A Family Reunion

 Grahame Taskill was sitting at his Grandmother’s kitchen table; he was rubbing his left eye to stop it from twitching. Grahame’s eye always  began to twitch a full week before  he went home to see his family for his annual weeklong visit and for the entire visit his eye never stopped twitching for longer than a few minutes.. He spent so much time rubbing his left eye that he would have nightmares about it popping out of its socket and running down his face where horror upon horror it would run into his mouth and when he woke up he would practically  break his neck ( he had already broken his big toe ) because for some strange reason when he would dream about his runny eye he would run straight for his bathroom to get a towel to put on his face to keep his other eye from popping and without fail in a desperate effort to save his eyes  he always ran into the wall right next to the bathroom door.

“So Nan, you want this ghost guy-“

“ His name is Mr Bibas and he’s a very talented psychic Grahame, he can actually reach ghosts. They understand him. They listen to him.”

“Okay. You want this psychic to come out here on Saturday to talk to Aunt Leatha “

“That’s right.”

” Because she refuses to talk to you now. “

Grahame took his finger away from his eye and it actually stopped twitching, for about an entire minute. “Uh-huh. Nan, you and Aunt Leatha never really talked when she was alive. So. I’m just wondering why you want to talk to her now. If I remember right you put a bird batch up next to her grave.”

“ So?”

“ Wasn’t she deathly afraid of birds?”

Nan was the picture of innocence itself. “ You’re acting like I danced on her grave Grahame.”

“ I’m thinking the only reason you haven’t done that is because of the poison ivy that’s growing all over it. It’s funny Nan, nobody can figure out where it came from. Nobody remembered there ever being poison ivy up here until it showed up on  Aunt Leatha’s grave.”

“ You don’t say.”

“ I just did.”

“ Well. I just want her to know that we need to let all this silliness between us go. The entire family will be up this weekend and I think it would be good for everyone to see me and Leath bury the hatchet-“

Grahame ignored the way his Grandmother forced herself to keep from grinning  when she mentioned her sister and the word ” hatchet” . “ It really is as simple as that Crackers.” She said calling Grahame by his childhood nickname.

“ Let it go Nan, let her go. If not for yourself then for the rest of us. It’s bad enough you and Aunt Leatha hated each other, but you two enjoyed hating each other way too much. Does it bother you even just a little that most of us know how to poison, dismember and hide a body because of the way the two of you used to talk about each other? “

Nan nodded and with that slow and gentle nod sympathy and empathy showed on her face and too bad they didn’t bring a map because , as Grahame would tell you, Nan’s face was unfamiliar territory to those two particular emotions. “ It was a disgrace the way me and Leatha carried on in life. Besides, look at what that did to you kids. You’re all a bunch of twitching eyes and stutterers and  when the family gets together the pharmacy in town runs out of antacids and I have a sneaky feeling I know where it’s all going.

“  So Mr. Bibas is going to come out on Friday night and have dinner with us and after desert he’s going to hold a little séance in the library and me and Leatha are going to patch things up.”

“ She’s dead Nan. There is nothing to patch up. She has moved beyond this stuff and you should too. “

” Mr Bibas knows what he’s doing. He talks to ghosts all the time and they listen to him. ” Nan argued.

“ Forget it. “ Aunt Leatha said from the hallway as she strolled by the kitchen door and both of Grahame’s eyes began to twitch uncontrollably

 “ I’m not interested .”

2 thoughts on “A Family Reunion

  1. Anita:

    I came across you via Kym Kemp – I saw Owl Creek Bridge and thought “Ambrose Bierce? Can’t be”.

    Pleasant surprise!

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