Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fillmore's Treasure

Fillmore Fluster shot this picture with his Kodak Instamatic 100 on his way home from rabbit hunting. He pulled off the road, snapped the picture and continue on his way. It was getting late and Mrs. Fluster doesn’t take kindly to anyone coming in late for supper.

During the meal Fillmore was tempted to tell the family of his discovery but decided against it until he was sure. Because thinking before speaking isn't one of Fillmore strengths, he settled on silence as the best course of action. Mrs. Fillmore and the nine children picked up on the quiet.

“Fillmore, what’s wrong with you tonight?” Mrs. Fillmore said while sitting back in her rose cushioned chrome framed kitchen chair. She folded her arms across her large chest and spoke. “Your appetite is healthy but we haven’t heard one peep from you all night. Aren’t you going to say something about the chicken fried steak with homemade biscuits and cream corn? I know its your favorite and expected more than a few grunts in return for my day spent hovering over that stove like a vulture over roadkill.”
Mrs. Fluster was a lonely woman living out in the country. Her one pleasure, beside caring for her goats, was cooking good country meals and hearing her family praise her for it.

“Mother, these are fine vitals and I’m right beholding to you for the time taken to do the cookin. But my mind is fixed on something at the moment.” Fillmore nearly spoke about the rainbow but choked back the words.
Mrs. Fluster reached over and slapped his back so hard it dislodged his upper plate. Fillmore pushed the teeth back into place and waved off the second blow. “I’m fine mother. I’m fine.” he said.

“You’re not thinken of leaving me with all nine of these children and going out huntin agin are ya, ‘cause if you are....” Mrs. Fluster was up on her feet with both hands on her hips. She towered over the diminutive Fillmore causing him to hold both hands over his face in an act of contrition.
“No, no, no........ calm yourself mother. I’m not goin huntin.”
“Well what is it then?” she asked firmly. Fillmore was stuck. His poky brain was no match for the keen mind of his wife.

“Mother, I found gold today.” Fillmore’s words brought silence to the table, except for three year old Alice Bell. She had her face in a small bowl of gravy blowing bubbles.
“Where?” Mother asked. She sat down. The kitchen chair groaned under its burden.
“Over at the McDonald’s Place. I’ve got a picture on the Instamatic.”
“Children, grab yer coats. We are going into town.” Mother was up and out of the kitchen carrying Alice Bell with one hand and used the other to catch gravy drippings.

The family drove into Cloverdale in their 1973 Ford truck. Fillmore, Mother and baby Alice Bell rode up front. The rest of the Fluster children rode in the back with the family dog Pooch. They stopped at the one hour film counter at the Red Owl Grocery Store to have the film developed. The family enjoyed ice cream sandwiches while they waited in the parking lot. The children grew bored and played hide and seek in and around the parked cars. Five year old Matthew Paul was nearly run over by the Widow Parkins in her 1986 Lincoln. She cursed as she swerved to avoid him and hit a shopping cart instead. Lincolns are built like tanks so no damage done.

In one hour Fillmore picked up the prints. The family gathered outside the store near the coin operated bucking bronco. Fillmore sorted through the pictures he took of the countryside and interesting trees until he landed on the picture showing the gold.
“There it is,” he said as he proudly held it up for all to admire.
“Its a rainbow,” little Nancy Lue said while reaching up to touch it.
“It is a rainbow,” Mrs. Fluster exclaimed. She snatched the picture from Fillmore’s quivering hand. She studied the picture for a moment. “Where’s the gold Fillmore?” she asked.
“In the port a potty of course,” Fillmore explained. “We all know there’s a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. Well, here’s a rainbow and here’s where it ends.”
“Fillmore Fluster. I can’t believe how stupid you are. I’ve always known you were an idiot but hoped it would pass after being married to a sensible woman for all these years but now I see I’ve had no affect on you whatsoever.” Mrs. Fillmore handed Alice Bell to twelve year old Floyd. “Fillmore, this is a fist. And now I’ll show you where it ends!” Mrs. Fluster readied a blow intended to knock sense into her husband. Fillmore was as thick as a concrete but had a good sense of fight or flight. He settled on flight.

The Fillmore’s spent the better part of twenty minutes running around the parked cars in a game of hunted and hunter. The constable was finally call and put an end to the spectacle. Mrs. Fluster drove the truck and the children home. Fillmore waited at the Red Owl for his brother. He would be spending the night away from home.

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