Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Flash Fiction: Little Bastard

Well, it's that time of life where we talk about baby names, so this week's Friday Flash Fiction can only be...

Little Bastard
Word Count: 597

I’ve always liked the name Clive. I grew up reading Clive Cussler novels; I have fond remembrances of Clive Owen’s films. Anyway, as far back as I can remember I promised myself that if I were going to have a son, I’d name him Clive. I never even considered what my last name might be. If my husband didn’t like the name Clive, that was a deal-breaker. So when I suggested that name to Todd, I was a little taken aback by the face that he made.

“Is that an official suggestion?” he asked.

“Uh, no,” I said.

“Good, because I’d hate to have to waste a veto on that,” he said.

And I’m like God, where did I go wrong? How could I not have told Todd that my firstborn male child was going to be named Clive? Had it never come up?

“How about Aiden?” asked Todd.

“Ugh, no,” I said.

“You’re going veto that?”

I hesitated. Here’s the thing: we had a system. It was convoluted, but the short version is that if I use a veto, that means I have no more vetoes for that round. Then, that means I either agree to Todd’s name or we go to another round. I promise, the whole system is on-the-level.

Only, Todd was gaming it. There was a maximum number of vetoes available, and he was up three vetoes on me. Which meant he was going to trick me into naming our firstborn son Dale after his father, and that was not going to happen!

“Oh, come on,” I said. “You know how I feel about names that end with -ayden.”

“Well, you already shot down Hayden, Braden, and Jaden,” said Todd.

“You know how I feel about those names,” I said. “Jaden isn’t even a real name.”

“Well, I liked them all,” said Todd. “You didn’t have to veto them.”

“You didn’t really like them,” I said.

“Oh?” he asked.

“No, you’re just goading me,” I said.

“If you feel that way, don’t use your veto, then I’ll have to use mine if I don’t really like them,” he said.

“No way,” I said. “Then we’d end up with a son named Jaden.”

“Then use your veto,” said Todd.

“You’re cheating,” I said.

“It’s not a game,” said Todd.

“You’re still cheating,” I said.

This went on for a while.

“Look,” said Todd, “you helped put together the rules, didn’t you?”

I agreed that I had.

“You said this was fair,” he said.

“Yeah, but that was before you started cheating,” I said.

“No one’s cheating,” said Todd. “If you don’t like how this works, you should have said something before we started.”

I didn’t say anything, I just folded my arms on top of my eight-and-a-half-month-preggo belly.

“Now,” said Todd, “I’ve always liked the name Navin.”

“No!” I screamed.

“Well, that puts me up by four vetoes,” said Todd. “I guess we’ll just have to go with my standby, which was Dale.”

“I didn’t submit last round!” I said.

“What?”

“I didn’t actually submit,” I said. “If you veto, then we push again.”

“Well…” he started to say.

“Little bastard!” I said. “I submit Little Bastard.”

Todd blinked.

“Are you going to veto?” I asked.

“You’re cheating,” he said.

“So are you,” I said.

And things escalated from there. And then neither of us wanted to back down, and a week later he was born.

Anyway, Your Honor, that’s how Little Bastard got his name, and that’s why we want to change it.

To Clive.

Edited by Carolyn "Just Because The System Is Convoluted Doesn't Mean That The Sentence Has To Be Incomprehensible" Abram

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