the family reunion

Today, I will share another piece of haphazardly (read: quickly) produced fiction according to the following prompt from the Red Writing Hood:

This week we want to challenge you to try something new.

Is there someone who drives you crazy?

Someone who really gets under your skin.

It doesn’t have to be someone you know (although it certainly can be). It could be someone famous. Or even a character in a book.

Now, write a first-person piece – as if YOU are this individual. Write from his or her perspective and include the things that really bother you. For instance, maybe there’s a good reason why they eat with their mouths open, or why they use sarcasm as a weapon.

This can be completely fictional or you can base it on a real-life person.

Edits and constructive criticism are very much welcome and appreciated.

* * *

The Family Reunion

My family insists on an annual family reunion, ruining the fourth of July for every one of us. Because despite going through the trouble to make it happen, no one has fun. Except for possibly the smallest of children. And even their fun is hampered by miserable parents.

The reunion is my family’s twisted combination of a come to Jesus meeting and a New Years celebration. Everyone confesses the dirty rumors they started, or perpetuated, about a family member since the last party. Fingers are pointed, tears cried, voices raised. All the drama of the year comes to a sharp point. A turning point. Forgive and forget and move on. You’ll have a better shot at a good year if you can do this. If you can’t, or if you can’t be forgiven, you may get left behind.

Like my poor brother, Will. He has no job in the family business and no one will ever suggest that he be given another chance (like we did for my other brother, Paul). Not since he showed up drunk to an important meeting and made a $15 million project fall through our fingers like sand.

As far as I know, Will has been living off the paltry remainder of his trust fund. He comes to the reunions, but he doesn’t stay long. He has long hair growing on his face and down his back like a vagrant. I don’t think he’s cut any of it since we unofficially disowned him. It’s not that I don’t love my brother, but he makes me more uncomfortable than a bed full of bugs. His voice is not as loud as it used to be and he prefers to listen, whereas as the rest of us prefer to talk. Loudly. Mostly about ourselves, validating our delicate egos by supplying too much information. The information that not even our mother cares to hear.

Will only talks about the evils of money, whereas the rest of us love money and love spending it. We like to complain about the country club taking advantage of us when we throw our annual party, but we still let them because the food is gourmet and we are practically underneath the fireworks display. Not that any of us remember it. The Fourth of July is a holiday and any one who knows my father knows that holidays start at brunch with a glass of Veuve Cliquot and orange juice.

That’s why we hold the slideshow after lunch, when we’re all good and buzzed but not yet confused about the direction of up versus down. Will usually exits dramatically right before the slideshow, if not earlier. The asshole. Too good for the oldest family tradition of all.

My sister, Pat, the perfectionist among us, started making the slideshow at age 12 and works hard to outdo herself every year. I can’t help but wonder if we do cool things because we value the experiences, or because we like to brag to one another. I really didn’t want to jump out of that airplane last month, but I did it anyway, and I asked them to take a photo of my face as I jumped, bathed in terror, just so I could make my mark this year. But when the picture flashes across the screen, no one says a thing. Meanwhile, the photography for next year’s slideshow has already begun.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “the family reunion

  1. I thought this was interesting. I’m intrigued by the family. It seems like there might be more to explore–will we see them again?

    I’d love to hear more about the protagonist. Or antagonist, as the case may be. How does she fit in amongst these characters?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Like

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