words I know I’m in trouble. I bet it’s that bloody 50 shades book again. When she started reading it, I thought it was about cats or knitting patterns for cardigans, or something. That’s the sort of thing she read before we were married, but that was before all the bedroom weirdness. And it’s that, that’s made me remember Dad laughing as he told me how I was conceived in that butcher’s shop in Liverpool.

I’m pretty sure that that wink wasn’t about him being proud of me.

But this is even weirder than that. She’s coming over to me, knife in her left hand, two carrots in her right.

I try to laugh. ‘Aw, come on, Sweetie,’ I say.

She shakes her head.

‘Shut it,’ she says. ‘All this time, all that boring missionary sex… Things are about to change. It’s time for some immaculate fornication.’

She pushes the points of the two carrots up my nostrils. I try to pull my head back, but too late. Ah well… I remember Dad’s final words as he finished the sex talk. ‘There’s nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’


I’d love to hear what you thought of it.


    1. Glad you liked it, Eden. I suppose the prompt was the reason that our solos, while markedly different in tone, broadly covered similar territory.

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