When Giles had known my mother for three weeks I noticed a slight flicker in his right eyelid. I doubt that anyone who watched my mother’s suitors less assiduously than I would have spotted it, but I had a reason to watch them, and I knew that it was time to take Giles to lunch.
It was a fine lunch. To fine, perhaps. He watched me sardonically over the rim of his glass, and said
“I know what you’re trying to inveigle out of me young lady, and you’re wasting your money.”
I murmured a conventional denial; he laughed outright.
“I would have told you over a burger. I know all about your mother, and I can handle her. You’ve got competition for your inheritance, sweetheart.”
That was ten years ago. His single tic has developed into a full suite, so varied and dramatic that he is generally mistaken for an inveterate drinker, but as a seasoned observer I am painfully aware that Giles is no closer to breaking point.
When I installed a retired naval stoker as chef fifteen years ago I thought that I had enhanced Mother’s naturally vituperative tongue enough, but I clearly need a new plan.
Written for Jeffrey Hollar’s fiendishly exacting Monday Mixer … follow the link for some alternative takes on the prompts.