Dyed in The Wool
(I had so much fun writing this for my writers group – and watching the horror on their faces as cliche after cliche tumbled out of my mouth until they realised I was doing it intentionally)
“Mary, show me your hands, I want to know now girl, do you have green fingers?” Mary’s mother asked. Mary kept her hands out of sight.
“What in tarnation? Cool your heels Mother,” Mary replied.
“Don’t try your smoke and mirrors trick with me,” her mother waved her hands. “You’re growing like a weed lately, and I’m pinning my hopes that the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. So, if you’re headed the wrong way down a one way street I want to nip it in the bud.”
“There’s no time like the present to tell you this, I don’t see eye to eye with you on many things, this included. You can hope against hope mother but I am not following in my father’s footsteps.”
“Darling, before you were a gleam in your father’s eye, I knew that I’d have a long road to hoe with you. Still, Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’ve said it time and time again, the times, they are a changing. Life will show you that what goes around comes around. I don’t intend to have a cow over this, but I’ve had it up to here with your shenanigans.”
“For Pete’s sake mother, there’s no need to pop a vein. You’re getting a bit long in the tooth to work yourself into a lather. In two shakes of a lamb’s tail you’ll be pushing up daisies,” Mary’s mother strode toward her until Mary was backed into the corner.
“Are you fair dinkum, child?” Her mother’s face was beginning to redden. “As ye sow, so shall ye reap. That was what my dear mother always said. At the end of the day it appears she had the right end of the stick, show me your hands. I’ve caught you with your hands in the cookie jar this time.”
“Just a second Mother, you have had a stick up your arse ever since Father cashed in his chips. You’ve been trying to hang me out to dry at the drop of a hat. Come hell or high water I’ve had it up to here with you. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Anyone would think I just fell off the turnip truck the way you talk to me; you’ve jumped the gun once too often. My bags are packed and ready to go. The ball is in your court, do you feel me mother?” Mary still kept her hands behind her as she yelled, but before she could fly the coop her mother grabbed her arm and yanked it forward.
“Gadzooks,” her mother exclaimed. “You’re dumber than a bag of hammers, standing there acting cool as a cucumber. The bottom line, Mary, is you can bet your bottom dollar that in due time all will be revealed. Wake up and smell the coffee girl, you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. You gotta stop taking the easy way out. Instead of seeing the glass as half empty you need to see it as half full. Child I wasn’t born yesterday. I knew it was you. You’ve been as nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof ever since I mentioned that someone had made out like a bandit with my savings. I just needed to see it for myself.”
Mary’s eyes looked everywhere except at her mother’s face. “I’m sorry as can be Mother. I wasn’t trying to pull the wool over your eyes. I’m under the gun, that’s why I took it. Cecil says if I don’t return the money real soon there’’ll be hell to pay.” Sheepishly Mary put her hands out. “It was real smart of you to catch me out like you did. Green dye…whoever would’ve thought.”
“Girl, with bad apples like Cecil you’ve gotta read between the lines or you’ll paint yourself into a corner. Okay. No use crying over spilt milk Mary. Two heads are better than one so let’s see if we can’t kick that scallywag to the kerb.”
“Mother Cecil wasn’t born yesterday. He’s as sharp as a tack when it comes to money.” Mary hung her head in shame.
“Never put off ‘til tomorrow what you can do today I always say.” Her mother threw her arms around her..
“It’s time we gave Cecil a dose of his own medicine. I’ve sweated blood squirreling that money away. Perhaps we should go the extra mile and call your Aunt Bertha in. Ain’t nobody who can deliver a knockout blow like Aunt Bertha.”
“Oh Mother, I was so out of whack, hiding it from you. I’m sorry,” she said.
“Don’t get your knickers in a knot. Time for you to hit the hay I think. Things always look better after a good night’s sleep. Put it out of your mind, I’m all over this.” Mary hugged her mother, then pulled away. “You go get some zzz’s. Sleep tight Mary.”
“I will Mother. You too, and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” Smiling for the first time Mary ran up the stairs.
“You’re about to meet your worst nightmare Cecil,” Mary’s mother whispered under her breath.