Gramma’s Vase #WEPFF #flashfiction

Posted April 15, 2020 in Blog Fests & Hops, Creative Writing / 40 Comments

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About my Entry

Since my last WEP piece was quite dark in nature, I wanted to do something light-hearted this time. I was also trying to think out of the box a little with my interpretation of the ” antique vase” prompt. I hope it makes you smile!

Word count: 780

Trigger warnings: None.

Critique preference: FCA

Gramma’s Vase

“Gramma Khaleesi!” the children rushed into the old woman’s open arms and she embraced them fiercely.
“How’s it going?”
“Thumbs up, thanks. Dad turned off the stability field on my hoverbike!” 
“Awesome! You’re getting so grown up.” Gladys giggled and buried her head in Gramma’s soft hoodie, breathing in her timeless Ariana Grande perfume.
“How’d your XBall tournament go, Albert?”
“It was vicious. I ruined it!”
“That’s…good?”
“I won 20 credits!”
“Wow, well done, Albert. That’s fantastic. What are you going to spend it on?”
“New chip patch. I’m upgrading to 10 zettabytes.”
“Uh-huh.”
“Hit pause, Mum’s calling.” Albert pressed a hand to his temple. “Wave, Mum. Yeah, we’re at Gramma’s…about five I think…rep’d lasagne would be savage. Thumbs up, resume later. Heart you.”
“Everything ok?” Gramma asked as they went inside.
“Just mum being mum. She could have just GPS’d us.” He rolled his eyes and followed his great grandmother into her quaint open-plan apartment.

The children took a seat on the dated silver corner sofa and waited patiently while Gramma heated something in the ancient microwave. Whatever it was, it smelled delicious. When it finally pinged, she hobbled over to the coffee table with a plate of freshly-baked cookies and sat down beside them.
“Oh, yum! Thanks, Gramma.” Gladys grabbed a gooey cookie and stuffed it into her mouth while her brother took one tentatively, eyeing it with suspicion.
“It won’t kill you, Albert. I know you prefer that bland, processed stuff your mother reps, but you can’t beat the old-fashioned way for taste.”
Albert nibbled the edges of the cookie and slowly smiled.

“Gramma, can we loan something, please?” Gladys asked. “It’s for school. We need to bring in an anti…ant‐-“
“An antique,” her brother finished. It’s for show and tell.”
“You kids still do that? Huh. I’m afraid I haven’t got anything like that, my sweethearts. I never bothered collecting anything fancy.”
“What? You’ve got sets of raw stuff. We could take that pad thing where you keep all your books. I bet no-one at school has seen one of those before.”
Gramma placed a wrinkled hand over her battered Kindle.
“I don’t think so, loves. I use it every day. If it got damaged…well, I doubt I could get hold of the spare parts, they certainly don’t rep this model any more.”
“You know you can just chip all your content now right, Gramma? Why bother with a screen?”
“Nothing quite compares to the soft blue glow of a screen when you’re reading under the covers. And you know I don’t trust those microchips. Who knows what they’re feeding into your brains?”
Gladys laughed. “You’re funny, Gramma. Hey, what about that? It looks zetta old.”
“This?” Gramma asked doubtfully. She picked up the glass vase with the words ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ emblazoned across it in white writing. It still had a faded IKEA sticker stuck to the bottom.
“It was my mother’s. She bought it in the ’20s, so it’s as old as I am. I suppose that does make it an antique.”
“Wow. Post-bimillenial.”
“Your Grampa Kylo hated it. He said it was tacky. So naturally, I gave it pride of place in the front room.”
“I think it’s beautiful,” Gladys sighed.
Albert turned it upside down and frowned. “How do you activate it?”
Gramma chuckled. “You don’t. What you see is what you get with this vase. No holograms. We used to put fresh flowers in them. Candles too.”
“Why?”
“Why not? They looked pretty. Of course, it wasn’t always easy to get fresh flowers back then, unless you had a garden. I remember during the lockdown, my mother and I used to make paper flowers to fill them instead.”
“It must have been so boring, stuck inside all that time without TC or AR.” Albert shook his head pityingly.
His sister’s eyes grew wide. “What did you do all day?”
“Oh, plenty. We had books, TV, computer games-not as immersive as yours of course, but they were pretty cool. We did a lot of arts and crafts and chatted with our friends on social media.”
“That’s like old school TC, right?”
“A little like your TeleChat I suppose, but you had to type your thoughts out instead of just thinking them. And you had to upload pics from your mobile phone before ret cams were invented.”
“Urgh, sounds like a chore.”
“We loved it. Things seemed so much simpler then.” She closed her eyes for a moment.
“Can we loan the vase then, Gramma? Please?”
“All right. But make sure you bring it back in one piece. They don’t make them quite like that anymore.”

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Over to You

I hope you enjoyed my piece. Please share your thoughts and constructive feedback in the comments.

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40 responses to “Gramma’s Vase #WEPFF #flashfiction

  1. Truly light hearted as promised.
    Also, the truth being conveyed that technology would keep advancing and today would be past yet some relationships would be same and equally treasured.

