Home > A Library of Quiet VOICES, A Parlour of Southern VOICES > Grandma Holmes’ Confusion – by Melissa McEwen

Grandma Holmes’ Confusion – by Melissa McEwen

Grandma Holmes’ Confusion

by Melissa McEwen

These are the first few paragraphs of a story I wrote two years ago. I am rereading it and laughing at myself and wondering why I wrote this story. I think a sign I saw posted in a closed down gas station sparked the idea.

Grandma Holmes’ Confusion

Any other time Grandma Holmes would threaten to  beat Mary-Helen if she came running into the kitchen slamming the screen door behind her, but this is the third time today that Mary-Helen let the screen door slam and Grandma Holmes didn’t say a word. Not even a “I done told y’all about slamming that damn door!”

Mary-Helen wasn’t even worried, either. Usually she’d cover her mouth and say “Oops” while waiting for Grandma Holmes to say something. She knew something wasn’t quite right with Grandma, but she wasn’t going to go check on her. She was happy to be getting away with something and not being bothered. Grandma could’ve been dead in her room and Mary-Helen would have went on about her business, playing and running in and out of the house. But Mary-Helen’s sister Rosa-Lee knew what it was that was causing Grandma Holmes’ change in attitude.

Because this is the fifth time today that Grandma Holmes let something slide. And Rosa-Lee knew of only one thing could make you go from cranky to nice in a heartbeat. She wasn’t even making them clean up or nothing and Rosa-Lee knew why that was, and in the middle of the kitchen she told Mary-Helen why, she said, “It’s love — simple as that.”

And Mary-Helen laughed till she hiccupped, slapped her knee till it hurt.

She may be in love, but who in their right mind gone be in love with Grandma Holmes?” Mary-Helen said after she was done laughing and hiccupping.

  1. May 15, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    Eddie here, Ms. Marzy’s guy. I used to say my Lady, but she got a little hot about being possessed so I’m playing that role for a bit. When you get to know her you will find out that she’s real nice, but don’t take nuthin’ from nobody when she gets pissed. Like the time she used the snakes to catch the mugs who mugged her Grandma. But I’m here to ask, what in tarnation could be the sign posted in the closed down gas station that caused Grandma Holmes’ granddaughter to get her to sit for this story. Now that’s one I want to hear? “No Gas Today” maybe?

  2. Mary-Helen
    May 15, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    Eddie, my man, I mean Marzy’s man, the sign in the gas station was “Best service in town.” But I wanna hear mo’ ’bout the the lady that used snakes to catch the mugs who mugged her grandma. What you should be doin’ is writtin’ a story ’bout _her_!

  3. mimmcewen
    May 15, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    I love this part: “And Mary-Helen laughed till she hiccupped, slapped her knee till it hurt.”

    and to this: “…knew of only one thing could make you go from cranky to nice in a heartbeat” Mabel Honeycutt would say: Right on!

  4. McEwen75
    May 15, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    ‘Cause Mabel Honeychild, I mean Honeycutt, knows and it’s the truth

  5. McEwen75
    May 15, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    Eddie, my man, I mean Marzy’s man, the sign was “best service in town.” But I wanna know mo’ ’bout that lady of yours that used snakes to catch the mugs that mugged her grandma. What you need to be doin’ is writin’ a story ’bout _her_.

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