“Bequeathed” (Short Story) A-B-C Prompts May 14, 2019, By The Haunted Wordsmith

Teresa, over at “The Haunted Wordsmith” has supplied us today with the following prompts.

Prompt A (setting challenge): family dinner

Prompt B (sentence starter): “The art was atrocious”

Prompt C (photo):

Janet rechecked the invitation from her Grandmother.  Date and time confirmed that the family dinner would be held at this scenic estate on the waterfront in East Hampton, New York, that Friday evening.

One by one all the cars entered the horseshoe driveway of the well-manicured lawn.  As each of her relatives exited their cars and handed their keys to the valet, they were all greeted by a butler who held a silver plate with flutes of champagne.  ‘Nice.  Grandma certainly is pulling out all the charms for this mysterious event.’ Janet thought to herself as she was offered a glass of champagne.  

All the relatives mingled and greeted one another with a peck on the cheek, or a strong handshake.  ‘Not too pretentious here, no Siree Bob.’ Janet thought as she tried hiding her eyes rolling.  It was at that moment her mother, Rose snuck up behind her, “So, you made it here after all.  Your father and I didn’t think that you would show.  What changed your mind, Janet?”  Janet’s mother’s botox eyebrows lifted to a point when questioning her.

“I made it happen, okay.  I’m here, that should please you, right?  Janet snapped back at her mother through gritted teeth.  “Let’s not make this a big deal, alright.”  Janet stepped away from her mother and was then met by her father.

“Hey there, kiddo! Haven’t seen you in a while.  How’s the city treating you?”  Dad was a little more grounded than the rest of the family.  He at least had a personality that didn’t come off like a King on his Throne.  “Hi, Dad.  I’m good, really good.  City life is a blast! I’m so happy I decided to go to school there.” Janet responded excitedly.  Her father then put his arm around her waist and they both were instructed to go into the dining room.  Janet’s mother released a sigh of displeasure as her husband and daughter walked ahead of her.

The dinner tables all in white linens displayed exquisite orchids as the centerpieces, and twinkling white lights bounced off all the crystal.  It was truly stunning.  In the corner was a violinist and pianist playing Brahms sonatas and all the servers in white gloves posted at each table ready for the games to begin.

After everyone was seated and napkins placed in their laps, Grandma was escorted to the center of the dining room.  One thing for sure, Janet admired her Grandmother for her taste in fine dining and her fashions.  This evening was no different as she almost levitated to the middle of the room decked from head to toe in Valentino.

Grandma was handed a microphone with little crystals, and before she spoke, the looked all around the room taking in all of her family.  How proud she was.  She then cleared her throat softly, before speaking…

“My dearest family, I stand before you today because I wanted all of you to be here for my announcement.” The room was utterly quiet other than the crickets in the garden.  “As you all know, I’m obviously not getting any younger, and one day I will pass just like many have before me.  I decided a long time back that I didn’t want to have a traditional will made up by my lawyers.”  She then released a little chuckle, as her family members stared at her with a bit of concern.   Then Grandma continued, “Lawyers are bloodsucking toads.  No, I wanted to share my fortune and be here as I hand out to you, my family, all that has ever meant anything to me, to you.”

Janet quickly scanned the room and watched each of her relatives gasp in either delight or disgust, she quite couldn’t truly read their fake smiles. 

Grandma snapped her fingers to catch the attention of one of the butlers, “My first piece of artwork is to be given to my daughter, Rose.” As the item was dragged and pulled out under a covered dolly.  “Rose, my first born daughter…” Grandma stated, “Please stand up dear.”  She then requested.

Rose, removed her neatly placed napkin and put it on the table as she stood.  “Yes, Mother?”  her lips pierced, one brow peaked from interest.  Grandma stood there and stared out at her offspring with a gleam in her eyes.  

Grandma proceeded, “Rose, you darling thing you, I know you always had your eyes on this piece since you were a wee little thing.  I even knew back then when you were a child, I would one day leave it to you because I know how fond you were of it.”  Grandma then instructed the butler for the unveiling.  With one quick swoosh, the cover fell to the floor.  

There in the middle of the dining room, stood what Rose’s mother bequeath to her.  Mouths of every relative fell open, chuckles and laughter began to fill the hall. 

Rose stood there, all the blood rushing to her face, knuckles clenched in a fit of rage.  “The art was atrocious back then, and is still now!  What are you thinking mother?  Oh, good, Lord! This is your gift to me?” 

Grandma looked absolutely delighted, as a child in a candy store.  Grandma, let out a little childish giggle again and finally said.  “My darling dearest, Rose… You are one of my lawyer’s, right?”  With a gleam of satisfaction in her eyes.  


BC 2019



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