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Flash Fiction: The Voices of Aunt Abby's Family


Mark Tulin is an author who lives in California. He has four books of poetry and one short story collection, available on Amazon.


Aunt Abby's Nephew, Harry

Whenever I’m around Aunt Abby, I say to myself, She has too much bible on the brain. Everything out of her mouth has to be wholesome, like she’s god’s gift to us mortals. And, I know she had a lot of losses growing up. But I want to say, “Get real, Aunt Abby. The world is more complicated than your hackneyed biblical cures." If she dropped her superior attitude and frumpy clothes, people might warm up to her. But I keep quiet. I know she’s a nice person, and it’s her choice to live in a glasshouse.

Aunt Abby's Husband, Ed

Sure, people are offended when Abby yaps about God. But, that’s their problem—we know the truth. We follow God’s rules, treat people fairly, and everything’s okay, aside from some gall stones and a knee replacement.

Mind you, I’m religious, too, but I leave all the praying and church stuff to Abby. She's good at that. Me, I keep it simple: go to work, come home, and piddle around the house. I spend time with my grandchildren, stay out of trouble, and have a beer or two. People think we should go places and spend money. We don’t care about that. We like things the way they are.

Aunt Abby's Son, Martin

My mother made too many demands on me growing up. I felt guilty about who I was, not living up to her precious moral standard. So I guess I rebelled against her, coming home drunk, cutting school, and getting tattoos of skulls and inverted crosses.

For the longest time, I concealed my sexuality from my mother. I believed if she knew I was gay, I would get kicked out of the house. However, when I did come out, it was not what I expected. My mother disapproved but said she loved me anyway and wouldn't try to change who I was.

In time, I discovered my own version of God. He was a different kind of holy person, more open-minded and accepting.

Aunt Abby's Side of the Story

I know my son thinks I live in the Dark Ages. And my viewpoint of homosexuality is outdated. But I want him to know what's in my heart.

“My soul is not a part of this world,” I tell him. “It is with the one who saves us from damnation.”

It’s not that I want to annoy my family with bible verses or my provincial ways. I can see the dread in their faces when they hear me. It’s that I love them so much, I make myself a fool. I don’t want them to be left behind. That’s why I pray for their salvation. If I don’t, who will?

Aunt Abby's God

I try to stay out of the middle of these types of family issues. I'm busy enough with the Holy Trinity. But I will say that Aunt Abby has been one of my most devoted followers. Ever since she was a child, she has seen the light and been in my presence. She knows the difference between good and evil, sacred and profane.

However, I do agree with Aunt Abby’s nephew, Harry. She does dress frumpy. It gives me a bad image. I’m trying to get my followers to choose more up-to-date styles, especially the women. I want their clothes to give the believer in God a more inclusive, trendy look. More in line with my disciples, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman.

And as for Abby's son, I say live and let live. Who's to say if one form of sexual preference is better than the other? I wouldn't have invented different variations if it were wrong.


Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on September 01, 2021:

Thanks, Shauna. It seems good has good taste in clothes. High end.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 01, 2021:

Interesting story design, Mark. I enjoyed getting to know each member of the family. I had to chuckle when God said He wished more of His followers would dress like Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on August 31, 2021:

Thank you, Athena. I’m sure God would love to have tea and TV with you.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on August 31, 2021:

Thank you, Teodora.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on August 31, 2021:

Thank you, Brenda for your perspective.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on August 31, 2021:

Nice way of putting it, Flourish Anyway.

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 31, 2021:

Very interesting perspectives of how conditional people are with their acceptance of others.

Athena Barroga Perez from Philippines on August 31, 2021:

I honestly don't mind if God is truly this open-minded. I'll definitely invite Him for an afternoon of tea and Netflix, that's for sure.

Teodora Gheorghe on August 30, 2021:

I like the different perspectives that draw a heart-warming portrait. Great piece of flash fiction.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on August 30, 2021:


It kinda sounds like the typical family where one believes and prays for everyone, while the rest of the herd doesn't make too many waves.

The mother will always love her children unconditionally.

It's not her place to make judgments, but some do & will.

I've seen the ones who dress frumpy & I guess it's their way.

God accepts us just as we are...

Or so my minister would say.

The church isn't for the righteous...it's for sinners.

God will mold them.

Mark Tulin (author) from Palm Springs, California on August 30, 2021:

Thank you, Jodah.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on August 30, 2021:

This was a unique piece of flash fiction, Mark. I like the concept and also Aunt Abby’s story from each viewpoint. Good job.

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