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A Family Legacy -- FWG Flash Fiction for 5/27/23

I'm not thrilled with this one. I wrote it during one of Wes's band's bluegrass gigs. But it is what it is.

The prompt was:

A Family Legacy

Nanna poured my tea. A squeeze of lemon was all I took with it. She knew that, but frowned anyway as she added cream and sugar to her own.

“It’s good to see you again, My Dear. It’s been what, a whole year?”

Nanna was the queen of passive-aggressive. I played along. It was a pas-de-deux we had danced for decades.

“Has it been that long? Time flies, doesn’t it?”

Our niceties satisfied, Nanna set her painted china cup in its saucer. She launched into the purpose of my visit.

“You’re past due,” she said. Before I could counter, she continued. “Our contract is clear. A new soul every generation. You’re biological clock is not only ticking, it’s almost rundown. You need to get busy.”

“Nanna, you know I’m gay, right?”

“I don’t care, Dearie. Doesn’t your plumbing still work?”

It worked, as it reminded me every month. I just nodded.

“Then get—”

“It’s not that simple. Janice doesn’t want kids. If I just get pregnant by some random guy, she’ll freak and I’ll lose her.”

Nanna clucked her tongue in her most annoying way. “She means nothing compared to this family’s legacy.”

“The family curse, you mean.”

“Curse or blessing don’t matter. This,” she spread her arms, indicating the mansion and surrounding estate, “all vanishes without a soul freely given.”

“You’re talking about a child—my child.”

Nanna waved a hand dismissively. I knew what was at stake: our multinational business, senators, a future president. All because an ancestor struck a deal a thousand years ago.

I thought of stay-at-home Janice. She had as much invested in this arrangement as the rest of us, although she didn’t know it.

I nodded my assent. My soul was already sold, as were Mother’s and Nanna’s. Like mother, like daughter, right?

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