Friday, November 7, 2014

This Season, Remember The Reason For The Treason

Waning Sun...

Two hours after the funeral, five minutes past sunset...

"I've never seen Grandma act like that," Jeremy said, absently tossing another stone into the creek behind the elementary school.  "Why wouldn't she let them bury your dad in the family plot?"

"She says traitors aren't allowed there.  Something about defiling the sanctity of the graves of her kin.  It's bullshit." Greg sighed, shaking his head.  It wasn't the first time he had cussed in front of his younger cousin.  At 16, he now had little in common with 12-year old Jeremy, but somehow, they had remained inseparable at family gatherings - perhaps because Greg never talked down to him.

"A traitor?  How was he a traitor?" Jeremy asked.  "He worked at Wal-Mart.  No offense."

"Why would I take offense at that?  He made over one hundred, thirty thousand a year."

"Really?  Wow.  Wait - is that a lot?"

Greg snorted.  "It ain't bad, in this economy.  At least, that's what Mom says."

"So, how was he a traitor?"

"He supposedly tried to buy yellow cake gunpowder, and he was supposedly going to use it to put on a fireworks show for the newly naturalized citizens at the big ceremony at Arrowhead Stadium, next month."

"I don't know what that is," Jeremy said.

"Which part?"

"Everything except 'gunpowder.'"

"Well, Grandma has a thing about letting foreigners become citizens, so to her, doing anything nice for them is High Treason."

"That's stupid," Jeremy scoffed. "We learned about the Constitution in social studies class, and that ain't treason - let alone high treason."

"Well, in her mind, it sure is," Greg said. "It's at least bad enough to keep Dad out of the family plot.  "You're right, though - it is totally stupid.  He's dead.  Everyone in the cemetery is frickin' dead.  Who cares where we put him?  It doesn't matter."

"It's getting dark.  We should be getting back, before our moms send out a search party for us.  One question, first..."


"Who did he try to buy yellow cake gunpowder from - Saddam Hussein?"

Greg let out a hollow laugh.  "Nope.  Satan."

"Satan?" Jeremy almost managed to fully stifle a giggle.


"As in, the devil?"

"Ugh - That's the guy," Greg groaned.

"Ah.  I bet that's the part that Grandma thinks is treason."

"I thought of that," Greg admitted. "Could be.  I'm thinking a deal with the devil, and doing something cool for immigrants are pretty much the same thing, in her book."

"Poor Grandma," Jeremy said.  "She's just so... old."

"Yeah.  Old.  I try to keep that in mind."

"I really liked your dad, Greg.  I don't care who he tried to buy stuff from.  He was always my favorite uncle."

"Thanks.  He liked you, too."

And this, my 7th post in as many days, was prompted by the fine and clever people at LIGHT AND SHADE CHALLENGE.  I used "Gunpowder, Treason and Plot," and tried to keep it under 500 words, which - for once - I did.  Check them out.  Wonderful prompts, excellent writers.  I hope they like this piece. 


  1. What a delightful read!! good on that man who died....the humour was truly fun!

    1. Thanks so much, Cheryl-Lynn. I had a lot of fun with this one.

  2. Thanks for the kind words about Light & Shade, and thanks especially for contributing! Satan as arms dealer is a lovely image :D Great fun piece and a lovely pair of voices to drive the story.

    1. Many thanks, Thomas. I struggled with this one for a bit, before I realized that the conversation needed to be between two adolescents, instead of adults. From there, it became such an easy write, so to speak.