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Flash fiction: The sermon


Dad may or may not have been in the wrong, but when mum thought he was, there was no avoiding the sermon.

Mum had it all, booming righteousness, fire and brimstone, and someone (Dad) was always going to hell if he didn't mend his sorry ways... We had no need for church in our house. We had the full package right here.

Dad bowed his head and kept his mouth shut. Experience had taught us all that there was no point arguing back. Contrite regret was the way to go. Ride out the lecture, sincerely apologise and then give mum some space and let it all blow over.

When mum was on a roll she made it worth our while. We thought we might turn a buck if only we could sell tickets... And today's was a ripper! The force of the delivery seemed to blow dad's hair back a little.

Oh what a joy she was in full flight. And when, buoyed by emotion, the metaphors and insults became more tangled and absurd, it was hard to sustain our remorseful faces.

Unbeknownst to Mum a small red light flashed in the far corner of the room as she launched into the climax of her performance.

She pulled out some of her best... "You're lower than a dead snake’s armpit in a wheel rut! And... and... you couldn't drive a nail into a bucket of water if I held it for you!" Mum stammered and spat and went red in the face trying to pull out an insult that reflected the strength of her feeling. "I only wish I had ten more feet, I'd kick you to Kingdom Come so fast it'd leave your brains rattling round in your backside."

We exchanged looks, eyes secretly gleaming. This was gold! We had never been able to sell tickets but the YouTube channel we had set up had gone viral and the advertisers were starting to clamour. God forbid mother ever find out but if she did it would be worth it just for the royalties.


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