Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Flash Fiction: Grandma Deedee

Every Friday Kurt posts a new piece of flash fiction. This week...

Grandma Deedee
Word Count: 600

Allen sat on the floor as his daughter, Tasha, run around the room. Grandma Deedee watched lovingly from the chair. It was a new living situation for her and the apartment in the assisted living facility was smaller than she’d been used to, but from what Allen could tell she seemed to be settling in.

“And how old is she now?” asked Grandma Deedee.

“Two-and-a-half,” said Allen.

“She’s so big,” said Grandma Deedee.

Allen agreed that, yes, she was big.

“And full of energy, too.”

“Yeah, she’s a little hurricane, this one.”

Tasha did another lap around living room.

“Are they treating you well?” asked Allen.

Grandma Deedee blustered. She ran a wrinkly hand through hair that looked like loose cotton. “What kind of question is that?” she asked.

It seemed like a perfectly reasonable one to Allen. “How’s the staff?” he asked. “That’s what I mean.”

“Oh, they’re fine,” said Grandma Deedee. “They’re a little pushy.”

Good, thought Allen. Nursing home staff—or, rather, assisted living facility staff—ought to be a little pushy. Lord knows the inmates were. Inmates? Allen checked himself. Residents. That would have been embarrassing if he’d said it out loud.

“And how old is she now?” asked Grandma Deedee again, pointing at Tasha.

“She’s five,” said Allen. He felt guilty lying to her—Tasha would be three in a few months. But what was the point of taking care of the senile and the elderly if you couldn’t have a little fun with them?

“Full of energy,” said Grandma Deedee.

“Yeah, she’s a little tornado,” said Allen. “So, you said the staff are pushy?”

“Some of them,” said Grandma Deedee.

“In what way?” asked Allen.

“What way what?”

“How are they pushy?”

Grandma Deedee pondered this for a moment. “Oh, you know,” she said. “They’re just kind of pushy.”

Allen wondered if pushy was code for Jewish, the way it was with some of Grandma Deedee’s friends. They were proud Southern women, which didn’t automatically make them racists, and they would be quick to tell you that it was perfectly normal to have a great deal of pride in one’s Southern heritage without being racist.

That said, they were all totally racist.

“And how old is she now?”

“Just turned twelve.”

“Really? She’s kind of small.”

“She’ll catch up.”

“Full of energy, though.”

“Yeah, she’s a regular Tasmanian Devil.”

Allen was ready to get out of there. He hated nursing homes—rather, assisted living facilities. Whatever, he didn’t like being there. Inevitably someday Tasha, the little imp currently crawling under the coffee table, would decide that he’d outlived his usefulness and stick him in a home like this because he couldn’t take care of himself.

Someone knocked at the door.

“Come in,” Grandma Deedee hollered.

The handle turned, but didn’t open, because it was locked. I got up and opened the door. Another inmate—resident—stood at the doorway. “Deedee!” she shouted. “It’s almost time for Downton!”

Grandma Deedee lit up. “Hello, Nora,” she said. “This is my grandson Allen and his daughter Tisha.”

“It’s Tasha, actually,” said Allen.

“You don’t look much like a Tasha,” said Nora.

“No, I’m Allen,” said Allen. “And we were just leaving.”

“Sure you don’t want to stay and watch Downton with us?”

“I don’t think Tasha would sit through it,” said Allen.

“Who’s Tasha?” asked Nora.

“Oh, never mind him, Nora,” said Grandma Deedee. “You don’t want to talk to him; he’s not right in the head. I keep asking him how old his daughter is and he’s given me three different answers!”

Edited by Carolyn "Pretty Sure He's An Ass" Abram

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