Flash Fiction Entry. A good-natured poke at my beloved south.
|A Family Reunion, Southern Style
The three sisters stood in the doorway, surveying the assorted aunts, uncles and cousins milling about the room. For the trio of Jersey girls, this southern assemblage was a culture shock, and they looked at each other uneasily before stepping into the roomful of relatives.
A heavyset woman, her pink blouse straining across a generous bosom and her doughy ankles spilling over the tops of her matching pink pumps, swooped in and engulfed the three in a smothering hug. "You must be Frank's girls," she cried. "We're so glad y'all could come. And you got here just in time."
The sisters looked at each other. Just in time for what?
The lady in pink, who turned out be their Aunt Dot, led them around the room to make introductions, while strains of Freebird played from speakers set up around the perimeter.
They met Uncle Roy, Aunt Dot's husband, and their son, Cousin Dean, who wore orange coveralls. The sisters stole a quick glance at each other. Was he wearing handcuffs? The twins, Cousin Dee and Cousin Darlene, wearing matching cutoffs and belly rings and sporting rose tattoos, nodded a sullen hello. Another aunt, her tall bleached hair a testament to the effectiveness of Aqua Net, pecked each sister on the cheek before returning to her compact and lipstick.
The introductions were interrupted when Granny, a small gray haired lady wearing low slung jeans and teetering on high heels glittering with rhinestones, shouted for everyone to come up front. "Girls, it's time," Aunt Dot said.
Everyone trooped to the front of the room, where Granny arranged everyone around the coffin while Cousin Sonny, who had once attended a photography class at the vocational school, stood ready with a disposable camera. The sisters, stifling giggles, didn't dare look at one another.
Word count: 299