Drama Sad Fiction

`Darling, Darling, what on earth do you think you’re wearing?’ says Greta scowling in sheer disgust at her fully grown niece `Clarissa that’s simply ghastly, it doesn’t go together in the slightest. You have shocking dress sense.’

Clarissa simply shakes her head and walks off, she’s learnt to take no notice `this is classic Aunty Greta’ she thinks disgruntled by the insult. Sure enough Clarissa’s non-reaction makes Greta set her eyes on the next poor target.  Sitting down on the outside chairs of the nearby café ` Waiter, waiter, service chop, chop please’ Greta instructs clapping her hands at the unfortunate young boy working there ` I’ll have a fizzy aqua.  Make sure there’s no smears on the glass as that will in no way be acceptable.  While you’re at it take this away with you - this cutlery is dirty. Please tell the manager this table cloth is creased to within an inch of its life – what sort of an establishment are you running here? I give it nil poi's.’ The waiter stands there gawping simply in shock and not knowing how to deal with this onslaught. ` Well go on then’ she says shooing him away with the back of her hand `if you’re waiting for a tip that’s all you’re getting’

Clarissa has cooled off and returns just in time to hear the reel of complaints ` Aunty! Honestly, cease fire. Don’t launch a full scale attack on the poor kid, don’t take it out on him, it’s not his fault.’

Her aunt whips her head sharply across to turn to look at her, if looks could kill Clarissa would of dropped to the floor stone cold dead. The flames of annoyance in her stare and the flaring nostrils reminded Clarissa of a Bull readying a charge at a red flag. It told Clarissa exactly what her aunt was thinking without her having to utter a single word as growing up nearby she’d seen this look a thousand times!! It was her how dare you speak to me like that in public, who do you think you are, look.

 Clarissa plonks herself down opposite her aunty and hangs her head in shame ` she couldn’t not say anything, she was used to the way her aunt is. No-one else gets a warning, heading inland like a hurricane or tornado, the storm of “critiques”, as her aunt would call it, just fly from all angles hitting anything and anyone in its path.'

The waiter returns with the water and makes a sharp exit before Greta has a chance to say anything else to him. So Greta again hones in on Clarissa, noticing her aunt’s sights firmly on her with a frown across her face – ` target locked – beep, beep, beep, beep, BOOM!' Clarissa thinks ` here we go again’

Her aunt opens her mouth to speak ` Why’s your hair doing that? That sticking up bit, have you not brushed it today?’ Clarissa sighs as her aunt continues ` don’t huff at me! I’m just getting you to fulfil your potential.’

               ` `I’m not huffing, I’m sighing to release tension’ Clarissa replies timidly.

` Don’t be ridiculous Clarissa; you’re such a Drama Queen. I know what a huff sounds like. You’re acting like a spoilt teenager.’

               ` Me?’ thinks Clarissa `What a cheek. Aunty needs to take a look in the mirror and see how others see her.  Coming across all high and mighty, she needs to come down off that high horse’

               Greta has finished her drink, she leaves the money on the table held in place by the salt shaker and off they stroll again down the street. ` That person looks like they’ve not washed in a week’

               ` Aunty, that’s a homeless person! They probably haven’t.’ Clarissa says meekly.

               ` That man over there is with a woman young enough to be his daughter’ Greta sneers down her nose.

               ` It probably is his daughter, that’s why!’ Clarissa mutters embarrassed that these innocent bystanders might overhear.

               ` That mum has no control over her toddler, they obviously rule the roost. I’ve a good mind to march on over there tell her what she’s failing to do as a mother!’

               ` No aunty. Leave it please.’ Clarissa protests ` In some warped way, you think you’re helping, but it comes across as condescending and patronizing. You’ll get yourself lynched.’

               Greta huffs and marches ahead clearly not used to being critiqued, only ever the Critic.

               Clarissa speeds up to catch her. She sees a tear stream down Greta's cheek ` oh Aunty I’m sorry but it needed saying. You have to realize how you come across in the eyes of others. That being said, it wasn’t my intention to upset you – I just wanted to get you to think before you speak’

               Greta replies ``` I’m a spinster, I don’t have interaction, only when I venture out and meet up with you. It’s hardened me, made me forget how to behave around others.  The loneliness and craving for human company has made me spiteful deflecting my own feelings of hurt on to others.’

               ` Oh Aunty, let me help you. How do you like spending your time? There’s got to be groups locally to you. You could make friends who have common interests then.’ explains Clarissa sympathetically.

               ``` `I am not sure Clarissa’ Greta protests, squirming at the thought of socializing, `` `I’m too long in the tooth now and set in my ways. Nobody will want to be my friend anyway as I can’t help but judge them. It’s become second nature, me being a Critic.’

               ` Come on Aunty’ implores Clarissa ` you’ll never know until you try.’  They pass the local church noticeboard ```` look here there’s a church knitting group – you can knit quietly and have company at the same time. It’ll cure your loneliness and there’ll be no need to say much, if anything at all. Perfect!’

               ` I suppose there’s no harm in me trying. I do enjoy a good knitting session. It calms me and gives me something to focus my mind on.' Turning to Clarissa she touches her arm, sincerely `adding ` Thank you Clarissa for helping me. It’s clear to me now, all I needed, all these years, was to be a Critic Critiqued.’

April 11, 2022 21:53

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Lavonne H.
23:31 Apr 20, 2022

Hello Rebecca. I thought my protagonist was despicable...but Clarissa is so hateful. I love how you were able to show her inner conflict and why she was negative to others. Is English your second language? I had to look up your words "I give it nil poi's" to learn that it was French...so glad to learn a new term today. My favourite line was "So Greta again hones in on Clarissa, noticing her aunt’s sights firmly on her with a frown across her face – ` target locked – beep, beep, beep, beep, BOOM!'" Oh my, I wonder if that is how I look somet...


Rebecca Stack
20:16 Apr 21, 2022

Aw thanks so much for your lovely comments glad you enjoyed. That's my favourite line too! English is my first language but I studied French in school and I thought it'd add extra humour if she said nil poi's like in the Eurovision. I'll have a read of yours now. Thanks again x


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