Thursday, 3 June 2010

Bob Has A Good Day

This week's sentence was taken from Henry James' 'Pandora.'

It was 'Then she has got her sister staying with her: Mrs. Runkle, from Natchez.'

Bob Has A Good Day

'Hey, Frank.'
'Hey there, Bob! Come on in, neighbour. Artemisia not with you?'
'Heavens, no. She's having one of her tornado days. The kids have brought the grandkids over for dinner, and they all brought their damned dogs, too, so it's a madhouse over there. Then she has got her sister staying with her: Mrs. Runkle, from Natchez. We don't get along. I just had to get out of there, Frank, so I'm throwing myself on your mercy and asking for asylum for an hour or so.'
'Of course, buddy. C'mon in the kitchen and I'll brew up. Abigail's out at her mother's all day so you're welcome to hide here as long as you like.'
'Ah, you're a lifesaver, Frank.'
'Say, I didn't know Artemisia had a sister.'
'Mrs. Runkle, yeah: Hortense, though she never lets me call her that.'
'I'm curious I've never heard tell of her before.'
'That's because we get on like cat and dog. We never visit one another; Artie and her sister don't really write 'cept for Christmas and birthdays. She's only here because of all that kerfuffle in Natchez.'
‘I must have missed that on the news, Bob.'
'It’s Ralph, her dumb schmuck husband. "Unkle Runkle, the children's entertainer." At least that's what he was until last weekend. As if it weren't bad enough having a goddamned clown for a brother-in-law, the police have gone and arrested him for fiddling with the kiddies.'
'Oh, my lord, Bob!'
'He always was a creepy bastard. We shoulda seen that one coming. Anyways, the damned press are camped out on Runkle's doorstep so the old bat sneaked off over here to make my life a misery.'
'She's that bad, huh?'
'Bad? She acts like she's some kinda southern royalty because Runkle came from old money. Expects to be waited on hand and foot, even though there's not a red cent of that old money ever came our way.'
'She sounds royal alright; a royal pain in the ass.'
'Heh-heh. You ain't kidding, Frank. She always resented the fact that her sister married a nobody; said I brought shame on her family. Now she’s gonna have to cook up a whole mess of humble pie before I’ll think of being civil to her.’
‘So if her husband is old money, how’d he end up working as a clown?’
‘Fool gambled away the entire fortune, and with a brain like his it was either that or stacking shelves at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart woulda been a better option after what he’s done to those kiddies.’
‘So what happens now? Sounds like you’ll be stuck with Hortense for a while.’
‘Nope. It’s payback time for Mr.Nobody. I called the press before I came over. They’ll be here soon and the old bat’ll be over the back fence like greased lightning and out of my life at last.’
‘Bob, you always were a sly old dog. Here’s your coffee. Let’s sit out on the porch and watch the fun.’
‘Cheers, neighbour!’


Dear Prudence said...

hee hee hee! Nicely done. We here out in the sticks, often sit on the porch and watch the goings one. Especially when it is you that have called the police on the underage drinking party across the street... she says batting her pretty hazel eyes!

MmeBenaut said...

I'm always so impressed when writers can come up with dialogue. I have absolutely no insight as to what a conversation with someone else might go. So, this is fabulous Dive. You do have a gift.
That fellow has a very good solution to an uncomfortable situation so bravo, my dear friend.

MmeBenaut said...

Oh hell, that was a disgusting second sentence. I'm still under the influence of anaesthesia so forgive me please? I had a tooth extracted today.

dive said...

Prudence: Good for you! It must have been such fun to watch the results of that phone call. Hee hee.

Mme: I have no idea how to write dialogue, which is why I occasionally try. This one doesn't flow as well as I had hoped so thank you for you kind words.
I cringe in sympathy for your dental woes. I hope it is painless now and that all is well.

Vanda said...

Oh my! You always have such toothsome morsels. Your writing cooks with bacon!

dive said...

Vanda: you sure know how to compliment a man.
Mmmmm … bacon!