100 Horrible Stories – Day 5 (Iron Scythe & Cherry Pie)

100 Horrible Stories – Day 5 (Iron Scythe & Cherry Pie)

Thanks to inspiration from OTA I’m joining The Great Discontent ‪#‎The100DayProject‬, a celebration of process that encourages everyone to participate in 100 days of making, empowered by the accountability of doing a project alongside others in a very public way. Pictures of these projects are posted daily on Instagram.

I asked myself, at the end of 100 days, what would I like to have amassed? The answer, for me was 100 first drafts.  So, I will write and post a 500 word story a day with the hashtag ‪#‎100DaysOfHorribleStories‬Why horrible? Because what can go wrong if I aim for horrible and fail?


I’d always insisted that the family wear their best blue jeans, a red bandana and a white pressed shirt on Independence day. I mean with a family name like Souza we were practically bound by duty to be models of patriocity on our country’s birthday.

It was past two o’clock and I was beginning to hear stirrings upstairs. I knew that the twins would be down first wearing their overalls with their long sleeved white tee shirts and the requisite red bandana tucked in their pocket.

I was sure my husband would wear what I’d laid out, his crisp poplin white shirt, freshly ironed, along with the red vest and his best polyester blue pants.

It was Derrick I was worried about.  He had pulled away from the family lately. He’d been seeing a girl from across the river and their ways were different from ours.

I called upstairs a couple of times, but got no response from him.

I decided to go up and make sure he was getting ready.

Much to my surprise, as I opened my oldest son’s bedroom door, I found a trail of clothes leading up to his bed and in it there they were, Derrick and Felicia. Not, I might add, wearing red white and blue. Oh no. They weren’t wearing anything at all.

“Ahem.” I said. Not knowing what else to say. I got no response. “AaaaHEM!” I repeated. This time, the only response was that my son Derrick pulled his pillow over his head.

“I expect you, … you, ah, you both downstairs in 30 minutes.” I announced. “Dressed APPROPRIATELY!” I added, before bringing the door closed with an authoritative click.

I tromped back downstairs to check on my cherry pies which were just starting to fill the house with their 4th of July aroma as they baked in the oven.

There was an awkward silence when Derrick and his girlfriend came downstairs wearing a conglomeration of Derrick’s clothes that approximated a sloppy reddish, whitish and bluish. They glanced my way, but shuffled out the front door before any of us could greet, or berate, or acknowledge them. I looked out the window as they drove off.

How were the four of us going to bring in the sheaves? There had always been 5 of us manning the scythes. Singing, and swinging. cutting the wheat cleanly in our patriotic dress.

Change. It is a concept I have always struggled with.

All I could hope for was that Derrick would come back and we could talk about it later.

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