The Easter holidays were not turning out as Jeremy had hoped.
He’d thought he would have ample opportunities to play in the park. To explore and engage in various misdeeds and adventures, but his Mother had put an end to that with one announcement.
“Jeremy, Jennifer, I have some news for you. We’ve got a very special guest coming to stay for the Easter Holidays. It’s Great Aunt Tabitha!”
Jeremy couldn’t help but feel totally crestfallen.
Great Aunt Tabitha was his Mother’s aunt and sister to Granny Dawes who had died when he was six. Granny Dawes had been cuddly and kind. Great Aunt Tabitha was the complete opposite. She hated children, particularly boys and on one of the rare times he had spoken to her, she delivered a long speech about how in her day children were seen and not heard, while waggling a long bony finger. She was very theatrical and self-centred and always spoke with plenty of waffle, as though delivering lines in a play. She absolutely had to be the centre of attention.
“Now Jeremy, remember what we talked about? No running off and hiding in the park. I don’t want to give any reason for Auntie to get upset. Just stay in your room and only speak when you’re spoken to.”
“Yes, Mum” he replied.
The day arrived sooner than he wanted, its strange that days you particularly dread arrive so much sooner than ones you are looking forward to.
He heard his dad’s car pulling up outside, back from picking Great Aunt Tabitha from the station. Then she burst in like a dark storm, her tall large frame covered in purple wool. She was carrying a very large and ugly carpet-bag.
“Jane dear! How lovely for you to invite me. Thank you so much. You know how awful it is when your Maid suddenly ups and leaves for no reason at all! She left me bereft! How kind of you to put me up for a while.”
As she spoke she handed over her large bag to his Mother who buckled under the weight of it.
“Goodness, Aunty, what have you got in here?” his Mother asked.
“Books, dear. Lots of books. I’m currently reading ‘ In tune with the infinite‘ by Ralph Waldo Trine but that won’t last me long. You know how I just love to devour books! I have a rapacious appetite for the good novel!”
Jeremy stood in the shadow of the hall and thought about this for some time. He had heard of those things called ‘fad’ diets but he’d never heard of anyone eating books before.
Jeremy and Jennifer were made to stand in front of Great Aunt Tabitha and bow and curtsey. He tried to imagine he was a great Knight being presented to a Queen, but to be honest she reminded him more of a Dragon that needed to be vanquished than a Queen. Queen’s should be elegant and beautiful and very nice. Not loud and bad-tempered, throwing hateful comments around like a javelin.
“Now, go upstairs and play,” His mother told them “I’ll call you when it’s time for tea.”
As he climbed the stairs, he heard his Great Aunt announce loudly, “You know, my dear, Children are all right in their proper place, but you can’t have children and a nice quiet life, they are just diametric! Totally opposed.”
Jeremy stomped his feet on the stairs.
Jennifer was amusing herself with her doll’s house while Jeremy was drawing a picture of St.George and the Dragon. The Dragon itself was purple, the same colour as Great Aunt Tabitha’s shawl. He drew and chain around its neck the other end held in the hand of St George. The Dragon tamed. Just as he was putting finishing touches to his masterpiece, his Mum called up the stairs.
“It’s time for tea. Wash your hands and come down to the table.”
As Jeremy washed his hands, he couldn’t help think about his Aunts strange comment about eating books. He wondered what book she was going to have for tea. He knew they had a copy of Robinson Crusoe that would make an ample meal, or War and Peace would be good.
As he arrived at the table he was rather disappointed to find they were only having fish.
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 28/February/2019
Today’s prompt: finger, waffle, javelin