He rode up on a dark horse.  So dramatic. I was sitting under an old oak tree on a blanket, sipping sweet tea and reading, my hair falling into my eyes. My parents stepped onto the porch.

“Mr. Powell – I have a question for you, but Mrs. Powell, I want you to hear this too. I love your daughter more than anything. I’d like to ask you for her hand.”

I choked on my tea as Dad shook his hand.

“Helloooooo!” I shouted. “Sean! We broke up MONTHS ago. Before I moved away.”

“But…I thought…if I asked your father…”

“So my dad is the one that gets to decide who I marry?  Not me?

Mom began to wail. “Savannah Elizabeth Powell!!  Do you want to die alone???!!!”

“You people are insane,” I declared, rising from the blanket. “I’m going inside.”

I watched my parents console Sean through the window and rolled my eyes.  I looked to the sky, reminding myself that soon I’d be on a plane, far, far away.


For Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

33 thoughts on “Formalities

  1. Thank goodness she is standing up for herself. It sounds like she has had to more than once. Good for her for planning on leaving soon. Wonderful story.

  2. Great story, But I disagree with the notion that the mother is labeled narcissistic for trying to get her daughter married. More often than not, parents and children find themselves in different generations which may make their opinions / expectations about life clash. But what I know is that every parent wants the best for their child. A child is allowed to not agree with their wishes but so long as there is room for dialogue, parents and children should get a long just fine.

  3. Haha! Great story Jenn. Love the way you’ve twisted the usual fairy tale ending. And why do men still ask dad’s for a girl’s hand? Are we still in the middle ages, to be traded like a car or a cow? Great story 🙂

    1. Exactly! When I hear women still talking about making a guy ask her dad for “permission” to get married in 2016 I just shake my head. Thank you!

      1. I would have thought it very odd, if my husband had asked my dad for permission. Hate it when I get a letter through saying ‘Mrs G Love’ (Gareth being my husband’s name). A VERY old fashioned thing to do. I did not change my first name as well as my second when I got married!
        These conventions move on only slowly. A great read 🙂

      2. I cannot stand getting mail addressed that way, as though you gave up your whole identity when you got married! Thanks again!

  4. I love the voice in this piece! You had me hooked right from “So dramatic.” Many funny twists and turns with this creative take of the prompt. I like how the parents, Sean, and Savannah all had different perspectives of the situation. There wasn’t any “bad guy.” Just people, living and breathing. Great show of that. I wonder where Savannah is going next!

    1. Thank you! I love your feedback. You’re right – there really isn’t a bad guy, just people with drastically different perspectives.

  5. Sean is obsessed and if her parents think she should be with him, they’re crazy too. Leaving is probably wise, as long as she can manage on her own. Great take Jenn.

    1. I think her parents are the old-fashioned types that think something’s wrong if you aren’t married off by 25. Clearly, she wants a different life 🙂

      Thank you!

  6. I wish I could share with you hw hard I have laughed at this, that guy must have wanted the ground to swallow him. haaaaaaa. Great one my dear

    1. Thanks so much! I think her parents will come around. I imagine it’s difficult when your kids take a drastically different path in life than you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s