Crier

They say that everyone in a small town has some role to fill—an unofficial position that seems to suit their personality. Miss Mabel, the biggest gossip this side of the Mississippi River, served as town crier.  I, as mediator, was sent to diffuse Miss Mabel; to put an end to the words she scattered about like thistle seeds. 

“I’m leaving Eleanor.” I sat on the velvet loveseat.  “Tonight.  Here…”  I pressed a card into her hand.  “I want you to have my mother’s sweet roll recipe.  It’s the only copy.”
“Oh, Henry…” Miss Mabel clutched the card tightly.

“Miss Mabel, you understand I’ve come to you in confidence?”




Her eyes had taken on a dreamy look.  Her prim little mouth was working out the best combination of words and syllables with which to share my news. 

“Miss Mabel?”
Her eyes snapped forward.  “Of course, dear.”  She made a motion of zipping shut her lips and tossing an invisible key over her shoulder. 

I nodded.  “Alright then.”
Miss Mabel raised an index finger.  Mock unzipped her mouth halfway.  “But Henry?”  She spoke from the side of her mouth.

“Yes, Miss Mabel?”
“Could I just tell Milicent?  Poor dear, she’s been so worried about…”

I jumped to my feet.  “Absolutely not.”
“Oh, dear.”  Her eyes widened behind her bifocals.  “I understand.”

I kissed her cheek.  “Goodbye then, Miss Mabel.”
“Goodbye, dear.”

By afternoon, the news was all over town.  Concerned friends emailed Eleanor.  Passersby frowned at me in the street.  Eleanor’s father leaned upon the doorbell until I admitted him.  By midnight, forty-nine of our friends had contacted Eleanor.  At two o’clock in the  morning, my best man was out searching for me. 
* *  *

Miss Mabel sat at the kitchen table and bit into one of the sweet rolls she’d made after Henry left.  She flipped the newspaper to the local section and read the headline: Local couple renews wedding vows.  From the page, Henry and Eleanor smiled in black and white.
Miss Mabel's story continues here.
This was written in response to the Trifecta Writing Challenge.  This week's word was confidence.
This has also bee linked to Yeah, Write.

Labels:

Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Crier

Monday, April 23, 2012

Crier

They say that everyone in a small town has some role to fill—an unofficial position that seems to suit their personality. Miss Mabel, the biggest gossip this side of the Mississippi River, served as town crier.  I, as mediator, was sent to diffuse Miss Mabel; to put an end to the words she scattered about like thistle seeds. 

“I’m leaving Eleanor.” I sat on the velvet loveseat.  “Tonight.  Here…”  I pressed a card into her hand.  “I want you to have my mother’s sweet roll recipe.  It’s the only copy.”
“Oh, Henry…” Miss Mabel clutched the card tightly.

“Miss Mabel, you understand I’ve come to you in confidence?”




Her eyes had taken on a dreamy look.  Her prim little mouth was working out the best combination of words and syllables with which to share my news. 

“Miss Mabel?”
Her eyes snapped forward.  “Of course, dear.”  She made a motion of zipping shut her lips and tossing an invisible key over her shoulder. 

I nodded.  “Alright then.”
Miss Mabel raised an index finger.  Mock unzipped her mouth halfway.  “But Henry?”  She spoke from the side of her mouth.

“Yes, Miss Mabel?”
“Could I just tell Milicent?  Poor dear, she’s been so worried about…”

I jumped to my feet.  “Absolutely not.”
“Oh, dear.”  Her eyes widened behind her bifocals.  “I understand.”

I kissed her cheek.  “Goodbye then, Miss Mabel.”
“Goodbye, dear.”

By afternoon, the news was all over town.  Concerned friends emailed Eleanor.  Passersby frowned at me in the street.  Eleanor’s father leaned upon the doorbell until I admitted him.  By midnight, forty-nine of our friends had contacted Eleanor.  At two o’clock in the  morning, my best man was out searching for me. 
* *  *

Miss Mabel sat at the kitchen table and bit into one of the sweet rolls she’d made after Henry left.  She flipped the newspaper to the local section and read the headline: Local couple renews wedding vows.  From the page, Henry and Eleanor smiled in black and white.
Miss Mabel's story continues here.
This was written in response to the Trifecta Writing Challenge.  This week's word was confidence.
This has also bee linked to Yeah, Write.

Labels:

17 Comments:

At April 23, 2012 at 7:50 PM , Anonymous Sandra said...

Oh, that'll teach the biggest gossip what "in confidence" means! Great twist at the end!

 
At April 24, 2012 at 12:00 AM , Anonymous Chapter1-Take1 said...

Sweet! I like how you tricked the gossipy Miss Mabel by taking her into your 'confidence' . Good luck!

 
At April 24, 2012 at 8:01 AM , Anonymous Sisterhood of Moms said...

Nice twist. Good job beating Miss Mabel at her game. Erin

 
At April 24, 2012 at 8:22 AM , Anonymous Sandra Crook said...

Sweet! That's her credentials shot. Nice post.

 
At April 24, 2012 at 9:14 AM , Anonymous Leslicollins said...

Nicely played!

 
At April 24, 2012 at 4:05 PM , Anonymous Mayor Gia said...

Hahahha well played, henry!

 
At April 24, 2012 at 4:20 PM , Anonymous katieross83 said...

HA! I'll bet Miss Mabel will think twice about sharing news again...maybe. Then again, people like Miss Mabel rarely learn their lessons, do they?

 
At April 24, 2012 at 5:14 PM , Anonymous Michelle Longo said...

Cool story!!

 
At April 24, 2012 at 5:34 PM , Anonymous WilyGuy said...

Nice twist there. Liked the story.

 
At April 24, 2012 at 8:43 PM , Anonymous JannaTWrites said...

Ooh, nice ending! I like that he played the town gossip. I'd love to see it happen in real life :)

 
At April 25, 2012 at 5:21 PM , Anonymous Tamyka Bell said...

Like everyone else (it seems) I love the twist! I've played this trick on people myself. I was dating another graduate student and we wanted to keep it hush-hush. So we told the department gossip, "We aren't dating, but we want to make everyone think we are dating." We asked if she could help perpetuate the myth, so she went around telling everyone we were only pretending to be dating. Sneaky.

 
At April 25, 2012 at 6:20 PM , Anonymous jamieywrites said...

Beautifully written. What a compelling story...

 
At April 26, 2012 at 4:19 PM , Anonymous Dana said...

LOOOOVE this! Heading off to read the rest of Miss Mabel's story now... :-)

 
At April 26, 2012 at 5:20 PM , Anonymous Annabelle said...

Love the twist! Miss Mabel's quite a lady.

 
At April 26, 2012 at 7:57 PM , Anonymous Trifectawritingchallenge said...

Thanks for linking up to Trifecta this week. I love Henry--what a neat character. I like that you put the man in that role, it adds a bit more depth to the story than two women gossiping together. Great job with the twist. Hope to see you back for the weekend challenge.

 
At April 26, 2012 at 9:01 PM , Anonymous sailwawasee said...

I had no idea that was coming! Town Gossip, too!

 
At April 26, 2012 at 9:42 PM , Anonymous Olddognewtits said...

Some people are just so reliable when you need them to be, for better or for worse.

 

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