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