"The Family Tree" - Short Story Submission

Danielle looked at her belly and rubbed it. At last she had good reason for adding those extra pounds. It was all so glorious, a miracle, in a way she had never anticipated. Now she was connected to the twins, the two handsome boys she had grown up with. She had been their college roommate in the dormitory for the two years she had attended a prestigious Christian University. She could never compete with the raving beauties that showed off their best assets in clinging t-shirts, or long legs wearing tiny shorts while wearing three inch red high heels. Her best features were her wide, large ocean eyes that changed from dark shimmering blue, to an almost turquoise green depending on the light, or what she was wearing. She had daydreamed of marrying one, or the other of the twins, it didn’t matter which since they were so identical that even their mom couldn’t tell who was who. Now she was the mother of their child.

They had been together 22 years and 9 months and never had a serious argument.  But now on their 22nd birthday they were coming close. They were confident in what they wanted their future to be. No one could say that these two didn’t love each other. Even in the womb their mother claimed they had never kicked, but had gently rolled when moving. But when it comes to planning a wedding, the bride and the groom, or in this case, the groom and the groom might have some conflicts. Perhaps it is a test of how to work out such differences before the two say “I do.”  Keith wanted it to be a small wedding with close friends. Karl wanted a large wedding in their church, of course. They were going to be the first identical twins to be married in the United States. Because of that, Karl wanted to invite the community to share in their commitment to live as a married couple.

 Mother had wanted it to be a Holy Matrimony, like her husband’s and hers had been. Well, at least they had been married in the church, but he had left when she wouldn’t agree to his taking a second wife. When polygamy had first been legalized in the United States, it was under the condition that the first spouse, and any additional spouses, agree to the union of another. After it had become legal, her church had voted and the majority of the members had opposed it. Some left the church because they saw the church for what it was, judgmental, and out of harmony with the thinking of the times. Polygamy, at least with the man having more than one wife, was even in the Bible. Now with it being clear that women were equal, and marriage being sensibly re-defined to include other than the limited one man one woman version from centuries past, of course a woman should be able to have more than one husband if her first husband, and additional husbands agreed. After a few years of polygamy becoming more mainstream, her church finally saw the light, and indeed recognized it as Holy Matrimony, having all the adult members united as one.

Mother had been christened in this church, confirmed, and married. She belonged to the woman’s church group which welcomed new comers, and made the refreshments for after the services. She had grown into middle-age with these precious people, through all the various pastors, building remodels, and church teachings. Her twins had been caressed, and adored as the sweethearts of the church since first being introduced at their christening.  After divorce left her a single mom, the church supported her emotionally, and offered her the newly vacated secretarial position. They were generous with the benefits and wages which made it possible for her to raise her sons with plenty of money left over after paying the bills.  She loved the church, and the people. Sometimes she had tiny moments of thoughts.   Pesky, inconsequential, nuisance thoughts that she did not have time, nor the right to think. They were not “old fashioned”, as she would catch herself sometimes murmuring in the recesses of her mind. They were evil thoughts, because they were judgmental, that is if evil even existed. Oh it was all so confusing, and a waste of time at least, for her to consider. She must be the only one in the world who thought these things.

G.W. "The Family Tree" - Tuscany Prize 2015 Short Story Submission


Pregnant woman by Yiannis Moralis sourced from http://bit.ly/1eyjwij

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