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Flash Fiction: The Voices of Aunt Abby's Family

Mark Tulin is a baseball fan from Philadelphia, PA. He has four books of poetry and one short story collection, available on Amazon.

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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 And my viewpoint of homosexuality is outdated.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.

© 2021 Mark Tulin

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