The Writers Collection
A few of the world’s most talented writers were challenged to submit short stories each week on a set theme. Please visit http://www.thewriterscollection.com to see some amazing stories by other great writers. The first topic was “Brazil”. Please enjoy my story.
If he were given the choice, Brian’s idea of a relaxing night at home in the company of friends would be to loaf in an armchair with a glass in his hand. Once again, with friends round, they were sat at the dining room table with a board game that was more suited to his wife’s intellect than his own. “That’s 3 for the B, 1 for R and 10 for the Z.” He declared as he sat back with a bright smile lit his face.
“Hang on, Brian, you can’t have Brazil. It’s a proper noun.” Sherri proclaimed with that ‘I’m a teacher of English which means, in word games, I’m always right’ tone in her voice.
“No it’s not,” he argued, already sensing that once again, he was going to be defeated by the domineering party in his marriage. “What about Brazil nuts?”
“It’s still got a capital B,” Malcolm intervened. “That makes it a proper noun.” Malcolm and Brian had remained friends from their schooldays, but like Sherri, Malcolm had gone off to university and now they worked in the same English department at the local school. When it came to an argument, Malcolm invariably swapped between supporting his work colleague and then his friend.
“Wait, though, Sherri.” Brian felt himself sigh as Anne began to speak. Malcolm’s wife was so quiet that it always seemed that she was seeking his permission before she uttered a word.Anne was well meaning but like Brian, always made to feel educationally inferior to their respective partners. Brian shook his head to no avail, as once again, Anne seemed determined to argue on his behalf. “If it is a proper noun, doesn’t that make it a proper word?”
“No, Anne, it just gives it a capital letter.” Malcolm always spoke to Anne as though he was correcting a third former.
“Brian you can’t have it,” Sherri snapped. “Change your letters.”
In contrast, Anne’s voice was hardly more than a whisper, “Let him have it for goodness sake, we’ll be all night at this rate.”
“Anne, he’s my husband. I’ll decide what he can and can’t have, thank you.”
Malcolm patted Sherri’s hand, “It’s only a game, Sherri, lighten up.”
“I’m just saying that he can’t have Brazil, that’s all.”
For some reason that, if asked, he would never be able to explain, that touch on his wife’s hand gave Brian an uneasy feeling, especially as it seemed that his old school friend was reluctant to let the hand go. “No you’re not,” he spoke slowly, sensing that his temper was rising. “You’ve just said you’ll decide what I can have. You’ll decide…”
“Oh for goodness sake, Brian, do you think I haven’t noticed?”
“Noticed what?” Genuinely confused, Brian continued, “I’d better change my letters”
Sherri stood up suddenly and scowled at her husband. “The way you look at Anne. Brian, I am not naïve.”
“Sherri,” Malcolm was treating the episode as a humorous interlude and smiled inanely as he poured more wine into the four glasses, even for his wife, ignoring her protest. "Are you suggesting there is something going on between Anne and Brian? That is so unbelievably funny.”
“You know what I’m suggesting, Malcolm,” Sherri snarled. “Ask your wife. She can’t take her eyes off him.” Anne lowered her eyes and blushed scarlet. “God,” Sherri swayed, “She’s got guilt written all over her face.”
“I haven’t,” Anne whispered softly. “Brian, change your letters, please.”
Brian reached for Sherri’s hand, but she snatched it away. “Sherri, you can’t imagine for one minute that I’d fool around with someone like Anne.”
Now Malcolm jumped to his feet with the wine bottle still in his hand. He was still jovial of course. It amused him to wonder why any other person might find any attraction in the unimaginative creature he had the misfortune to marry. “I beg your pardon,” he sneered mockingly, “Brian, but that’s my wife you are insulting.”
“Yes, Brian, that wasn’t nice.” Sherri suddenly became quiet again. Taking the wine bottle from Malcolm, she found it was empty. “Sorry Anne,” she continued as she replaced the bottle with the first that came to hand, “there was no call for rudeness. Brian, apologise to our guests.”