Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #329

Kent: “My darling, you seem troubled.”

Mae: “Well, I suppose there’s something I should tell you, but I don’t think you’ll like it.”

Kent: “You know I love you eternally. There’s nothing you can say that will make me unhappy.”

Mae: “It’s just that… well, you were away so long with that war thing, and I got lonely, and… things happened.”

Kent: “Whatever does that mean, my sunshine?”

Mae: “It means that your sunshine cast her rays on another man.”

Kent: “I don’t understand. Did you do something with a flashlight?”

Mae: “Well, that’s one way to put it.”

Kent: “So you helped someone find their way home?”

Mae: “That’s another way to put it. But I’m not sure if you’re following me.”

Kent: “Are you going somewhere?”

Mae: “No, I’ve already been there. I need you to listen to me. It’s a wretched tale, but it must be told. I was at the barn dance, on the refreshment committee, and I was serving punch. And being that near the punch bowl all night, I perhaps sampled more than I should have. So when this swarthy gentleman walked into the room, with biceps that made me tingle, I was perhaps a bit too enthusiastic about my attention to his arms. And his swarthiness. And the fact that you were overseas.”

Kent: “Always thinking of me, aren’t you, my pet.”

Mae: “Well, not always. He asked me to join him back at his hotel. And I agreed.”

Kent: “Is this where the flashlight comes in? Was he the one you helped home?”

Mae: “Oh, I did more than help. Before I knew it, I was doing something with his flashlight, very similar to what you are doing now with your hand.”

Kent: “My hand? Oh, you mean this pumping action? That’s just a reflex memory from shoving powder into the artillery guns. I sometimes find myself doing this in the middle of the night.”

Mae: “I found myself doing it as well. And a few other things. Then the gun went off. And now… now, I’m with child.”

Kent: “You adopted children? Whatever for?”

Mae: “No, I’m going to have a child. Because I was intoxicated by punch and biceps and a bad decision.”

Kent: “Are you saying that you’re pregnant? How can that be? I’ve been overseas for two years.”

Mae, stunned at the unending imbecility and no longer interested in softening the blow: “How in the world are you able to dress yourself in the morning?”


Originally published in “Crusty Pie” on 11/02/15 and “Bonnywood Manor” on 03/18/16. Slight changes made. In an interesting twist, Mae eventually gave birth to a boy that she named Punch, with the delivery occurring on the same day that Kent married a woman from Pawhuska, Oklahoma named Judy. Kent didn’t make that connection, either…


29 replies »

  1. Vintage, right down to the post script …. my teeth were literally hurting with the force of gritting them each time Kent uttered and when we got to the powder pushing …. I had to work very hard on my pelvic floor not to embarrass the parquet 😂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Well at least THEY won’t breed. *shudder* Another instance where natural selection makes itself known….and now I KNOW what happened at that barn dance that started that long discussion at Bonnywood Academy….shocking indeed!! And in front of ‘children’ too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • We dodged a bullet on this one. But more importantly, you just reminded me that I haven’t done a thing with Our Little Project. Your latest contribution came in just as I was plunging into NaNoWriMo and it got shoved to the side in a rather unceremonious fashion. I must rectify that situation. Mea culpa…


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