General Fiction posted July 29, 2016

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Being resourceful goes a long way sometimes.

Mommy Dearest

by Maria Jose Garcia

Mommy Dearest Contest Winner 

Being short of money is no fun. I mean, my friends always have the latest gadgets and the best clothes while I have to make do with hand-me-downs from my cousins.

When somebody asks me if I want to go to the cinema with them I always have to make up an excuse and people are starting to think I'm plain unfriendly.

I live in a huge rundown farm on the outskirts of town and since Dad left us to be with that busty blonde he met at the bar Mum has had no money or energy to make any repairs.

Yesterday, she told me she had had a great idea. We would get a paying tenant and that way we'd be able to afford some luxuries.

I have to say I didn't like the idea one bit. I do like my independence and having a stranger at home doesn't suit me.

Today when I got home from school I saw there was a man sitting at the table with Mum. When I walked in he turned around and said,

'Hello Josh'

I froze. What was my Maths teacher doing in my house? Didn't Mum remember everything I had told her about him?

I realized he was watching me, an evil smile plastered on his face.

'Mr Lucas is going to live with us. He was staying at a hotel but says it didn't feel like home.' Mum said trying to fill in the uncomfortable silence.

Without uttering a single word I left the kitchen and went up the stairs to my room. I heard Mum say,

'Don't worry. He'll get used to the idea. Just give him time.'

But she was wrong. I'll never get used to having that man living in my home. He's the worst teacher I've ever had. And not only because he doesn't know how to explain things. He makes fun of us in class. He even called Madge Little Pudding a few days ago and made her cry. Madge is a bit fat but she's a lovely girl and she's my friend.

If Mr Lucas thinks he's going to be happy in my home he has a surprise coming.

I sat on my bed thinking for a while and then went down again silently. Mum heard me all the same. Sometimes I think she has a radar.

'Where are you going, Josh? Don't be late. We're eating dinner in an hour.'

'Don't worry, Mum. I'll be back in less than ten minutes.'

I walked quickly towards the pond at the back of the house. I had to be there before it got dark. I took a small glass jar out of my pocket and set to work. I managed to catch a couple of tiny toads, three grasshoppers and an assortment of other creatures whose names I don't know.
It was pitch black when I got back to the house. The kitchen smelled of cabbage like it did most days. Mr Lucas was nowhere to be seen.

I walked up the stairs and listened outside the guest-room. I couldn't hear anything, so I assumed he must have gone out for a walk. I opened the door silently just in case and looked inside. The room was empty.

I was so nervous I couldn't stop my hands from shaking. I knew Mum would be mad at me but this had to be done. The man deserved it.

Silently, I tiptoed into the room and emptied the contents of my jar under the bed covers. My job was done, now I just had to be patient and wait.

Mum called me a while later. It was dinner time. At the table I hardly spoke. Just the necessary words when I needed Mum to pass the salt or to give me some water.

Mr Lucas asked Mum some personal questions and at first she answered but after a while she became cautious. Mum is a very private person and I noticed she was starting to take a dislike to him.

'So why did your husband leave such a beautiful woman? He must have been a fool. Did he find someone better? A younger model?' Mr Lucas asked jokingly.

'Dessert must be ready' Mum said getting up.

After dinner I helped Mum dry the dishes and put them away. We were about to finish when we heard a scream coming from Mr Lucas's room.

Mum looked at me, bewildered, and started running up the stairs. I followed her as quickly as I could.

We walked into the room without knocking. Mr Lucas was dancing around in his pajamas, a look of horror on his face.

'What kind of place is this? There were insects in my bed.'

By then, I think Mum had remembered all the stories I had told her about Mr Lucas and couldn't wait to get rid of the man.

'Insects? I don't see any insects. You must have been dreaming' she said winking at me.

I can't wait for him to go back to his hotel...sometimes being poor is not the worst thing that can happen to you.

Writing Prompt
Desperately strapped for cash your beloved mother rents out a room in her house.

Unbeknown to her the new long term tenant is your worst enemy.

Obviously you are not happy with the situation.

Using any prose genre in 1,000 words or less tell us what happens.

This contest picture must be used.

Entries not using this picture will not be considered for this contest.

The picture is "This is Evan" by Lilibug6.

Mommy Dearest
Contest Winner
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by Lilibug6 at

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© Copyright 2018. Maria Jose Garcia All rights reserved.
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