Disclaimer: I think it should be obvious by now, but Harvest Moon is not mine.
Author's note: This is utter silliness. It is also, as you've probably noticed, very short. But, because it's my entry to the Village Square's Writing Festival, I should probably try and show some confidence in it. :) Well, this month's theme was Learning/Education and I've stretched that to the absolute limit with this one, believe me! Oh well... what else can I say, but enjoy?
Two bright, young, first-time parents stood in a nursery. Their faces were alight with a dizzying mixture of emotions - excitement and anticipation; nausea and utter utter horror. Karen stared at Jack. Jack stared at Karen.
"Surprise!" Three much older men stepped forward, holding paintbrushes and grinning broadly.
"Oh! Dad..." Karen recognised her father, pale as ever.
"So," he prompted, "where is she, then? Where's my little granddaughter, my first grandchild?"
At that, Duke and Doug, the remainder of the trio, made a silly, victorious crowing noise. Jack attempted a weak smile, but Karen just rolled her jade green eyes.
"Ermm..." they both mumbled.
"Ha!" Duke slapped Doug on the back as if they were both school boys. "Lost track of the kid already, huh?"
"You've only had her, what, a day!" Doug chipped in.
Jack found his voice first. "Downstairs," he told Jeff, faintly. "Downstairs with Elli."
The three proud men let out a manly cheer and streamed towards the door, shaking Jack's hand as they went. "I hope you like it!" Jeff called out over his shoulder. The door slammed in their wake.
Jack stared at Karen. Karen stared back at Jack. They both gaped in horror at the nursery. "That was cruel," she finally said.
"Making poor Elli tell them..." But a wicked grin curled the corners of Karen's lips. "Thanks, though. I couldn't face it."
Jack sighed, "What do we do now? We cannot afford to re-paint it - no, Karen - we can't."
There was a silence as they stared around at the result of a hard day's work. They'd even added a floral border and pretty, lilac stencils. It was a work of art, for Goddess sake!
"Well, he'll have to - he'll just have to - " But Karen couldn't finish that thought. She ran her fingers through beige-brown hair that was in desperate need of a wash.
"Why did you have to open your mouth, Kare?" Jack blurted out.
"'Cause the scan said! Elli said!" She remembered it like it was yesterday: that fuzzy, grey image that sent her heart racing - of course, realistically, it looked more like a mutant potato than a baby, but you couldn't say that sort of thing around ordinary people. Anyway - "She told me it was a girl."
"No no no. She said, either - note the 'either', Karen - a girl or a shy boy. The angle was a difficult one, remember? And I know you don't like me saying this about your precious town, but the equipment they use up there pre-dates the Stone Age!" Jack paused for breath. "What we've got downstairs is a shy boy. The scan was read wrong."
They couldn't control themselves any longer and burst into simultaneous, spontaneous laughter. It was funny really, or would be, in a few years. "Poor Callum," said Karen, wiping her eyes.
The rumble of voices downstairs was steadily increasing in volume. Karen shook her head and Jack said simply, "Crossed wires, I expect. C'mon let's go and face the music. Explain to Jeff that his first granddaughter is actually a boy named Callum."
Karen and Jack joined hands; their eyes swept across the nursery one final time. There was no escaping it. The walls were vivid, brash, dazzling, neon, girly, obvious, in-your-face... pink.
"Well!" Karen threw up her arms in exasperation. "He'll just have to learn to live with it!"
A/N - Ummm. Yeah. Very short, I know. I was actually writing something else for my entry this month, but it became apparent that it was getting too long and that I'd never finish it by the deadline. Anyway, I really like that story so it probably will surface at some point, just not right now! Apologies for this one, however... XD.