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Family Reunion: Flash Fiction by cam
The alarm clock went off at 6:00 a.m. and a hand felt around the bedside table until it found the source of the offensive noise. Wendall crawled out of bed and began going through the motions of getting ready for work. He started the coffee pot and flipped on his radio to see if music might help his sour mood.
“Good morning everyone,” said the radio show host. “We’re broadcasting from the downtown farmers’ market which is held here every Saturday morning. Come on down and join us for some coffee and fresh donuts.”
Saturday was a much better day than whatever day Wendell had thought it was. He stood at his bay window with a cup of steaming coffee in hand and looked out across the lawn toward the horizon where the sun was just rising over the distant hills. The sky was blue, the birds were singing and the stranger camping on his front lawn was enjoying a cup of coffee as well. Wendell headed out the door.
“Excuse me sir, but you’re camping on my front lawn.”
“Oh, hello. Yes, I am. My name is Clyde. You see I grew up on this property.”
“You know you can’t come back here and camp on my lawn just because you happened to have lived here at some point in time.”
“Now hold on. I didn’t just live here for a little while. I grew up here. Spent my whole childhood and teen years here. We just wanted to come back and camp out in the yard like we did when we were kids. You know, for old time’s sake.”
“We? Did you say we?”
“Yes I did. My brother’s coming too. Kind of a little family reunion.”
“You can call you brother and tell him the family reunion is off. You can’t camp in my lawn.”
“Look, here he comes now.” Clyde stood up and pointed toward the road. A thirty-six foot motorhome was pulling into Wendell’s driveway. Clyde ran to the rear of the vehicle to help guide it into place under an Oak tree. Wendell ran to the front of the vehicle to direct the driver back out onto the road.
When the driver of the motor home was finished parking, he got out and gave Clyde a big bear hug. Clyde introduced him to Wendell as his brother Clem, who in turn gave Wendell a big bear hug.
Before Wendell could reorganize his thinking, the door to the motorhome opened and out came a woman, two little girls and three boys. The boys chased the girls around the motorhome, all of them screaming and laughing. Wendell heard horns honking. Ten more motorhomes turned onto his property before he could object.
Wendell excused himself and went back into the house. He called the Sheriff’s Department and was told that an officer was on the way. Not long after that, a patrol car pulled into the driveway.
“Howdy Wendell,” said the Deputy. “Are you having a family reunion or something?”
“No...yes, I mean, no.” Well I’m not, but they are. At that point, Clyde and Clem walked up.
“Well if it ain’t little old Donnie,” said Clyde. “We haven’t seen you since we were teenagers.”
“Clyde? Clem?” said the Deputy. “I can’t believe this. It’s great to see you guys.”
“Are you a Sheriff now, Donnie?” asked Clem.
“Oh no, just a deputy. But, maybe someday...”
“I hate to break up this little reunion," said Wendell, "but I need to talk to the Deputy for a few minutes in the house.” Wendell escorted the officer in through the front door.
“Don, I want you to get these people to leave. They are trespassing on my property.”
“Well, now just slow down there Wendell. Those two men are old friends of mine. They grew up here. I’m sure they just want to hang out at the old place for the weekend, then they’ll be gone.”
Wendell was so speechless that Deputy Don thought he was finished speaking and walked back outside. Wendell followed, meaning to object to the Deputy’s evaluation of the situation, but was distracted when he saw someone setting up a very large above-the-ground, plastic pool. People had fired up their charcoal grills and were barbecuing burgers and hot dogs while someone else was cranking a homemade ice cream freezer. Wendell realized that things were far beyond getting out of hand. The situation was hopeless. He went back into the house and closed the door. A little while later he came back out carrying a couple of large bags.
“Where you off to?” asked the Deputy stuffing the last of a hot dog with mustard into his mouth.
“I’m going fishing and then camping,” said Wendell. “I’ll see you later, Don.” Wendell nodded at Clem and Clyde, but didn’t say anything.
Later that night, Wendell was sitting by his campfire with his catch of bluegill frying in a pan. Headlights swept over his campsite, and he chuckled to himself. Deputy Don walked into the light of the campfire.
“Wendell, what are you doing in my front yard?”
“Camping, Deputy. I’m camping.”