‘Why do you do it, mother?’ Jennie asked, as her mother tucked her into bed and prepared to return to her guests.
‘Do what, darling?’
‘What’s wrong with my singing?’
Jennie thought back to the after dinner entertainment. Father sat at the piano, Jennie next to him to turn his pages, and Mother standing in front of the gathered gentry from the city. Her voice screeched through the room, like nails being scratched down a blackboard. Afterwards, the guests would take it in turns to compliment her performance. Jennie thought they all must be mad or tone deaf.
‘It’s awful, mother,’ Jennie answered.
‘Of course it is, darling.’
‘But if you know you can’t sing, why do you do it?’
‘If these nouveau riche from the city want my patronage and my money, I like to make them earn it. It’s rather fun to watch them having to smile and clap politely and lie to me.’
‘What if they tell you the truth?’
‘Then they go up in my estimation completely. Goodnight dearest.’
Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story in around 150 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.
To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.
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