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A Short Story: My Mother's Favorite Stupid Soap Opera

Updated on October 7, 2015
No soaps
No soaps | Source

Short Fiction Narrated By a Girl Called "Mouse"

This is an excerpt from my novel, A Picket Fence in Pawpaw, but I think it works well on its own. So I thought I'd call it a (very short) short story, change the tense from past to present, and share it here.

The following short story--or vignette more like--is narrated by twelve year-old "Mouse" Prine from the small Pennsylvania town of Pawpaw.

I hope you enjoy your (short) stay, and please leave a comment in the guestbook below to let me know what you think.

My Mother's Favorite Stupid Soap Opera
My Mother's Favorite Stupid Soap Opera | Source

My Mother's Favorite Stupid Soap Opera

On the last segment of my mother's favorite stupid soap opera, Stone found out that Rita had lied, that Tory is actually Donovan's baby. But Donovan still thinks the child is Stone's, and he's glad because, about two months ago, he realized he still loves his wife, Margot, who had their first child three episodes before Tory was born. Cameron was brought in for questioning about the death of his wife, Billie, who isn't really dead, I don't think. Jake seduced Lois, and they kissed passionately, but Jade saw and plotted to blackmail Jake; if he doesn't give her the Flaherty account, she'll tell Guy, Lois's husband, in which case Guy will fire Jake from Remington's, which Guy just made Jake the vice-president of. Not to mention the fact that Carly, Jakes' wife, would never speak to Jake again, which would be fine with Flame, who's loved Carly for years. Oh, and Beau, who's never been married and hasn't dated in ages because he can't seem to find a single woman who isn't interested just in his money, met a new character, a sweet-looking blond girl he found beaten in an alley and took to his place to tend to when she refused to go to the hospital.

Nothing like that ever happens in our town!

I hear the opening music, a tenor sax playing the familiar, seductive melody, and wander as nonchalantly as I can down the hall, flop into the brown Naugahide chair and open my book. I hold it up in front of my nose.

"Can you see from there?" Mom asks me.

"See what? Oh, no, I'm not watchin' that stuff. I'm gonna read."

Mom gets up and shifts the TV my way, then returns to the couch. She crosses her legs and layers her hands on her top knee, so I sling a leg over an arm of the Naugahide chair and slump down further.

The music ends and the first scene begins. I hold my book higher and move it slightly to the right.

"Here, let's take a look at that eye," Beau says, kneeling in front of the pretty blond lady. He touches her cheek with his fingertips and holds the ice pack to her face, which she turns away from his kind, blue eyes. "It's okay," he tells her, "You're safe here with me."

Mom sighs, so I cough and flip the page.

The scene switches to Donovan and Margot, who are cooing at their newborn son, named Zane. Donovan kisses the top of Margot's head and tells her he loves her more than life itself.

Mom sighs again and clicks her tongue, which makes me turn the page with too much force, ripping it.

"If the television is bothering you," she tells me, "then perhaps you might want to read in your room."

"It ain't botherin' me," I tell her back.

Then she says, "Ain't isn't a word.

So I say, "I ain't even payin' attention to that stupid show."

Dirk walks in as the scene switches to Guy and Lois in bed.

Mom turns up the volume of the heavy breathing and face sucking, so I say, "Hey dork!"

"Hey brat," my brother replies and whacks me on the knees with his stinky towel. He has a basketball under his arm. "Don't tell me you're watchin' that crap now."

"Shut up, butt brain, I'm tryin' to read."

Dirk-the-Jerk grabs for the Hila Coleman book I'd clutched to my chest the moment he walked in. "Yeah, and what're you readin'? One of those Harleyquin things, probably."

"Shut up, fart-face." I scrunch over Nobody Has To Be A Kid Forever, as my smelly brother keeps trying to pry the book away.

"C'mon miss priss, give it up."

"Get lost, barf breath!"

"Baby!"

"Heiney hole!"

"That's enough!" Mom yells, then lowers her voice like a schoolmarm. "If you please, I'm trying to watch this program. If you insist on being childish, you'll have to do so elsewhere."

"Butt munch," I whisper to Dirk.

"Dumbo," he whispers over the back of the Naugahide chair, then jumps away as my fist flies up. He always has to mention the ears.

I would go after him, but ... well, the commercial is over.

The book from which this short story came from

A Picket Fence in Pawpaw is now available on Kindle.

Picket fences can enclose not only what seem to be perfect houses and perfect lives, but also small-town thinking. In A Picket Fence in Pawpaw, thirty-six year-old Minnie Mincola takes us to Pawpaw, Pennsylvania, where this tale of the people who were part and parcel of her childhood plays out in her heart and mind. Known then as "Mouse," she thrived in the warm glow of her extraordinary relationship with her grandfather, Raymond "Pawpaw" Prine.

As Minnie looks back on events that shook her world, a child's trust becomes the woman's questions. What she had believed to be the fabric and facts of her life in Pawpaw turn out to be a network of secrets. One day, an exploration by a curious Mouse brings her grandfather, friends and events into sharp focus and sets in motion a harsh flood of reality. Youthful innocence becomes a woman's wisdom, as picket fences give way to an understanding of human frailty, forgiveness and love.

© 2009 Deb Kingsbury

Comments on this Bit of Creative Writing? Let me know what you think about this short story.

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    • conniec123 profile image

      Connie Clyburn 

      4 years ago

      Love the way your dialogue flows between the characters -- I need some lessons! Stuck on a novel draft that's well past its first year...

      Good job!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Sometimes life stops when the commercials are over...

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      6 years ago from So Cal

      With a 10-yr-old who is now hooked on my soap opera that is going away this month, he is pretty savvy. Great short story! I wasn't allowed to speak to my brother that way but certainly did think it!

    • NYtoSCimjustme profile image

      NYtoSCimjustme 

      6 years ago

      That is actually pretty creative - and very 'realistic' as far as I remember my teen years. I too would have to suffer through the afternoon dramas while my sisters cooed over the leading actors. When I need a new fiction choice - may just come back and pick up the full version... I like your style!

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 

      6 years ago from Detroit

      Stories about soaps! LOL! You definitely have a way with words!

    • profile image

      royalfoust 

      8 years ago

      My wife and I laughed all the way through the "Short story". We are in our seventies and remember the same type of scenes as children, with our own children and now our grand kids. Some things never change.

    • CastleRoyLisa profile image

      Lisa 

      9 years ago from Rhode Island

      great story well done

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      9 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Where was I the first time I was here. Great job Deb. Nice work getting published. Of course I haven't heard of this before. I am really impressed.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      9 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I never heard of this before. Great story!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      9 years ago

      Great story Deb!

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