For this week’s 15 random words I’m using:
- 1 word that was left in the comments of last week’s post:
- 14 words from https://randomwordgenerator.com. To the right is a screen print of the words it gave me:
grind – smooth – assignment – chest – top – improve – trench – interest – concede – taste – rotation – bedroom – tent – dominate
Below is the short-short I wrote using these words, creating a scene using the characters from ’Til Death Do Us Part. FYI, for people who haven’t read the book, the 1st person POV character who isn’t named in the scene below, is Henry.
“Look, Aiden,” Sam said. “See all the cows in that field?”
Sam never missed an opportunity to engage Aiden’s interest. My chest swelled with pride in my husband. To say that Sam was a natural at parenting would be an understatement. How had I ever thought to deny him the opportunity?
We were whizzing along a straight, smooth stretch of highway heading toward a campground. I’d say it was Aiden’s first camping trip, but in truth, much of his life thus far could be described as one long camping trip. It would be his first time sleeping out in a canvas tent, anyway.
“Cool.” Aiden craned his neck, scanning the field. “I learned about cows at school. Milk we drink comes from cows, right Dad?”
“Right,” Sam replied.
“Remember, Papa?” Aiden asked. “You took me to the store with you, and we looked at all the milk labels ’cause I had an assignment about that stuff. Then we bought two different kinds so I could taste the difference, remember?”
“I remember.” How could I forget? He’d chattered nonstop about everything he’d learned on the topic. Both being teachers, Sam and I were always looking to improve our son’s knowledge of the world around us, but occasionally the reverse happened. I’d learned a few things that afternoon listening to him.
“Are any of them bulls? I learned those are the boy cows, but I didn’t learn about silly bulls yet. I heard another teacher tell some kids about silly bulls, but I didn’t know what that is.”
“Silly bulls?” I quirked an eyebrow in Sam’s direction. I was the one who’d raised Aiden for most of his life, but I had to concede that Sam was better at interpreting Aiden’s meaning when the kid got confused.
Sam smiled, then turned in the passenger seat to face Aiden. “Did you overhear a science teacher talking, or was it a language teacher?”
“It was Mr. Dubois. Sometimes he teaches kids how to speak French, but sometimes he teaches English stuff, too.”
“Ah,” Sam said. “I think the word you heard might have been ‘syllable’ rather than ‘silly bull.’ A syllable is how a word naturally breaks up into parts when you say it aloud. Like ‘Aiden’ had two syllables. Aye and den.”
I caught a glimpse of Aiden in the rearview mirror. He wore what I thought of as his “thinking face,” with his brow scrunched up in concentration.
“Hmm. When Ms. Hitchens told me about the solar system I learned really long words. Revolution. That’s what the earth does around the sun. Reh-vuh-loo-shun. Is that four syllables?”
“That’s right,” Sam said. “Very good!”
“Rotation. That’s why we have a daytime and a nighttime. Ro-tay-shun,” Aiden enunciated. “Three syllables?”
“You got it,” I replied.
Aiden turned to look out the window again. That lasted all of about ten seconds before he asked, “How much longer before we get to the camping place?”
“About twenty more minutes,” Sam replied.
“It’s going to be so cool,” Aiden raved. “Sometimes I miss sleeping in our old hut, Papa, with Devon and Garrett. But, I really, really like sleeping in my very own bedroom, too.”
I liked having him sleep in his own bedroom, in his own bed, too. And not simply for privacy purposes. That kid could dominate a king-sized bed like no other. Sometimes he’d end up sideways in the bed.
“If it gets cold,” Aiden continued, “it’ll be extra good, ’cause it’s warmer sleeping with other people, right?”
“Right,” Sam said. “Don’t worry, though. Our sleeping bags are very warm, and we can always layer our trench coats on top if we need to for extra warmth.”
We passed another field of cows. My eyes widened as I caught sight of a bull mounting one of the cows. Nothing escaped Aiden’s notice. No way he wouldn’t ask about a couple of bovine working on a little bump and grind. I held my breath and waited for his inevitable question.
Sam choked back a laugh, and my peripheral vision picked up his shaking shoulders. Obviously, he’d seen it, too.
“Dad, Papa, look!” Aiden exclaimed. “Why is that one cow trying to climb on top of that other one?”
I sure as hell didn’t want to field that one. I kept my mouth shut and waited for Sam. He usually handled Aiden’s questions, but a quick glance at his slack jaw told me he wanted to punt this one back to me.
“I know!” Aiden said. “That’s a ‘silly bull,’ right?”
Once again, because I can’t resist a good challenge, I’ll take the first 15 prompt words given to me in the comments, below, for next week’s Flash Fiction Friday post. One word per commenter, please. I’ll make up the difference using the random word generator site if I don’t get 15 here.