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Double drabble
SSar's Beast
morbane
Two challenges brought to you by purplesparkler


A Valediction Forbidding Mourning
(moss)

Our auditorium is a clearing, with a picnic blanket thrown over moss and stones. The podium is a music stand, filched by Finn. The flag is from a souvenir shop in Hawaii. It’s good enough for Jasmine.

Carla made the caps in rainbow shades with tassels to match.

“I am calling to order the last meeting of the Young Americans Club,” I say. “Welcome, everyone, to a graduation ceremony for… eight.” Smiles. “We have all done well to get here,” I say. “And by here I mean the end of school, but since we all turned up to this meeting, we’ll celebrate that too…”

That’s enough.

“Salutation over,” I say. “Mrs Parata, over to you.”

My speech was going to be longer, until last night when Jack called me up to go over his valediction. He’s in the debating team and he’s already sent off his application to Harvard – I didn’t think that this would mean so much to him. Or that he’d call me.

It’s got Robert Frost, and carpe diem, and it’s happy. In fact it’s the joke at the end that’s making me smile as I take my diploma from Mrs Parata’s hand.



The Sex Lives of Cornflakes
(antidisestablishmentarianism)

Don is intent on his breakfast, which is good, because the therapist will be here in an hour and we haven’t gotten him dressed yet. I put a glass of orange juice down on the table next to his bowl, but he doesn’t look up. He won’t know what it’s for unless I tell him. “Here’s your juice, love,” I say. He looks up at me with a puzzled expression.

“Cornflakes,” he says, “How do they have sex?”

I’ve gone red. I think, too much Discovery Channel? Or not enough? We’ve been watching a lot more TV since we brought Don home from the hospital.

“Well, they don’t,” I begin, bracing myself, “because they’re not alive.”

He frowns. He seems unconvinced, but goes back to eating. Maybe he’s just forgotten what we were talking about. Lucky break! He doesn’t say anything else for several minutes, until I’m clearing the table.

“What was that?” I say, turning back towards his mumble. He speaks more clearly. “An-ti-dis-es-tab-lish-ment-ar-ian-ism,” he says, and he actually winks, as if to tell me that it won’t always be like this, that it’ll get better. My mouth is open, I’m amazed. But I’m unconvinced.

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'Valediction'- I like it, I'm just not sure I *get* it- are the diplomas fake diplomas? Did something happen to all the rest of the class?

'Sex Lives'- beautiful, very sad, and felt very real having had two grandparents suffer from senile dementia.

Heh. In both stories there's actually a lot of back story that's in my head because it wouldn't fit in 200 words. The rest of the class... are also in a New Zealand high school. The clue is the "Young Americans Club". The group of eight are part of a cultural club (a common thing in NZ high schools) that isn't one of the usual types you'd find in NZ high schools (Chinese Cultural Club, Kapahaka Group, Indian Dance Group). Because I don't really know anything about valedictions, and their usual contexts, I put this valediction in a context where the participants came from the same unfamiliar background as me.

Thanks.

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