  2. An absolutely delightful post! I smiled from the first few lines on. Makes me think of that video that went around a while back about a bunch of millennials presented with a rotary phone and being asked to dial a phone number. (I can imagine at least one of your readers will have to google “rotary phone” to follow that.) I mean, I had to get used to The Chip on credit cards.
    I also very much appreciated the way you brought the current reality of “the lockdown” into your story. It really is an event shaping all of our lives.
    Thanks very much for the post! A great read.

    • Oh yes, that was so funny. Technology advances so quickly that things are out of date before we know it these days. I consider myself pretty tech-savvy, but a lot of modern phone apps confuse me now.
      I’m hoping we’ll look back on the lockdown with some fond memories despite the bad things that are happening. We certainly won’t forget it.

  3. Wonderful! “How do you activate it?” was a nice touch. It would never enter my mind to write futuristic sci-fi about an ‘antique’ vase. From IKEA, no less. LOL.

    • It changes so quickly that it’s hard to keep up, isn’t it? There are so many things I don’t understand about technology and pop culture already and I’m only 30. I’m sure I’ll be completely baffled by the time I’m a grandma.

  4. Well done, a whole new world created and understood in a flash! Excellent! You delivered on your promise and brought smiles to all our faces. And oh yes, that saying covers many a knick-nack! LOL

  5. You fulfilled your brief Anstice. Truly lighthearted. Loved your incorporation of the lockdown and past history which we’re living in. Well done and fresh through the eyes of children.
    Thanks for participating in our ANTIQUE VASE prompt. So many of the things we now cherish will be antiques in the future.

    • Thanks so much, Denise. It was a great prompt. Thank you for all the work you do with WEP as always. Every time I take part it always challenges me to try new things and I learn a lot from the other writers.

  6. Hi Anstice – loved the cheery dialogue – and great you moved ? 40 years ahead … I do wonder what life will be like … I feel I’ve lost a few techie qualities recently … definitely feeling behind the times … I’ll be Gramma … living back in time. Take care – fun take on the prompt – well done … Hilary

    • Thank you, Hilary. I pictured it around 80 years ahead. I’m behind the times with technology too. I still love my trusty laptop but everything seems to be moving more towards mobile phones now. I like them for social media but I can’t get used to them for writing and blogging. I’ve always been nostalgic about the past so I’m sure I’ll be living back in time when I’m older too.

  7. I love this story! It gets my vote for top prize.
    I love they you talk about the e-reader the way people talk about print books now.
    The dialog is great and the futuristic terms are perfect.
    I could totally read more of this.

  8. This was so fun! Children in the future surely will look back at now and think our ancient technologies boring. I love what you did with language here. The idea of TeleChat seems handy, but I’d be terrified of accidentally sending out a stray thought I would have rather kept to myself.

    • Thanks, L.G. Me too! It seems very invasive and I’m sure it would lead to all sorts of “thought crime” scenarios. It’s easy enough to make a blunder on social media or text without having your thoughts broadcast.

  9. Hi,
    I often wonder what the future will be like. Things that we consider now as the best in digital technology will probably be laughed about. Your connecting the story ton ESP and being able to read minds or transferring thoughts without speaking, I found excellent.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    • Thank you, Pat. I like to daydream about the future too. I remember thinking floppy disks and clip art were so cutting edge at the time and now they seem hilariously out-of-date.

  10. Fantastic! I admit it never occurred to me to put the story in the future and the vase in the present 🙂 And those kids’ slang–you hit that pretty much on the button for just alien enough to convince, and just clear enough to figure it out. I assume that “can we loan it?” instead of “borrow” is part of that language shift. Grandma would cringe, though!

    I think my favorite bit is her nostalgic clinging to the tablet with it’s blue light for reading.

    • Thanks, Rebecca. I did wonder if the dialogue would be both believable and understandable. Yes the “loan” phrasing was intentional. A lot of modern slang makes me cringe already, especially words that are used in the opposite context to what they originally meant! I’m glad you liked the tablet part.

  11. Amused at the cultural/2000s echoes, Anstice, like the Ariana Grande perfume and the ‘quaint open-plan’. The Kindle v Chip debate is a great update on the Paper v Kindle choice today – excellent and amusing. Wonderfully wicked and amusing – with a reminder of what we’re all doing now. And that vase will be antique someday. It’s relative.

    • I was hoping those little easter eggs would make people smile. Technology changes so fast that things become laughingly old-fashioned within only a decade or two. I’m sure the world will be a very different place by the time I reach old age. I’m half excited and half daunted by the prospect!

  12. Ha, ha Anstice. Such fun, a futuristic Antique. Post bi- millenium ! So the world is really going to change. Don’t like the sound of those built-in microchips though … a bit too Big Brother is watching you, for my taste. Have an inspiring spring. Take care.

  13. Loved it! It was light, fun and topical. A peak at some feasible future tech (if my brother is to be believed) and inventive slang. Gramma Khaleesi cracked me up, as did Albert and Gladys, proving that everything old is new again!

    • Glad you liked the names. I was tempted to give the kids very futuristic names but then I thought of how old-fashioned names always come round again so maybe they’ll make a comeback.

  14. It did make me smile, thanks. Cool take on the prompt. Under the lightheartedness it is a great reminder that the cutting edge of today is an antique tomorrow. Well done.

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