> “For he’s the jolly good fellow! That nobody can deny!! Woohoo!!” the singing and cheering over Arthur’s 85th birthday celebration drowned out the sound of the doorbell. When the singing stopped and the din quieted down to more of a whispered state, the sound was sharp and shrill, startling those within the house.
“Hello?” inquired the well dressed woman who answered the door. Her smooth face wrinkled as her brow furrowed revealing that she did not recognize the person at the door. “How can I help you?”
Hilary cleared her throat and began, “I am looking for a Mr. Thomas Beauchamp. Um…this is his last listed address. Is he here?” She noticed the affair that was carrying on in the background and her own brow creased down in concern.
“Might I ask why you are looking for Thomas? Of course it would be Thomas.”
“I’m afraid this is rather personal. I was told not to share it with anyone.” She looked at the paper in front of her. She really hated this part of the process, but it was a necessary one.
The woman at the door releases a long sigh. “Very well. Please come in. Now wait right here, please.”
The woman walked off hastily, and Hilary looked around the open space, noting the attire of those around her in the large immaculate home, and feeling quite under dressed, for once. She looked at her watch with impatience. It had already taken her far too long to find him, but she hoped she finally had.
The woman returned quickly followed by a tall gentleman who looked to be an exact but younger, copy of her. She took one look at his eyes and knew that he was the man she had been looking for.
“Mr. Beauchamp, my name is Hilary. I am an agent with the Carollton Heights Child Protective Services. Before I continue, I must ask you one question to verify your identity. What do you get if you cross an elephant with a rhino?” She watched in amusement as the woman’s face went from shock to confusion. She watched Thomas’s face as different emotions passed over it.
He quickly answered, “El-if-i-no.” Confused he asks, “Miss…Hilary? What does that have to do with anything?”
“Do you remember a woman named Patience Storm?” The toe of her shoe tapped on the hardwood floor in her impatience. She looked at her watch again, her worried brow inching ever further down her nose. This was not lost on either Thomas nor his mother.
“I do! How could I ever forget her? She was the love of my life. That was her favorite joke. I haven’t seen her in a few years though.”
“Oh that sordid woman!” His mother intervened. “She was awful to Thomas, just…awful. I was never so grateful as when she walked out on you! And with no explanation, too! She took everything, wiped him clean. Such an awful woman.”
“Now, now, Mother. We agreed not to discuss her.” Thomas looked at Hilary. “Must we do this today? Now?”
“Well, I’m here to inform you that she has disappeared, leaving behind one small child she claimed you are the father of. Would you like to meet your son?”
Thomas looked at his mother who had grabbed his hand. Her breath caught in her throat and tears spilled down her face. “A son? Oh my sweet Thomas! Your dream at last comes true. Your grandfather will be so pleased. An heir to our legacy, finally.”
As always, critique is welcome and wanted. *I have already done a little editing based on the comments already received. Please keep them coming!*
This week’s prompt was to write a piece of flash fiction, 600 words or less, and have one character tell a joke, and one character start crying. GREAT CHALLENGE!!
–Stephanie, AKA The Drama Mama