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“No.” It was all I could say, taking in the carnage of what had just last night been my pristine kitchen. I wanted to collapse onto a chair, but they – and our spacious table – were covered in miscellany. Cleaning supplies, random knick-knacks from the living room, a thermometer, a scale. It was all there, strewn about.

My legs were shaking, and I fought the urge to cry. So messy. So dirty. No, no, no. I collapsed onto the shoe bench in between the Franco Sarto and the Gucci. I don't know where Giesswein had gone. I wished I could blame it on burglars, but no.

“She's doing it again!” I called, and my husband came running into the kitchen. We watched his mother rearrange my cabinets, turning tea-cup handles to the left instead of the right. My hands twitched.

“Ma, stop it!” he said, exasperation coloring his voice. “Put these things back, they were fine where they were!”

"No," she said, her voice heavily-accented. "I will take care of my boys. I can make you curtains for the living room, too. I think blue would be better than your green."

"Ma!" He strode past the bedroom after her, then froze and backtracked. "You moved our bed?!"

"It is better there. Now you can see if someone does come in the door and can defend yourselves."

"The only one coming in unannounced is you! I love you, I do - but this is our house! Our life! You should move on, Ma." I just stared at them helplessly. I didn't want to suggest it...but it needed to be done.

"I know." Paula looked at him with sad eyes. "But it is tough to do things alone. You need your mother."

That was a trap and he knew it. Changing tactics, he asked; "Did you try to rest?”

She sniffed dismissively. That was a no. "Did I show you the pictures I did bring? Also, I want to make you boys some soups. You can always put it in the cool box."

"Ma...we haven't been married long, we really just want some time alone. You know, for privacy?" She was past listening to him. Again. “Mom, really... Pete and I would really appreciate it if you could stop rearranging and redecorating... you should really move on.”

She kept going, moving the photos on the wall around to suit her own taste; I squeaked in dismay. I had spent a week arranging those to tell the story of how we met. Throwing his hands up, Aaron returned to the disaster zone that had been our tidy kitchen.

"I love your mother, I do," I said cautiously. "But I think she's over-stayed her welcome."

Aaron sighed. "I know... I was glad she stayed for the wedding, though...”

“Me, too.”  We gave each other a look of pained agreement.

"Alright. I'll call a medium tomorrow. That, at least, will be gentler on her than an exorcist."
Written for a flash fiction class. :)
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-01-09
Moving On by ~katherineluttmer ( Featured by neurotype )
:iconvagabond24-7:
Vagabond24-7 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014
That was a very good twist at the end!
Reply
:iconlilylaughs:
lilylaughs Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014
Good one!!! Really, really good jump at the end!
Reply
:iconnocturn0wl:
Nocturn0wl Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well done! I love how much imagery and characterization you were able to put into such a short piece, and also the twist at the end. :) Congrats on the well-deserved DD!
Reply
:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I knew what the twist would be at "You should move on, Ma," but that didn't spoil this cute and well-written piece. Well done!
Reply
:iconuscgcitasca:
USCGCitasca Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
took me like 5 minutes to understand the ending, very well written.
Reply
:iconteddybearcholla:
teddybearcholla Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
:clap::clap: Very good!! Congrats on the DD!! :D
Reply
:iconjaylee1999:
Jaylee1999 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
LOVE!!!!Love Heart 
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:iconlittlefiredragon:
LittleFireDragon Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist

*reads the ending several times*

Well played, author. Well played.

Reply
:iconbetnii:
Betnii Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Student Writer
Brilliant ending!
Reply
:iconlyricana:
Lyricana Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
Oh wow- I didn't expect an ending like that at all!  Thanks to your diction and smart phrasing, you were able to disguise what was really going on until the last few lines, and I find that very impressive.
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:iconthe-lighted-soul:
The-Lighted-Soul Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Aha! Totally called it! Excellent work, m'dear! Loving the phrasing you used.
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:iconavadestria:
AvaDestria Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
This is simply amazing. Once I made it to the last line I had to go back and reread again. Gratz on the DD! 
Reply
:iconforever-autumn13:
Forever-Autumn13 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
I TOTALLY didn't see THAT coming! This is amazing! I can really relate to the whole "OCD family member starting a power struggle in someone else's home" thing, so my eye was twitching the whole time, lol. It would be like my Grandmother coming into my apartment, and saying "are you SURE you want to divide the room up with the couch like that? And why have you got such plain curtains in the windows...you know I can make you something beautiful that would look better...I did do that for a living, you know." URG! I love her, but URG! Congrats on this awesome piece, and I hope you got an "A!"
Reply
:icondesignsbysloan:
DesignsBySloan Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
I wasn't expecting an ending like that... that was really awesome! : D
Reply
:icondsfan100:
DSfan100 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
this was good
Reply
:iconmidnighttiger8140:
MidnightTiger8140 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I did not see that last line coming. :XD:

Very nicely done! Congratulations on the DD :)
Reply
:iconriftress:
Riftress Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
My gosh, I adore this and how your brought in the elements of a typical ghost haunting. Wonderful work!
Reply
:iconfrankt:
FrankT Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Really didn't expect that ending! I really liked it
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:iconayeaye12:
AyeAye12 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Student Writer
Oh fidgity damn, that ending.

ahahaha.

Brilliant. 
Congrats on the DD :3
Reply
:iconzeaphra247:
Zeaphra247 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
Those last few lines really made this piece so special. Nice job!
Reply
:iconcaressofsteel:
caressofsteel Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
Oh, that was awesome. The ending totally caught me by surprise!
Reply
:iconlonesomebookworm:
LonesomeBookworm Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:omg: Oh God, the ending...
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:iconred-wynter:
red-wynter Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Student General Artist
Funny X3

Love that she supports the boys even in death. Hope that they'll be happy and the mother will watch over them in Heaven.
Reply
:iconinvader-zim42:
invader-zim42 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
I sure didn't see that one coming. :)
Reply
:iconredyoshi77:
redyoshi77 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Great job! You could really feel all the frantic emotions in this piece. :)
Reply
:iconz-a-d-y:
Z-A-D-Y Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh that ending was brilliant, i really didn't expect that! keep up the good work!
Reply
:iconsepiawren:
SepiaWren Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Brilliant twist at the end - you've managed to convey the sense of helpless frustration when a relative insists on overstaying their welcome, but with your energetic style and the quirkiness added by the twist, you've made it lighthearted and original. Great work!
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:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Congrats on the DD! :dalove:
Have a nice day! :party:
Reply
:iconbretagnemuse:
BretagneMuse Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
So the rumours are true; your parents just can't stop worrying... ^^
I loved the final 4 lines so very much :-)
Wonderfully short, yet it conveyed a great deal of emotion and personality.
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