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Family Reunion: Flash Fiction by cam

Chris has written more than 200 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.”

Comments

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on August 08, 2016:

I was chuckling out loud at the ending, Chris.

You have a nice voice, Chris. My only critique is to watch your inflections. When someone is asking a question, we need to hear that audible question mark, which you provided. However, bring your voice back down to end in a period when reading, "said the deputy".

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on August 08, 2016:

Hi Deb. Thanks for your comment. I'm thinking about doing this more often. I enjoy it, so if readers do to, then it is worth the time.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on August 07, 2016:

I think I remember this story from a few years back, but I really enjoyed it with you reading it. This is what I wanted to do with Life at Boomer Lake with, as well as show my full sized photos.

This is excellent, especially for those that are sight challenged like some people are on this site. Perhaps you should do this regularly.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 17, 2016:

Ruby, Thanks for listening and reading. On HubPages, my stories will always be there to read. Some, will be on video. I suppose if I do what MizBejabbers suggested, a podcast, it would be video only. This will be fun to work with and see what happens.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on July 17, 2016:

I read this before, but it's still funny. To be honest, I would rather read a story than listen to it being read, but you did well. I think I would be too self conscious, but you didn't seem nervous and your voice came through loud and clear...Great presentation!

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 17, 2016:

MizBejabbers, I'm keeping track of these observations and suggestions. I'll be implementing them on the next video. I appreciate you taking the time to help me out. This is one more example of what a great community we have here.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 17, 2016:

Larry, I thank you for that compliment.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 17, 2016:

manatita, thanks for the comments, compliments and input. I do plan on doing more videos. I'm hoping it brings in more readers. I'm not after page views so much as people who will read the entire story. If listening helps that, then I'll work on improving.

Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on July 17, 2016:

Chris, I read the story and after finishing my chuckle, I listened to your video. You read very well. Eric's advice to vary the voices of characters a little more is right on. Also, we were taught in radio when doing commercials to drop our voices at the end of the sentence instead of raiiiiiising them (and startling the listener). When first starting out, I notice a tendency for a reader to swallow that last word as he lowers it. Please be careful of that. There were a couple of words that I wouldn't have caught if I'd not read the story. With a little practice, you'll be an expert. Are you considering a podcast of your stories? If not, maybe you should consider it. I think you have *star* potential.

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 17, 2016:

Wonderful bit of writing here.

manatita44 from london on July 17, 2016:

Great way to go Chris.

I think it's great, this video! With the eerie ones, you will need to change somewhat, but this one is light-hearted and I feel that you have done well. Have a great Sunday!

manatita44 from london on July 17, 2016:

Chuckle, chuckle ... this time I beat you to it! I saw the ending with a little more time to spare. Lol. Awesome story! Your variations are becoming untouchable, Bro. Nice! Now I'll listen to your video.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 17, 2016:

Frank, Do it anyway. This was my first one, we'll say it was a coincidence. Seriously, I think it's great when Bill does his video spots.

Frank Atanacio from Shelton on July 17, 2016:

this was just creative.. so creative and the video feed was a nice touch... wish I'd done it first LOL

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 16, 2016:

I think my newer stories will work better with the video reading. This one is a lot of telling and very little showing. The newer ones are written better. I'll try that out soon on a new story.

Chris Mills (author) from Traverse City, MI on July 16, 2016:

Eric, I haven't done anything like this before, so I'll definitely need some encouragement to be more expressive. I'd like to do this more often, give readers and option to read or listen. I'll work on changing rhythm and tone. Thanks for the input. Hello to your son. Yes, it is cool. Friends for years.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 16, 2016:

I like your shirt man. You have a great reading voice -- but for me, I would like a little more change of rhythm and tone for the people speaking as opposed to the story telling. I know some readers get goofy doing that but I think you can do it well.

(wow my son came in and saw you reading and asked "who is that?" I just plain told him that you were a friend of mine for years -- that is pretty cool)

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on July 16, 2016:

Just fantastic I loved it. Somehow it makes me homesick in a good way. Sounds like family on my sister's husband's side. Now back to the beginning to watch you do the story.