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Rated: 13+ · Prose · Contest Entry · #2249677
'Gift of the gab' they say. Writer's Cramp contest May 3, 2021
"Don't tell anyone I told you, but I overheard Mrs. Pettingill telling Irene Storen that she heard from Rosie Platt (on the hush-hush, of course), that terrible trouble-maker Gabrielle Whats-her-name is moving back to town next week."

Maude's jaw dropped like a stone sinking through jelly.

"Not…not…?" Maude could barely speak for gasping so badly, Jeannie feared a heart attack or stroke may be imminent. Why oh why didn't I introduce the subject more gracefully? Jeannie asked herself. Next, they'll be calling ME a blabbermouth,totally insensitive of others' feelings. She shuddered at a particularly nasty thought that raced across her brain. Might even start to question if I have any relationship to that dreadful woman. Imagine THAT!

After a couple of particularly deep breaths, Maude was able to continue, to Jeannie's great relief.
"Is that the one they called Gabrielle Gasbag… behind her back, of course?" Maude's voice was still somewhat breathless, but much stronger now.

"OF COURSE! But to her face, with the most charming of smiles, we all call her Gabby. Nice and friendly like." Jeannie stopped for a minute to give attention to pulling up her gloves with what could only be described as an aggressive tug or three.

"Don't EVER forget that, dear." And Jeannie fixed Maude like a fly on a specimen board, with her best and coldest 'eagle' eye.

Hoping to reinstate herself just a little, Maude nervously offered a snippet of one memorable moment last time anyone local saw 'Gabby'. "There was that time when she muttered in the right ears about Mrs. Fort, caught shoplifting, but gracefully forgiven by Mr. Graney, the hardware man, in an attempt to prevent detriment to the Fort family. Do you remember that?"

"Remember! Who could forget?" Jeannie was the one spluttering now, her face taking on the hue of a killer tomato. "And THAT woman had the nerve to prance around like a spring chicken (or so she would have us believe)." Now there are two hussies who could well be related. Must check that one. Different surnames mean nothing. They're both married women…or have been. Out loud, she continued in a most sanctimonious voice, "Hmm, hubby saw through that one all right,thankfully. Ditched her good and proper did that fine, upstanding Jim Fort. Shame he ever got tangled up with that one, if you ask me. But, of course, THAT is a whole other story."

"Another day? Like tomorrow, maybe?" Maude was seemingly quite recovered now, and comfortably settled back into her normal, highly inquisitive mode.

As Jeannie was nodding and the two ladies began picking up their handbags and shopping bags, Nella Brooks sidled up, and like a bad cop in a third-grade movie, muttered out of the side of her mouth —

"I heard THE Gasbag's name mentioned, and thought you'd want to know the bad news, and some VERY good news."

With ears almost visibly flapping, Jeannie and Maude leant close towards her.

"Bad news… she still is coming to town. GOOD news… she has laryngitis!"

(509 words)
Write about the gossip theme-
Whispers unheard speak louder than words
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