Donkey Tails

The WordPress Creative Writing Challenge for this week was: Metamorphosis, with the following explanation:

You can’t move for were-creatures these days. If it’s not werewolves falling in love with vampires, it’s were-rabbits, erm, doing what were-rabbits do (terrifying carrots by the full moon, perhaps?). But fantastic animal metamorphoses are as old as the hills, at least in the world of fiction, so who are we to be dissuaded by the vicissitudes of popular fiction trends when delivering creative writing prompts? Come, take a turn for the worst.

Indeed.

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“Kids, please come in here and sit down. We need to have a serious conversation – one that probably should’ve happened well before you both left for college. Since you’re home for the summer, and Jill’s been talking about getting married after graduation, I don’t think this can wait any longer.”

“What’s this about, Mom?”

“Your father…”

“Dad? Is everything…okay?”

“Well, I don’t mean to panic you or anything, but this family charade can’t go on any longer. Let me just get right to the point. Your father’s a jackass.”

“Mom!”

“No, I’m serious. He is…a jackass. And after living with him all these years, if you never figured it out, I hate to be the one to deliver the bad news so late. It’s probably coming as quite a blow.”

“Well, I mean, he could be a real jerk sometimes – and stubborn on a few occasions, but…well, that’s no reason to get into name calling, Mom.”

“Name call…??? Oh! No, you don’t understand, kids. I meant literally. Your father can literally turn into a jackass – only at certain times though. He’s not always one. That’s probably why you never realized it. He was good at hiding his times of metamorphosis around you two.”

“Not that good at it all the time…”

“Really? So you suspected it already? I thought we’d been rather creative at disguising it – me telling you he was working late, stopping off to watch a game at your uncle’s, hanging out down at the neighborhood pub…”

“Mom, is there a point in getting into all this? I mean, now? Now that Jill and I are out of the house and likely not going to ever move back in here again?”

“Absolutely, there’s a need. More than ever. Jill’s thinking about marriage. Don’t you see what this means?”

“Er, that we could become jackasses too?”

“No, of course not. You won’t ever see yourself as a jackass. That’s because the gene is most often x-linked, but sometimes it shows up at random. In either case, it’s not going to affect you personally. These things tend to skip a generation.”

“So Jill and I won’t ever be the jackasses? Well, that’s a relief, I guess.”

“Maybe. But just you wait. If your father was a jackass, there’s a strong likelihood that your children will become jackasses too! How do you plan to deal with that news, mister?”

“Hmm, guess I’ll have to pack that mule when I go on that journey.”

“Hee, haw. You won’t think it’s so amusing, Mr. Funny Guy, when you have your own herd of stubborn little jackasses to corral. You should hear the stories your grandmother tells. Do you know she…??”

“Wait, I don’t wanna’ hear anymore. Well, actually, I guess I do have just one more question about this, Mom – before we maybe NEVER talk about this again…”

“What’s that, dear?”

“Do you have this, er, genetic anomaly, too?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, son. Just because I chose to spend my entire life married to a jackass certainly doesn’t make me one too!”

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