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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Huh? (01/21/10)

TITLE: Expecting Mothers
By Bryan Ridenour


The back screen door creaked open and slapped shut with a thud. Mary bolted straight up in bed. Looking at the glowing red numerals and the sleeping form of her husband, she realized a stranger was rustling around the house.

"Larry," whispered his wife. "Larry," she repeated, more urgent.

No response.

"Larry," she hissed.

Mary jabbed a bony elbow into her husband's midsection. Larry moaned and rolled over, oblivious to his wife's pleas. Mary stared at the snoozing silhouette, noting the steady rise and fall of satin sheets with each whistling breath.

"Dog gone it," she mumbled, "are you deaf?"

Mary threw another elbow. "Honey," she rasped desperately, "I'm pregnant."

Larry launched upright, eyes large as saucers. He fumbled on the nightstand for his teeth, shoving them into a pair of empty gums.

"Huh? You're what?"

"Shhhhh," she warned through a single finger crossing pursed lips.

"It's a miracle of God. Doc said he tied double knots. And that was how many years ago? Twenty?"

"Thirty," she seethed. "Now simmer down and listen."

With a single clap, a lamp blazed to life.

"Larry, what are you doing? You're gonna give the intruder a target."

"Mary this news is of Biblical proportion." Snatching a Bible from the night stand, he rifled through Genesis, stabbing the spot. "Right there. Just like Abraham and Sarah."

"Honey, just settle down. I'm not really pregnant."


"I had to say something to get your attention." She clapped. Darkness swallowed the couple. "There's someone banging around in the other room."

Larry ignored the strange noises. "You're not pregnant?" he asked, obviously disappointed.

"Dear," she soothed, "we've raised three great kids and have a passel of grandchildren. I would say we've been blessed, wouldn't you?"


"And it's kinda nice to have the house to ourselves. We don’t have to lock the bedroom door anymore," she said, winking.

He nodded.

“Don’t you like having the house to ourselves?”

He clasped his wife’s hand, smiling shyly.

Marry pulled his face close. "Well, that’s the way we have it…except…for…the… prowler…in…the…other…room.” Mary shoved her husband out of bed. "Get in there and see what's going on," she ordered pointing to the hallway.

"Honey," he began nervously. "Now I've got some big news. I was expecting..." Larry cleared his throat wishing for a glass of water. "I was expecting...mother."

"Huh? Your mother is here?"

"Yes. She called and asked if she could come and visit. She knew her flight would get in late, and said she'd grab a cab. I told her I'd leave a key in the mailbox. She wanted to keep her visit a secret. How do you feel about her little surprise?"

"I think I'd rather give birth." Mary clapped flooding the room with light. "Why does she have to be so noisy?"

"You know mother. She's probably giving the place the old white glove treatment."

Mary collapsed onto her pillow, burying her head under the comforter.

"Well," Larry began, stretching, "since we're up, we might as well say hello."

The covers shook back and forth. "No way."


"Because, Larry. I haven't given this place a good dusting in a couple of weeks. I'm too tired to face your mother's disapproval."

"Okay." He bent to peck his wife on the cheek. "I'll just tell her not to be too hard on you because you're exhausted." He smiled broadly. "Expectant mothers need their rest, y' know."

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This article has been read 906 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Robyn Burke01/28/10
Oh very cute! good dialogue between the two and some fun stuff too!
Linda Payne01/29/10
Great story. What we have to do to get our husbands' attention! I sweat more when my mother comes, though! She was always to white glove examiner. Good job with the topic.
Patricia Herchenroether01/29/10
Too funny! I was wondering why the husband had dentures, thinking they were a young couple. Very good dialog and story.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/31/10
Excellent story. I loved the humor and the wife/husband dialogue--very real.
Lollie Hofer01/31/10
I was hooked right from the start. I laughed out loud when I realized the "expectant" Dad had false teeth and how old they really were. Great visualizations all the way through the story. MASTERfully done.
Kellie Henningsen02/01/10
This was a riot to read! My favorite part was actually when the wife clapped to turn on the lights! Too perfect!!
Joy Faire Stewart02/01/10
Hilarious, with great dialogue and love Larry's attitude!
Jackie Wilson02/01/10
This was darling! Like a scene from the Honeymooners or I Love Lucy! Great fun!
Celeste Ammirata02/01/10
This is really cute, with great dialogue. Well done!
Noel Mitaxa 02/01/10
Great humour and dialogue. But if they are grandparents, how feisty is his mother - to be making night calls on her own???
Beth LaBuff 02/01/10
What a riot! Love your humor! Very cleverly written!
Carol Slider 02/01/10
This one had me laughing all the way through! Great sense of humor--I loved it!
Dr. Sharon Schuetz02/01/10
This was adorable. I loved it.
Gregory Kane02/02/10
All very clever. Lately you're into playing tricks with the reader, aren't you?
The Masked Truelovers02/02/10
fun story, kept me reading with interest. You might not have given him dentures though since he's only slightly more than middle aged.
Sharlyn Guthrie02/02/10
Cute story! I could picture the whole thing, much too vividly. :)
Loren T. Lowery02/03/10
The dialog simply flowed with perfection - making this all seem so real and causing you to care for the husband and wife. Love the banter between them - it felt close to home.
Scarlett Farr02/03/10
Great from start to finish!
Lyn Churchyard02/04/10
LOL! What a hoot!
Loren T. Lowery02/04/10
I had a feeling this might place, glad I was right. Congratulations!
stanley Bednarz02/04/10
Congrates. I read your stories in the past and felt like one of these days. I thought don't give up, one of these days.

Great story. Smart dialogue.Memorable lines.
Sheri Gordon02/04/10
Congrats on your EC. Very funny. The dialogue was perfect...had me chuckling out loud.
Patricia Turner02/04/10
Hillarious! Congratulations on a great story as well as your EC placing!
Joy Faire Stewart02/05/10
Congratulations on your well deserved EC win...delightful story!