Faraway Press is happy to consider contributions of short stories or other writings for inclusion on this page. And if any contributors have a site of their own to which they would like a link, we shall be happy to include this link as well.

We recently received the following contribution from Amy Hagerty. Many thanks Amy.

Fussy, Fussy!

Grandma dreaded her brother Howard’s visits to her house, which became more frequent when Howard’s cook quit. "He drops in uninvited, complains about the food and he never offers to help," she lamented to my mother as soon as he left.

Today, Uncle Howard was as fussy as ever. "Sis, what’s good for lunch?" he asked as he walked into the kitchen and headed straight to the pot on the stove.

"Hey, Howard. How would you like some of this stew I made last night?" Grandma offered.

"Nah. You know I'm not a big fan of leftovers," Howard replied and backed away from the stove. "What can you make that's fresh?"

"How about a ham and cheese sandwich?" Grandma asked, hopefully.

"No, I had ham yesterday at Aunt Flora's. I'm really hungry, what else can you make me?" Howard asked.

"Let's see…," Grandma mumbled as she searched through the cans in the pantry. "Aha! How'd you like some spaghetti with sauce?" Grandma suggested.

"I can't have that! I'll get heartburn!" Howard called from the kitchen.

"I can't believe this man. He is driving me crazy! He's so finicky. Just like a cat!" Grandma mumbled to herself. "Oh, this is good…Select Seafood cat food. Ha-ha!"

"What's so funny?" Howard yelled.

"Oh, nothing. I'm going to make you a nice, fresh, delicious tuna sandwich. I'll be right in," Grandma said cheerfully.

"Oh, all right, if that's all you've got," Howard said miserably.

Grandma set the sandwich in front of Howard and waited expectantly.

"I can't eat this!" Howard yelled.

"What's the matter? I thought you liked tuna fish!" Grandma replied.

"I do, but I can't have this bread with sesame seeds. The seeds will get stuck in my dentures!" Howard cried. "I'll just eat it plain," he said with self pity and handed the plate to Grandma for her to scrape the filling off of the bread for him.

"Mmmmmmm! Delicious! You should make this more often," said Howard, stretching lazily, finally content. "Thanks, Sis."

"Would you like some fresh biscuits to go with that? I just bought a new box…" Grandma said to Howard, "…at the pet store," she whispered to herself.

"Sure, if it's not too much trouble, Sis," Howard said happily.

"No trouble at all. I'll serve this to you every time you visit," said Grandma, smiling.

© Amy Hagerty